Rispoli’s photographs open a portal into seeing the city of New York. Rather than nostalgic the lens is frank and immediate. In his project “High Heels” we see shoes and legs, lines and blocks of color, a desire to shine, to strut, to capture and frame. The shoes and legs are beautiful, sculptural, sexy, iconic, yet awkwardly truthful. The scenes are particular to the lurid palette of late nights. Shot over several decades, the rich portraits reveal a world of play, sensuality, style, and posturing. The women are present yet faceless, their playful complicity implied in defiant stances and showy kicks.
The “High Heels” portfolio has temporal grounding in fashion yet documents a timeless spirit of self-expression and sexuality. It is hard to identify the primary player, the theatrical triad of subject, artist, and viewer each call out to see and be seen in an act that is part satire part earnest longing. One cannot help but try to imagine the dialog in the room, “come on, I want to shoot you and your shoes by this toilet.” There is no pretense of candid realism, this is an act with layers of repetition and acknowledgement.