“They pose like statues or artists’ models and interact with young people wearing colourful and patterned Gucci outfits, who are in the full flush of youth,” says the house. “Often these young and aged bodies embrace or touch each other tenderly, prompting the viewer to consider the relationship between the eternal, beautiful sculpted statues and their transient, living subject matter: humanity.”
The Leda gallery, which is built within the villa’s grounds, is named for the statue at its centre, Leda and the Swan. The sculpture is a copy: made in the first century, it is a Roman version of an earlier Greek statue, which Michele took as inspiration for the shoot, exploring “the importance of the value of the copy, which possesses its own authenticity”. The book’s title, Oviparity – a zoological term which refers to the production of eggs by an animal – is also in reference to the Greek myth: Leda, after being seduced by Zeus, who is in the form of a swan, lays two eggs from which her children are hatched.