Mariano Vargas

DAMA PORTRAIT WITH DOG II

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This photograph comes from the ?Everlasting Madonnas? series that Mariano Vargas began in 2003. With highly sophisticated theatricality, the nude young women whose portraits are taken by the photographer represent modern Madonnas. Also known as ?Virgin with child? portraits, they are a recurrent theme in the history of Christian religious painting and particularly that of the great masters of the Italian Renaissance (Botticelli, Raphael, Da Vinci, and Christus) from whom he deliberately seeks inspiration. Both provocative and intriguing, they seduce through the softness of their forms but also through their staging, worthy of a theatre set. It is difficult for the spectator to differentiate between painting and photography in this savvy combination of purity and insolence. The photographer nonetheless distinguishes his style through an extremely contemporary approach, by integrating elements into his images derived from daily life, which conspicuously disturb our interpretation. Dama Portrait with Dog II is inspired by Leonardo Da Vinci?s Lady with an Ermine (1488).

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L'artista
Mariano Vargas

From the Cadix region in Andalusia, Mariano Vargas is a Spanish photographer born in 1964 in Algeria. He has devoted his time to photographing female nudes since 1991, and very soon acquired international fame. Considered to be one of the foremost contemporary erotic photographers, he owes this distinction to the Taschen publishing house, which referred to him as such in its two volumes on erotic photography in 2007 and 2011. This title was also give to him in 2003 in the United Kingdom. Inspired by the paintings by great masters of the Italian Renaissance, the artist stages modern young women in Madonna poses. His tableaux vivants have appeared in the specialised press (The Good Life, Art & Collector, Cámara oscura, Playboy, GQ). They have been exhibited in Florida, Colombia and in various Spanish cities and continue to tour the world thanks to the prestigious international fairs to which the artist is regularly invited (Art Basel, Photo Miami).

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