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Issue I Vol.1

CARNE

The Meat Issue

With Inge Jacobsen, Scout Pare-Phillips, Aurelien Juner, Jodie Boland & Yvonne Reichmuth.

A GAME STALL by Hunter & Gatti

Text by Apostolos Mitsios

Fashion – Chrstine de Lassus
Stylist assistant: Martin Hamery
Talents – Alla K, Shaun De Wet
Hair – Paco Garrigues
Make Up – Yasuo Yoshikawa
Set Designer – Ari Fulton

A game stall is a series of photos inspired by the homonymous piece of pioneer still life painter Frans Snyders, dating between 1625 and 1635. Snyders, whose technique in portraying hunting pieces and combats of wild animals earned him the friendship of Van Dyck and the admiration of Rubens, knew like no one else how to portray the thin lines between the vibrant and the spiritless, the ephemeral and the eternal. (continue…)

Born in Antwerp in 1579, Snyders began painting flowers and fruit but soon became fascinated by the animal world, which he managed to portray with excellent precision and never before seen passion.In his hands, still life is transformed into a vivid composition, a tour de force of color and shape, drama, sophistication and rural crudity.
His talent to make details steal the spotlight from the background and his unique way of elevating the dead animal anatomy to a song of grief and despair is the inspiration behind these photos that stand as a broader interpretation of Snyders’ particular universe.
A game stall series is an ode to the swan, a bird that has a central role in the original Snyders’ painting, and here is portrayed as a delicate, still strong, girl that has an ultimate encounter with her hunter. Snyders’ painting is a representative sample of his voluminous work. It is a composition of dead animals waiting to be sold in an outdoor market, a visual orgasm of flesh, feathers, blood, abundance and despair. One cannot but admire the beauty of the dead bodies that lay helpless, participating in a choreography that almost defies gravity. The whole scene is depicted through an idealized angle, where the ugliness and coolness of death is being exorcised by the exuberant plumage and the tepid colors of the animals. The only human witness of the scene is the unwavering figure of the hunter/salesman that holds a dead peacock in his hands, avoiding looking directly at his prey. On his face there is an ambiguous look between satisfaction and regret, maybe that of a man that after having acquired what he wants doesn’t exactly know what to do with it. (continue…)

Hunter and Gatti were inspired by the dramatic harshness of Snyders’ painting and tried to transmit this particular feeling of beauty and hopelessness that is present in the painter’s composition. They decided to transfer the action to an ultra modern kitchen and they transformed the swan into a girl, as if they were holding the keys of a strange fairy tale. A pale blue light emphasizes the innocence of the swan girl, alluding to the typical swan lake scenery and making everything look dreamy and unreal. It is obvious that the intent here is to explore the cultural connotations of this particular animal, which has always been a symbol of beauty, purity, artistic inspiration and spiritual grace.

The featuring outfits, perfectly chosen in order to underline the animal side of the model, are an important element in her metamorphosis from a girl to a bird. Lace covers her neck, feathers frame her expressive face and the dark red painted fabric seems like blood that is flooding slowly from her body. The girl poses as if she were an eviscerated animal, sold as pure meat, while at the same time conscious of her beauty, of her deadly charm. There is a melancholic pride in her eyes, the one of a quarry that knows that its time has come but doesn’t want to admit the reality of its death.

The almost aseptic environment of the kitchen and its metallic counter, the modern equivalent of the stall, looks more like a threatening lab, where the sensual and vivid skin of the swan girl opposes to the metallic shine of the stainless steel. The metaphor of the endless search of beauty and the despair of not possessing it is also present, magnified by the numerous underlying contrasts: life confronted with danger, dead animal flesh with human hunger, white with red, blood with beauty, reality with fiction. The hunter, a modern voyeur, stands fascinated by its victim, which looks more ravishing than ever in its last dance, a sparkling beauty that soon will come to an end.

Just like a sparkle acquires its brightest glory just a few seconds before it fades out, life seems more vivid than ever just before the arrival of death. In these last seconds of someone’s existence, in this macabre dance between the victim and the hunter, beauty stands above everything. Not only because beauty is life, but because it is the only quality that can defeat the ugliness of death. A game stall series is a story of attraction, animal instincts that are hard to contain, a celebration of beauty. Or how still life can be transformed into a struggle for life and how the animal inside might finally be tamed by the promise of the untouchable, the ideal.

