Cesis Art Festival 2012 in Latvia presents the installation “Dovanna – Muse”. Dovanna, an iconic fashion model of the 1980s, working for both runway and photography in Paris, London, Tokyo, Milan and New York, presents projected photographic images from her work with Robert Maplethorpe, Mario Testino, Richard Avedon, Josef Astor and Kevin Higgins. Unusually tall, with exotic features that baffled the ethnic experts, Dovanna’s lineage is traced back to multi-ethnic origins in Latvia. Born in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Dovanna is educated at Wellesley College only to run off to the woolly wilds of Studio 54 and the Mudd Club in late 70′s gritty New York City. Playing both the uptown and downtown arenas, Dovanna is fascinated by the Halston uptown crew & participates in the nascent art scene of the East Village.
Dovanna’s initial education in “Muse-Fashion” comes from photographer Kevin Higgins. His very specific and gentle directions enabled her to channel a mood and to get to know the soon-to-be-fabeled angles of her refined visage. A loan from her brother, Peter, takes her to Paris where she encounters fellow-fashion-art soul, Josef Astor. Their antics cavorting around Paris, Milan & points in-between result in the initiation of the surrealistic photographic images which become part of Josef’s inimitable style well into his later prolific years at Carnegie Hall in New York. Mario Testino, new on the New York photographic scene, deems Dovanna to be a reincarnation of his mother’s elegant Peruvian girlfriends, and he takes great pleasure in working with Dovanna in a series of ads for the avant-guard store, Parachutte. Enter Robert Maplethorpe. A session for Interview Magazine produces one of Robert’s quintessential images, “Thomas and Dovanna Dancing”. Patti Smith remarks in her book “Just Kids”, that Robert was very excited about this image. It was indeed one of his favorites and has been exhibited in the Guggenheim Museum in New York as well as the Hermitage in St. Petersburg. Dovanna’s photographic session with the phoenix of fashion photography, Richard Avedon, results in some wonderful stories, all of which are relayed in the Cesis Muse Show via Dovanna’s voice in both Latvian, her first language, as well as in English.
All photographs are for educational use only and are directed toward making a contribution to the knowledge of art.
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