When Dmitri Kasterine first showed Dirk Bogarde the photograph he’d taken of him, the film actor witheringly described it as ‘the carapace of an aging turtle – sub Avedon’. It’s typical of Kasterine’s generosity that he wasn’t offended by Bogarde’s response, regarding it as proof that he’d managed to get behind the performer’s façade. 

In 1996 photographer Dmitri Kasterine started taking photos of people and abandoned buildings around the Newburgh, New York. His unnamed portraits were compiled in a book "Newburgh: Portrait of a City" where he states, "This is a record of uncelebrated and ignored people."

Kasterine took to photographing this city, producing a great many wonderful portraits, and it is now our duty to look at them. With photography having become a bit too self-centered, a bit too focused on navels and on often petty dramas that don’t invoke anyone but the photographer, this book might serve as a good reminder that there is a world out there, and it’s not necessarily a pretty world.

Dmitri Kasterine is a really good listener. And he’s got a good eye too: Kasterine won’t fail to notice the discrete changes, moment to moment, in the way you want yourself to look to others. He’ll pay attention to the way your eye darts left when you’re uncomfortable; right when you’re taken with something he said about you, and then as you settle into some calm he’ll shoot your portrait.

Kasterine was immediately drawn to the crumbling Victorian houses, the neglected buildings, and, most strikingly, the unassuming grace of the people on the street. But when he tried to take his first photo, his subject told him to go away. Still, Kasterine returned, and kept coming back for the next 16 years.

"Nobody has ever done quite this," Kasterine says, "which is to say, 'Look at these beautiful people.' 

I’ve been a photographer for 49 years. The National Portrait Gallery recently acquired 24 of my portraits of writers and artists taken between 1965 (Samuel Beckett) and 2008 (John Richardson). Moved to New York in 1985 and have worked for the New Yorker, The New York Times and Vanity Fair

I took this in 1969, during the filming of A Clockwork Orange. I think it was on location in Kingston, London, but I can't remember exactly what was being shot that day. The structure you can see is a camera platform, and we were sheltering from the rain underneath it. I was chatting with Stanley Kubrick, and I thought to myself: there's a picture here.

There is no political agenda, no strong urge to document, only the desire to make a picture of a scene that the photographer was intuitively drawn to. There is innocence, with a mutually complicit agreement between the lady and the photographer in the making of this picture. I asked Dmitri about this image and he said, “I was walking down Upper Richmond Road, and there she sat with her cat, both content: she sitting so graphically, the cat classically how a cat sits.”

Istantanee dal backstage di un film mitologico affiorano nella mostra di foto scattate da Dmitri Kasterine sul set di Arancia Meccanica.

A 45 anni dall'uscita della discussa pellicola, una mostra a Bologna presenta la personale del fotografo che ha immortalato Stanley Kubrick.