Susanne Bartsch, legendary Queen of NYC nightlife since the 1980’s, refers to Adrian Buckmaster’s series as “almost a visual experience of a parfueriene, each image an essential oil beautiful, evocative, deeply + exquisitely self-defined, an experience you drink in long + slow “, which perfectly describes your first experience when setting your eyes on the photos of this master photographer In ‘An Embarrassment of Riches’ by Adrian Buckmaster, published by Glitterati Incorporated. Besides capturing the raw humanity of each subject, Buckmaster flawlessly captures + celebrates the human form, through the many characters contained within nearly 300 images.
As he inhales every inch of him or her with the honesty of his lens, the closeness shared with every sitter is made very clear. Buckmaster achieves an empathetic intimacy in capturing the various ways people adorn, alter + showcase their bodies in the pursuit of self-expression while addressing gender + sexuality with the utmost elegance. Compared to Toulouse-Lautrec by Bartsch, in Buckmaster sharing his fascination with people that are “often marginalized + misunderstood for the boundaries they push”, in living on the ‘fringe of society’, each subject’s delicate approach never results in a near miss but a dead on interpretation filled with love.
Through an array of costumes including hats, wigs, Victorian ruffles to tattoos, the diversity of the subject themselves grants Buckmaster no wiggle room to not capture the true essence of the person(s) before him. Yet, as you leaf through the pages, you can’t help but notice how his prowess in portraiture somewhat intermingles with imagery created by the great masters such as Caravaggio or even Édouard Manet, as seen below. You look at a lot of these photos + at first glance, you could swear you were looking at a painting.
With every pic, you have no choice but to linger + look at every inch of it. From the lighting, the very gaze of the subject, to a left foot slightly shifted to the right, you never question why but rather swell up with emotion knowing you have just witnessed greatness. Arranged in three movements: Imposing, Revealing + Inventing, the range of characters including Burlesque performers, ballerinas, families, + all types of tattoos + body piercings, Buckmaster manages to capture the essentials that define their individuality.
‘An Embarrassment of Riches’ by Adrian Buckmaster, published by Glitterati Incorporated is available for purchase at glitteratiincorporated.com.