Under the name Formento + Formento, Richeille Formento styles and art directs, while BJ Formento lights and photographs. Together the duo has an enthralling ability to absorb the spirit of a time and place, creating cinematic, quasi-anthropological photographs, with a vision that references the past but remains contemporary and highly original.

Formento+Formento
BJ was born in 1964 and Richeille in 1975. They live in Connecticut, U.S.A., with 3 Siamese cats.

Biography
BJ Formento was born in Hawaii and grew up in the Philippines.
After attending The Academy of Arts University of California, BJ moved to New York training his eye by working with esteemed photographers such as Richard Avedon, Duane Michals, Mary Ellen Mark and Annie Leibovitz.
London born Richeille Formento graduated with honors from Central St. Martins College of Art before working as an art director and designer.
In 2005, BJ and Richeille met while working together on a job in South Beach, Miami.
They admit to love at first sight and were married in New York City three months later.

Formento+Formento are known for their romantic and inventive photography that blur the lines of fiction and reality, clarity and ambiguity.
Richeille Formento styles and art directs, while BJ Formento lights and photographs.
Their style reveals a fascination with mood and texture where a sense of place figures prominently. From America, Europe, Cuba, Mexico, India to Japan they blend fervent passion for photography and film with a lasting love for one another.

Formento+Formento have come a long way in a short time, but they have shown that they live for the journey and it will continue, leading wherever it takes them.
They are professional travelers, bringing expertise, imagination and an almost alien gift for absorbing and rendering the spirit of a time and place.
Burroughs, who loved to collaborate and who created the cut up method with painter Brion Gysin, said that when two minds work together they create a third mind.
Here we see that two eyes can create a third eye and everyone knows that the third eye can see through time and space showing us things otherwise invisible (by Glenn O’Brien).

They consider Japan as their spirit haven and are always yearning to get back and go deeper in their exploration of the people and the landscape.
The new work moved them out of the city of Tokyo and into the countryside.
They wanted to live under the ever-changing appearance of Mt. Fuji and experience it’s burning energy.
Creating an ambiguous narrative with the women as they played out an imagined life under the strength of the mountain and beyond the edge of the frame.

Their work has been exhibited worldwide and is in permanent collections of The International Center of Photography, The Moscow Museum of Arts, The Currier Museum, The Boca Raton Museum, The Bruce Museum, The Lewben Museum and Musee Des Art Decoratif in Paris.
They have published Circumstance: America Down on Bruised Knees by YK Books (2009) as well a short film entitled The Voyage shown at Cannes Film Festival 2016.

To date, they have produced eight bodies of work, and are currently working on their new series entitled 36.
In winter of 2018 they returned to Japan, focused on channeling the artist Hokusai and asked the question of what Mt. Fuji means to them.
We consider Japan our spirit haven and are always yearning to come back and go deeper in our exploration of the people and the landscape.
This new work moved us out of the city of Tokyo and into the countryside.
Here we wanted to live under the ever changing appearance of Mt. Fuji and experience its burning energy, creating an ambiguous narrative with our women as they played out an imagined life under the strength of the mountain and beyond the edge of the frame.

Circumstance (2008 – 2010)
Embarking on a road trip from New York to Los Angeles, the Formento’s travelled through twenty-five states, photographing the women they found along the way, often recruited the same day as the shoot.
Referencing classic American paintings and cinema, Circumstance embodies the combined American vision of both BJ and Richeille.
Capturing a country during uncertain times, their dramatically lit subjects are transformed into heroines and femme fatales caught in intense moments of emotion and reflection.

Japan Diaries (2013 – present)
The highly staged and melodramatic images conjure many references as1950’s Japanese cinema, the photographs of Nobuyoshi Araki, Ukiyo-e woodblock prints and the erotic imagery of Ero Guro paintings.
As outside observers, the Formentos’ stylized images explore the dichotomies that embody modern Japan – blurring the aesthetics between tradition and the ultra-modern, fantasy and reality.
The captivating tableaus exude a sense of tension, melancholy, and a quiet unease.
Each image from Japan Diaries exists as if it were a still taken from a noir Japanese film, each solitary figure yearning for something unknown.

She Is Cuba (2014)
In Cuba’s forbidden allure, amongst the crumbling walls of colonial architecture, the abandoned cinemas and casinos, the street of old Havana and all the glory that once was, Formento+Formento have created photographs where the radiant, bombastic Cuban woman plays the heroine.
They have captured the twilight of the Castro era, the imminent change, the struggle, the anxiety and the hope.

Strange Fascinations Mexico (2015)
This is a series of luscious images exploring the idea of misfortunes, tragedies, and survival from everyday mundane accidents to the more dramatic less frequent, newsworthy catastrophes.

Another Way of Seeing India (2015)
The Formento’s reveal the chaos and the peace that defines the country, teetering on the fine line between the cinematic and the real.

Second Kind of Woman Thailand (2016)
To confront people’s prejudices and fears and nudge them past embarrassment into acceptance of the whole spectrum of sexual preference.

Hysteria (2015 – 2017)
This series is set post World War II, a time when America was the height of its power yet also on the verge of spinning out of control.
This uncertain state represents a world we still know and are trying to find ways to contend with today.

Spies, Lies and Saboteurs (2018 – 2020)
Photographs that delve into the tension between reality and myth, and the fabricated and authentic, Formento+Formento allows for a spattering of ambiguity that has uncertain intention and unexpected consequences.
An homage to the unsung heroines of WW2.
These women were especially prevalent in the Special Operations Executive, a cobbled-together network of spies and amateurs that wrought havoc on German occupied Europe.
Scores of female operatives trained to handle guns and explosives, memorize complex codes, organize munitions and supplies drops, endure harsh interrogation.
They were military women, journalists, cooks, actresses and ordinary people caught up in extraordinary times.
Their stories demonstrate that they were ordinary women of extraordinary courage and inventiveness who helped change the world.
While the efforts of men in war have been well highlighted, we often forget that women played just as large a role in ensuring victory.

