Sorry to say I didn’t know his name...
Luke Smalley was an American artist known for his photographic work, which pairs a coolly minimalist aesthetic with a retro nostalgia. Images from his early in his career were inspired by fitness manuals and yearbooks c. 1910. This is not surprising since Smalley graduated with a degree in sports medicine from Pepperdine University and worked for a number of years as a model and personal trainer. Smalley shot the bulk of his photographs in his home state of Pennsylvania. He used real high school athletes as models, who engaged in unusual, imaginary competitions he conceived, designing and crafting many of the outfits and equipment himself.
After Smalley died unexpectedly in 2009 at the age of 53, the Smalley Partnership was formed for the purpose of continuing Luke Smalley's photographic legacy. The art gallery ClampArt, in the Chelsea district of New York City, currently represents the efforts of the Smalley Partnership.
ClampArt is currently presenting a retrospective exhibition of photographs by Luke Smalley ongoing until May 9. The show includes examples from Smalley’s first black-and-white series, “Gymnasium,” in addition to his two color collections—“Exercise at Home” and “Sunday Drive.”
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