MARIANO VARGAS

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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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About the artwork

Jacques Louis David's painting The Death of Marat inspires this photograph. Here we see Jean-Paul Marat, French revolutionary and freedom fighter, assassinated in his home on 13 July 1793 by Charlotte Corday. Using highly sophisticated staging, the model photographed by Mariano Vargas in 2016 reproduces the same pose as that of the friend of the people represented in his death throes in 1793. The head, wrapped in a white turban, leans to one side. His right hand dangles, holding a feather, while the left holds a parchment. It is 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, which conspicuously disrupts its interpretation and notably through the inclusion of a young woman rather than a man.

Artwork details

Date photograph was taken

27 July 2017

Artwork subject

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