Natalia Bertotti and Michael Garlington are an acclaimed photographer, sculptor, and installation artist team. Their work is marked by a fluid sense of the real. Starting with fantastical scenes from the artists’ minds’ eyes, Bertotti and Garlington realize their visions in physical form by recruiting colorful models, constructing grandiose costumes, scouting atmospheric locales, and then staging the full scene to be captured in a single straight shot on medium-format film.
The pair’s latest body of work includes a series of stunning portraits of the actress Susan Sarandon, which demonstrate the artists’ myriad of talents as fashion designers, set designers, producers, sculptors, and photographers — activities combined solely for the purpose of creating an emotional image that evokes, in the artists’ own words, “the mystery . . . the wonder, and of course, the horror.”
Bertotti and Garlington present their pictures with an exceptionally grand physical presence. Using large-format printing and elaborate baroque frames made in the artists’ studio out of rough and ephemeral paper cut-outs, cast plaster, or elaborate montages of found objects, they create unique works of art that are as much sculpture as photography.
Their work has been supported by SF Camerawork, National Endowment for the Arts, Andy Warhol Foundation, and Burning Man Honoraria. Their Burning Man installations “Totem of Confessions” and “Photo Chapel” have received international acclaim. Architectural-scale sculpture and photography commissions are currently in progress for the Huntington Library (San Marino, CA) and the Hermitage Museum (Norfolk, VA).