THE DAILY PIC: Art fairs mostly feel like giant dollar stores, reducing all the works on view, good or bad, to trinkets for the wealthy. That’s why, when the Armory fair previewed yesterday in New York, I was pleased and relieved to find this series of life-size photos by the Colombian artist Miguel Angel Rojas, at the booth of Houston’s Sicardi Gallery. Rojas asked José Antonio Ramos, a young government soldier who’d lost a leg to a land mine, to pose for him as Michelangelo’s “David”. Rojas’s series encapsulates the tension that is always there between the vapid preciousness of aesthetics and the real world that’s either addressed or left out in our art. Michelangelo’s “David”, a work so iconic it’s been emptied of meaning, becomes, for an instant, an actual incarnate warrior, with no defense against the thousand natural – and unnatural – shocks that flesh is heir to. By shooting the same pose again and again, Rojas prevents his subject from becoming pure image, as has happened to David; the young soldier’s presence as a living, changing being stays with us. He’s subject to art, but not reduced to it.
Reblogged from BLAKE GOPNIK on art
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