‘The Diplomats’ is a collaborative show featuring Dimitri Karakostas and Sonia D’Argenzio, an artist duo working with analogue photography. Often raising controversial subjects, they focus on documenting the lifestyles of contemporary youth associated with counterculture circles.
The couple’s collected work reveals a lifestyle that is visceral and charged with a raw appetite for life. The family album like shooting style is precisely what gives them their strength, allowing the viewer to peer into someone else’s diary. The experimental manipulation in the development process of their analogue photography is very present. Painting like images presented on a video loop are created on 35 mm film using watercolors, various art supplies, makeup, household cleaning products, chemicals and fire.
The word ‘diplomat’ is derived from the Greek ‘diplōmátēs’, the holder of a diploma a folded paper, literally a ‘folding’. Not only does this title refer to their voyeuristic and often homeless lifestyle, but also closely ties to their relationship with today’s zine culture.
In 2008, Dimitri Karakostas and a group of friends started the ‘Blood of the Young’ zine, which Karakostas continues to edit and produce with his partner D’Argenzio. The zine supports talented artists showing new work that otherwise would probably never have seen the light of day. Five years and 200 titles later, the same mandate of having everything handmade and independent is still number one.
The artists have had impressive achievements including many solo exhibitions, among others such as, Art Basel Miami (2013), MOMA PS1 (New York, 2013), Lens Gallery (Toronto, 2011), as well as numerous group exhibitions in America, Europe and Australia.