Jose Picayo: 25 Years of Polaroids

n this exhibition, Picayo seeks to revive the concept of unadulterated beauty captured as a single moment in time. When asked why it remains his preferred medium, Picayo answers, “Digital is so overpoweringly real; photography is more magical to me.” For Picayo, Polaroid film is a medium where he can capture something as is – a moment in time. Just to hold the photograph in his hands is enough.

25 Years of Polaroids showcases Picayo’s most iconic work. This exhibit includes personal photographs of Cuba from 1994, Polaroid image transfers showcasing his impressive use of visual texture and his eye for fashion. Also included are his Atget-esque tree portraits from a New Jersey public arboretum in 2012. Additionally, a selection of 8” x 10” Polaroids from Mugshots 2008, will be included, exploring how a person’s soul can be captured in what appear to be basic photographs. The main questions at the heart of Picayo’s photography stem from the mystery of human perception and the precious things that are lost to time.

Picayo speaks of his own influences, crediting photographers Eugène Atget, Walker Evans, and Edward Curtis, Michael Disfarmer, and Torkil Gudnason with impact on both his fine and commercial art. He is well known for his work in fashion, but for Picayo his personal and commercial work are interrelated, each extensions of one another. Born in Cuba, Picayo immigrated to Puerto Rico during his childhood and settled in New York City by the early 80s. After receiving his BFA from Parsons School of Design, Picayo began his professional career as a commercial photographer, shooting for magazines such as Vanity Fair, Sassy, Taxi, and Connoisseur. Picayo’s work has since appeared in Harpers Bazaar, L.A. Style, New York Times Magazine, Esquire, Rolling Stone, NY Magazine, HG, and Elle Décor. Picayo has held nine solo exhibits to date at the Robin Rice Gallery.

To view the exhibition, please go to

Start Date

November 7, 2018

End Date

January 6, 2019


06:00 PM - 08:00 PM


325 West 11th Street

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