A few months ago photographer, Natalie Castellino asked if I would be one of her subjects in a photography exhibit she was planning. She wanted to get an “intimate look at the subject, a moment that the viewer wouldn’t naturally have.” It sounded like a fun project to be part of so I accepted.
Last Thursday was the opening party for her exhibit called Citizens at the Red Bull 381 Projects space.
Through a collection of 20 portraits, photographer Natalie Castellino captures an intimate side of some of Toronto’s most influential. The project, entitled â€˜Citizens’, will be on display at Red Bull Gallery in Toronto from April 26th to May 3rd 2012. “I have always been passionate about portraits but my work to date has been more abstract and staged,â€ says photographer, Natalie Castellino, “This collection came together very organically, each subject chose their environment and was shot in their natural element of comfort with minimal direction.â€
Through Citizens, Natalie was looking to bring a focus to success within the city of Toronto. “There is almost a stigma that Torontonians need to leave the city to be recognized, we have so many interesting things and people right here in Toronto.â€ Says Natalie.
The collection was photographed solely in film and printed in entirety in a dark room by Natalie herself. “This was my way of reciprocating the personal element and support that my subjects each gave me.â€ Says Natalie.
Natalie shot me in one of my main shopping stomping grounds, Holt Renfrew. I usually spend Saturday afternoon’s eating Pho at Pho Hung and then wandering Yorkville which always includes a visit to Holts.
At the opening party I learned about the other subjects and I was happy to see some familiar faces.
Citizens is open to the public April 29 11am-4pm and Monday April 30 – May 5 9am-5pm at 381 Queen St. West, Red Bull 381 Projects.Â The prints are on sale at the exhibit and proceeds from the show will go toward Sketch, working arts for street involved and homeless youth.
photos: Natalie Castellino