Solo exhibitions
2017 Cherchez La Femme, Taylor and Graham Gallery, New York, NY, U.S.A.
2017 Bel Air Fine Arts, Miami, FL, U.S.A.
2017 Musee Des Arts Décoratif, Paris, France
2016 She is Cuba, Soho House, Miami, FL. U.S.A.
2016 Parmigiani Gallery, Circumstance, Miami, FL, U.S.A.
2015 She is Cuba and Japan Diaries, Women’s Club, Miami, FL, U.S.A.
2014 Snap Orlando, Orlando, FL, U.S.A.
2014 Fahey Klein Gallery, Los Angeles, CA, U.S.A.
2012 Society Club Soho, London, United Kingdom
2012 Salon Gallery, New York, NY, U.S.A.

Group exhibitions
2020 Musee des Art Décoratif, Paris, France
2019 Citroen Centenary Monnaie De Paris Museum, Paris, France
2018 Miami Photo Festival, Moore Building, Miami, FL, U.S.A.
2017 Benaki Museum, Athens Cinematic Chronicles, Athens, Greece
2016 Special Selection Photo Vogue Festival, Base Gallery Milano, Milano, Italy
2015 Bonhams Auction, New York, NY, U.S.A.
2015 In Haus, NYC group exhibition for Midnightrun.org, New York, NY, U.S.A.
2014 Robert Klein Gallery, Boston, MA, U.S.A.
2014 L’Atelier Des Artistes, Paris, France
2014 Traffic Art Space, New York, NY, U.S.A.
2013 Vogue Italia, Corso Como Gallery, Milan, Italy
2013 Traffic Art Space, New York, NY, U.S.A.
2013 Wonderground Gallery, New York, NY, U.S.A.
2013 Pompidou Museum, Presentation of a Documentary on Formento+Formento, Paris, France
2012 Art Below, Underground Gallery, Queens Diamond Jubilee, London, United Kingdom
2012 Group Show Vogue Italia 101 Photographs, Corso Como Gallery, Milan, Italy
2012 US Vogue Group Show, Milk Gallery, New York, NY, U.S.A.
2012 Togonon Gallery, San Francisco, CA, U.S.A.
2011 Life Support Japan, Tokyo, Japan
2010 Beers Lambert Gallery, London, United Kingdom

Art fairs
2020 London Art Fair, with ARTITLEDcontemporary, London, United Kingdom
2019 Art Miami, with ARTITLEDcontemporary, Miami, FL, U.S.A.
2019 PAN Amsterdam, with ARTITLEDcontemporary, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
2019 Affordable Art Fair Battersea, with ARTITLEDcontemporary, London, United Kingdom
2019 Affordable Art Fair Hampstead, with ARTITLEDcontemporary, London, United Kingdom
2019 AIPAD, with Taylor and Graham Gallery, New York, NY, U.S.A.
2016 Art Basel Miami Beach, with Markowicz Gallery, Miami, FL, U.S.A.
2015 Photo London, with Robert Klein Gallery, London, United Kingdom
2014 Art Wynwood, with VVFA Gallery, Miami Beach, FL, U.S.A.
2014 Art Miami, She is Cuba and Japan Diaries, Miami Beach, FL, U.S.A.
2014 Photo Shanghai, with Fahey Klein Gallery, Shanghai, China
2014 Art Silicon, with VVFA Gallery, Bordeaux, France
2013 Art Basel, with VVFA Gallery, Basel, Switzerland
2013 Photo Paris, with Robert Klein Gallery, Paris, France
2013 Art Miami, Circumstance: American Beauty Down on Bruised Knees, Miami Beach, FL, U.S.A.

Collections:
International Center for Photography, New York, permanent collection
Lewben Museum, Poland, permanent collection
Currier Museum, New Hampshire, permanent collection
Boca Raton Museum of Fine Art, Florida

Publications
2018 Hasselblad Master Finalist
2017 120 cover and pages for Ideat Magazine Art issue
2016 Blow Up Film Festival, Best Director The Voyage short film
2016 Special selection of short film The Voyage for Cannes Film Festival
2016 Cover and 52 page spread in Tartarus Magazine
2014 Schon! Japan Diaries review
2014 Aesthetica Magazine, Issue 60 August/September She is Cuba feature story
2014 L’Oeil, American Beauty on Bruised Knees, review
2014 American Photo, Through the Eyes of Global Nomads, Japan Diaries, interview Juxtapose
2014 NORMAL Magazine, cover and 28 pages
2013 Circumstance: American Beauty Down on Bruised Knees, coffee table book published by YK Publishers
2013 AMMO Magazine, video Interview
2013 Aesthetica Magazine, Frozen Narratives, cover story 2013 Surface Magazine, China
2013 Collecting Fine Art TeNeues
2013 Citizen K Magazine
2013 Hunger Magazine
2013 Ideal Magazine, Paris
2013 Version Femina Magazine, Paris 2013 Grazia Magazine, Milan
2013 Paris Match Magazine
2013 Be Magazine
2012 Photo District News Magazine 2012 Aesthetica Magazine.
2012 Vogue Magazine, U.S.A.
2011 Female Persuasion Magazine 2011 Live Fast Magazine.
2011 Photo District News Magazine 2011 Eyemazing Magazine
2011 Live Fast Magazine