Saints & Martyrs is a photo series on ecstatic moments of doom and apotheosis.
The work is interested in the state of ‘being on the verge.’ Those men are in between trance and lucidity, surrender and resistance, pain and pleasure. Their spiritual delights firmly grounded in the body. As a non-religious person I am interested in the moments of ecstasies that scape language, on the liminal thresholds between the body and the spiritual.
Those sculptures are created to exist only as photographs, auratic and not. Those are slow photographs, their logic that of painting: constructions to be disassembled by tactile eyes.
The viewer’s gaze. the gaze of the male object, and a third, hidden character, participate on a virtual triangulation of impossible apex. Those figures are caught between ‘absorption and address,’ as conceptualized by Fried.
Each photo is staged using painted sculptures made to exist only as photographs. The constructions are made of plasticine, wax, paper, and fabric. Color is added with gouache, watercolor, acrylic, body paint, eye shadow, nail polish, and pastels. The work is hybrid, intermedia - queer in content and form.
If the religious representation of the abuse of the body was sometimes a way to smuggle the naked, eroticized body into visual experience, it also happens that gay erotica - a subterranean culture - borrowed from those historic representations of saints, creating then blurred ecstatic experiences that connect diferente, opposing visual traditions. Saints & Martyrs re-signifies the erudite and the vernacular - from museums to instagram - into a queer genealogy.