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MARIANO VARGAS

ALEXANDRE INSPIRATION I

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About the artwork

The oldest portrait commissioned from the painter Rembrandt inspires this photograph. The artwork, painted in 1631, demonstrates the Dutch artist's great ability to capture the silhouette, the subject's attitude, and the spontaneity of a gesture. He proved himself capable of finding the "movements of the human soul" and of characterising the person beyond a mimetic rendering of the model. Using highly sophisticated staging, the young man photographed by Mariano Vargas in 2016 poses in the manner of the rich dealer Nicolaes Ruts. Almost 400 years separate the two images and yet, it seems difficult for the spectator to differentiate between painting and photograph in this savvy combination of purity and insolence. Mariano Vargas nonetheless distinguishes his work through an extremely contemporary approach, by integrating an element from daily life into his image, which conspicuously disrupts its interpretation. The deed of sale present on the original painting seems to have been replaced by a Polaroid picture.

The artist

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).  ... See more See less

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