"Estasi" on i-D

As many photographers, I've been inside my house for the past 70 days. Trying to be as positive as I can while going through such difficult and surreal times, by documenting my home and daily life, trying to rediscover its poetry and beauty.

Read the article on i-D Magazine here.


The ecstasy is a type of altered state of consciousness characterized by greatly reduced external awareness and expanded interior mental and spiritual awareness, frequently accompanied by visions and emotional euphoria.
It's a state of isolation and total escape from the surrounding reality of the individual completely absorbed in a single object. I tell the relationship between the walls of your home during the quarantine and the physical and psychic involvement of the subjects who live there. The walls of the house are just a layer of what our body is, another mask from which our psyche explodes and implodes in everyday life.
The only way to look at this photograph is through your own technological device, in particular from a social network.
If this photograph were printed, it would only take on aesthetic value.


I have always been fascinated by the magnificence of the "Ecstasy of Santa Teresa".
Since high school, this sculpture has sparked a powerful erotic, amorous and extrasensory fascination in me.
In the portraiture of the female figure, I have always been inspired by this icon.

"I saw in his hand a long spear of gold, and at the point there seemed to be a little fire. He appeared to me to be thrusting it at times into my heart, and to pierce my very entrails; when he drew it out, he seemed to draw them out also, and to leave me all on fire with a great love of God. The pain was so great, that it made me moan; and yet so surpassing was the sweetness of this excessive pain, that I could not wish to be rid of it..."

From a vision of Saint Teresaof of Avila. Teresa wrote that it must be a cherub (Deben ser los que llaman cherubines), but Fr. Domingo Báñez wrote in the margin that it seemed more like a seraph (mas parece de los que se llaman seraphis), an identification that most editors have followed. Santa Teresa de Ávila. "Libro de su vida". Escritos de Santa Teresa.
This vision was the inspiration for one of Bernini's most famous works, the Ecstasy of Saint Teresa at Santa Maria della Vittoria in Rome.

The Ecstasy of St. Teresa, Gian Lorenzo Bernini, 164552; in the Cornaro Chapel, Santa Maria della Vittoria, Rome (Italy).

Estasi di santa Teresa d'Avila, Jacopo Negretti, 1615 - 1620, Basilica di S. Pancrazio, Rome (Italy).

The icon of Santa Teresa represents only the superficial layer of the creation of this photograph.
The screen of our cell phones and our computers has been the main (and generic) source of salvation for all of us in this time of lockdown.
This explains the ecstasy of the gaze of the subject of my photo, not facing upwards but rather, towards the viewer who looks at the photograph through his own technological device.
Ecstasy occurs through the perception of closeness and connection that our cell phones or computers allow us to guess.

Las Meninas, Diego Velázquez, 1656, Museo del Prado, Madrid (Espana)

The history of art is full of examples in which the spectator is himself the protagonist of the represented work.
A good example it "Las Meninas" by Diego Velasquez.
It is a fairly complex scene, and one which some art critics believe is more like a genre painting than a portrait - after all, who is Velazquez painting? It is surely not the Infanta: he scarcely casts a glance at her, any more than he does at the ladies-in-waiting or the dwarfs. At what or at who is his glance directed, and what are the Infanta, the attendant, and the tiny woman gazing at? They are all looking to the front, towards something beyond, or rather at something outside the image field, which can be identified if we pay attention to the mirror hanging on the rear wall (left-centre), in which we see the reflections of the King and Queen of Spain.
This is highly reminiscent of the Arnolfini Portrait (1434, National Gallery, London) by Jan van Eyck (1390-1441), which also employed a mirror to reveal something lying outside the image field. The same device is used quite differently here, however. The object represented in the mirror is in fact the real subject of the picture.
So the artist has painted a picture of himself painting a portrait of two people, whom we cannot see, but whom are watched by their family and servants. It is this mixture of reality and illusion that makes Las Meninas one of the greatest portrait paintings of the Baroque.
Notice how Velazquez deliberately confuses the viewer by creating tension between the two rectangles at the centre: the deflecting figure of Jose de Nieto in the open doorway, and the reflected half-figures of the king and queen in the mirror.

it is a game of looks, a game of cause and effect. The one who causes the ecstasy is the same person who looks at the photograph through the computer.


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