Born out of an appreciation of cinema and fashion history, this series (named after actor Rudolph Valentino) was inspired by 1920s and 1930s Hollywood starlet portraiture. As a film student, Otalora wished to further connect with her film studies despite lack of representation. With a gritty flair inspired by the film styles and movement of German Expressionism, and the later Film Noir, chiaroscuro lighting techniques are employed to provide a dark twist to glamor. Utilizing an inclusive cast of models, providing queer and BIPOC representation along with 20s and 30s iconography facilitates a dialogue between the artistic canon of the past and the emerging canon of the present.
This series made its premiere in The 98 Project’s 98 Identity Spring 2018 Gallery Pop-Up at The Market in Boston, MA (May 2018).
All images and subjects in "Valentino" were individually curated, styled, and edited by Lena Camille Otalora.