born 1951; American artist photographer
He studied at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Afterwards he went to Yale where, in 1979, he got a Master of Fine Arts in Photography. He now works and lives in New York.
diCorcia alternates between informal snapshots and iconic quality staged compositions that often have a baroque theatricality. Using a carefully planned staging, he takes everyday occurrences beyond the realm of banality, trying to inspire in his picture's spectators an awareness of the psychology and emotion contained in real-life situations. His work could be described as documentary photography mixed with the fictional world of cinema and advertising, which creates a powerful link between reality, fantasy and desire.
During the late 1970s, during diCorcia's early career, he used to situate his friends and family within fictional interior tableaus, that would make the viewer think that the pictures were spontaneous shots of someone's everyday life, when they were in fact carefully staged and planned in beforehand. He would later start photographing random people in urban spaces all around the world. When in Berlin, Calcutta, Hollywood, New York, Rome and Tokyo, he would often hide lights in the pavement, which would iluminate a random subject in a special way, often isolating them from the other people in the street. His photographs would then give a a sense of heightened drama to the passers-by accidental poses, unintended movements and insignificant facial expressions.
His pictures have black humor within them, and have been described as "Rorschach-like", since they can have a different interpretation depending on the viewer. As they are planned beforehand, diCorcia often plants in his concepts issues like the marketing of reality, the commodification of identity, art, and morality.
"Philip-Lorca diCorcia: choice, non-event and truth"