Inge’s art is both delicate and strong, using needlework and creatively superimposing it on patinated female figures, figures that appear and peer out from the covers and from the glamorous pages of fashion magazines. Inge was fascinated by these elegant figures, the shiny surface they are presented on and their sinuous, elegant poses, and she superimposes her unique, patient work. She works and transforms the feminine beauty that appears on the cover to make it unique and beautiful, using an old but precious medium that can reproduce a second skin. The skin tissue that emerges from the photographs is transformed and, through her artistic intervention, takes on a new surface that is both old and contemporary. Unique. Inge intervenes, creating her unmistakable skin, to transform what is usually observed as simply physical beauty into something deeper. She makes the skin of the female body a rarely observed motif, superimposing the feminine work.

The skin is covered and woven using colorful threads that intertwine, imitating body fibers, and sometimes the fiber expands in the collage, creating softly sinuous surfaces that are sensual and occasionally dark and eccentric. Kate Moss is also chosen, among the numerous female characters represented in photographs on the magazine pages that the artist manipulates, and the skin cuttings that Inge applies embody their beauty. They are superimposed, in contrast with the black and white image, the pink of the skin is transformed, exalted and lit up, using the thread that embroiders and defines areas of the body, highlighting their sensuality.
The feminine presence that is usually deflowered and observed as an object takes on a different appearance here, an original appearance that is as glamorous as ever but also considerably unique. Inge, following the old tradition of embroidery, transforms pages of Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar into cross-stitches, covering the models and often the whole surface with her art of embroidered photography. The glamorous patina of the models’ faces and bodies remains, but takes on a contemporary, retro originality. The embroidered weave the highlights the skin of the body is captured with the same skill as a needlewoman from times past, but Inge adds her contemporary sensitivity and gives us occasional glimpses of parts of photographed skin and beautiful cuttings of women’s accessories. The skin weaves she creates convey a feminine beauty and elegance, also when they glide here and there in quirky ways and merge with the collage. The fashion world is the main source of her explorations, and Inge transforms it into art.

The paper mountain of images that commercial activity constantly and tirelessly releases around us (into our surroundings) allows Inge to extract material and eclipse it to create one-off, unique images that exude her creative sensitivity. All of the Photoshop alterations made these days to images of women on patinated magazine covers disappear beneath her skilled hands, which work with a needle and thread to give back grace and authenticity to the image of the female body.

By aurelien Juner

Embedded in the flesh, embodied, this is where beauty lives,
exhibited, raw, flesh repulses and attracts lustful eyes, covered in colorful lacquer and varnish, it is no longer coveted but observed. textured, saturated in color, it becomes the expression of a scarlet desire, the temptation of the flesh.
“Everything lies in the flesh” said Dylan Thomas.
Flesh captivated beauty,or beauty  captivated flesh.
One or  both of them tried to pass right to the soul, marking the path with their colors.
Succulent, sticky, shininh in all its glory, both the  forbidden fruit and the offering, opening to another world.
Its colors, an infinite glowing shade of red.

This series explores the relationship between what is attractive and what repels, the beautiful and the ugly, as well as the notion of beauty, through a key object of the 20th century: lipstick. The first evidence of its use goes back to Egypt in the time of the Pharoahs, its shape in the contemporary world is sociologically symbolic, the meaning behind the use of colors marks the opening or closing of societies. Why is the lipstick red, scarlet, in a wide variety of tones. why is it flesh colored? Which deeply-rooted relationships do flesh tones sustain with our own incarnation? Red: the ultimate vibrant color, in contact with the blood, the fire of passion, that fatal beauty that since time immemorial has embodied the power of seduction.
Fleshier, more natural tones transport us to the serene nudity of man and woman, a nudity they are unaware of, in the Garden of Eden, the garden of delights.
Flesh in its raw state, as meat, is not particularly attractive. Though it represents life, as does blood, it repels us, we look away in disgust. At the same time, its tenderness, its passive softness, everything that connects us to animals, explains our fascination with flesh.
This fascination is almost integral to painting, in the pictorial world, there is a relationship between what is real and what is painted. Flesh becomes matter. The painted body is an artificial representation, in Latin, artifice is what is created by art. Should we not call it a plastic beauty?

