The photographs of Gonza Gallego, whom I have been following for a long time through social networks, seem to me prodigious for what they portray, but above all for what is left out of them. They are the bodies of naked men, sometimes alone (the LONELY series) and sometimes accompanied (the NOT LONELY series). They are explicit photos, aesthetically austere, turned to shades of pink that, by contrast, further accentuate the expressiveness of the scenes.
Gonza Gallego's photographs have an evident homoerotic gaze, but rarely are images seen in which the erotic is so dissolved in the sentimental or -even more- in the existential. Or, to put it another way: Gallego explores intuitively in the ultimate sense of sexuality. Loneliness, human communication, the feeling that pleasure is only a mode of expression.
There are two aspects that especially interest me in the work of Gonza Gallego, above all because of the artistic asceticism with which we can communicate them.
The first is the idea of obscenity, which is not linked to classic forms of pornography and that is precisely why it is much more effective. The obscenity in Gallego's photographs has to do with what is hidden, with what is left out of the field. Or rather, within the field but hidden from view. There are no erect sexes or lustful gestures, but the erotic charge is very powerful. Sexual instincts appear but on the nape of the neck, on the back of a hand, on the fragment of a leg.
Gonza Gallego achieves what all artists seek: that what he wants to tell is in the eyes of those who count and in the eyes of those who see. That what matters is the eye; or, in other words, the soul.
The second aspect that seduces me about Gonza Gallego's photographs is the treatment of violence in some compositions. This undisguised vision of sex as an act of domination, as political language in the broadest sense. His figures - once more fragmented: a head, open legs, hands - are coupled by force relationships that are not necessarily aggressive. What is most powerful is precisely that invisibility of violence, which appears integrated in the act with the naturalness of instincts.
I have always believed that a true artist is the one who is able to look through the keyhole. To see what human beings do when nobody observes them. To reflect -photograph, in this case- what they feel or what they dream of secretly. Gonza Gallego achieves this with absolute simplicity, without ever surrendering to artifice or exaggeration. Just watch and shoot.
I think that his work - more valuable in terms of the author's youth makes one think of multiple paths of evolution - deserves every opportunity to be exhibited and admired. And I wish I could contribute in any way.
Literature, cinema, painting or photography that are called to occupy a central space in our time must be disturbing. And Gonza Gallego's work is.
LONELY began to forge in 2016. The purpose, in the first photographs, was to discover the possibilities of the male nude to express feelings. The project was completed soon after with the Not Lonely series, in which the place of a single model appeared two in different erotic situations.
The aesthetic objectives were clear from the beginning and are basic in the project: absolute sobriety, a closed room and clean of decorations and a pink hue that would soften, by contrast, the interior hardness of the images. The pink toned is one more protagonist of the photographs.
All the models are amateurs, which also defines the project. If actors had been used, expressiveness would have been imposed. The essence of LONELY and NOT LONELY was authenticity, absolute sincerity, the naked expression of nudity.
LONELY and NOT LONELY are a work in progress, which is not intended to be exhausted in a limited series.
In the words of its author, "it is not a criticism, but a spear in favor of solitude, presented in an attractive, sexualized and somewhat melancholic way. An invitation to imagination, thought, reflection and, why not, also to onanism. Alone. "
Gonza Gallego is a young artist from La Mancha (Puertollano, 1991) currently based in Madrid. He made himself known thanks to his collages, where he mixed figures from the pop world with religious iconography and architecture, but he finally decided to exploit his photographer streak as the main means of expression through LONELY.
Self-taught, he has a degree in Audiovisual Communication from the Complutense University of Madrid and a contributor to the Shangay magazine. Gallego explores his inner world through his pink works. Tradition, excessive sexuality, folklore and a great influence of pop culture are the main pillars of La Mancha's work.