sn2ok

By Hunter & Gatti · Acrylic ver photography in canvas (59 x 75 inches) · From Vogue editorial with Gertrud Hegelund

Text by Apostolos Mitsios

It is a common technique in fashion photography to digitally match, during post production, different snapshots of the same model, blending a face shot into a different body take. It’s a search for the perfect photo, the one that really delivers and is the most fitting for publishing. The result of this process is usually an ideal interpretation of the photographers’ subject, since the final image is an optimal cut and paste version of reality. Hunter & Gatti, familiar with such techniques, decided to explore even further the infinite possibilities of transformation, turning something as temporary as a fashion editorial, with its clearly commercial appeal, into something completely different and original. For this particular painting series, instead of working with a single body shot and choosing the best matching face, they actually merged various images into one, creating a sequence of evocative combinations.

A fashion editorial for Vogue Jewelry, starring Gertrud Hegelund, served as their raw material. The images were chosen amongst others due to their graphic appeal and neutral background, making them perfect to fuse. The challenge of this particular style exercise was to combine the immediateness of photography with the three dimensional texture of a painting, creating a unique hybrid.

This gradual metamorphosis began with the creation of a flesh collage, a juxtaposition of body parts and face expressions that represent the different facets of an individual. Black and white as well as colored photographic shots of the same model are blended with leather accessories and jewelry, everything mixed up in an impressive match. At the same time, different gestures and postures are brought out of context to be finally merged in one impossible body. A two faced totem breaks into pieces, a face is depicted through impossible angles, a disproportional mythological creature.

with more than a pair of hands caresses its wounds. It’s a whimsical attempt to explore the random possibilities of our existence, the multiple sides of our personality, a venture to illustrate an alter ego of a not so distant reality. In the end, who is to say what is real and what is not if everything is under constant mutation? Taking it a step further, Hunter and Gatti also decided to rework the collage pieces by painting them all over with multiple, almost infinite layers of color. In fact, the image is blurred to the point that the only thing that remains is a chromatic distortion. (continue..)

 

It’s like a colorful flood were covering up the model, hiding and revealing different body parts at the same time. In this way a flat image is not only transformed from a visual standpoint but also acquires the tactile appeal of a fine, textured painting. It is possibly an attempt to denounce its origin, to avoid its durability and convert it, through its deformation, into something totally distinct. Through the meticulous employ of painting, the photographic collages acquire an abstract quality that acts like a distorting mirror, decisively altering our perception of things.
On a closer observation, one could say that these paintings evoke the feeling of watching late night TV, when, lost somewhere between being awake and being asleep, we can’t distinguish which part of the show is real and which belongs to our imagination. In this altered state of consciousness, the blurred screen becomes a numinous reflection of a fantasy world, where everything is possible, just like the painted blurred lines that gradually invade the deconstructed images. The featured works elegantly explore this mental space where reality becomes a reinvented distortion and vice versa.

As Hunter and Gatti point out, their goal was to create a new texture, where flesh tones are mixed with whites, blacks or jewel tones, creating a color consistency that evokes camouflage prints. At the end of this unique transformation the original figure is almost unrecognizable, buried under hundreds of brushstrokes, a vague reminder of a disoriented reality. It is as if the model progressively acquired a second skin, a fleshy armor that sets the limits to the outer world, divides and protects. Even the human dimension of the original images fades out to such extent that it only serves as a dim reminder of a lost body. Photography is gradually transformed into painting, the concrete become surprisingly abstract and beauty stays intact in the midst of an endless transformation. It ́s a pure celebration of composition and texture.
There is no doubt that what stands out the most in these paintings is the vigorous depiction of flesh. A flesh that communicates, shivers and resembles each and every one of our feelings. A tangible frontier that unveils previously untold experiences and reflects our deepest fears and desires. Through the pores of our body a new world emerges.