Miguel Rio Branco

Heartless black St. Sebastian

Date: 1990

Technique: Cibachrome print

Dimensions: 80 x 80 cm each. 9 elements

Edition: 1/3

Es Baluard Museu d'Art Contemporani de Palma

Reg. no.: 703

Not on display

Heartless black St. Sebastian, produced in 1990, is a polyptych comprised of nine photographs which are directly related to painting. Rio Branco is an artist whose work is linked to painting, installation and film as well as photography. In his work, he references three generic questions: life, death and sexuality. As the artist himself declares with regard to photography, “I sometimes think that I paint with photography. I see myself as a person who sees with the eyes of a painter, with the speed of a photographer, with something of the sculptor, perhaps. I gather it all together like a composer. Naturally my experience in film was a great apprenticeship in this regard.”

Heartless black St. Sebastian responds to a characteristic mode of taking photos in this artist; he develops a system of montage, of constructions, which facilitates the complementary nature of the images, the result of his own experience. In this case the central theme is the martyrdom of Saint Sebastian and it is composed of nine elements, by way of a Baroque altarpiece with the main figure, that of the martyr, in the centre. He strengthens the tenebrism with the monochromy he uses, linking up to the Baroque imagery and plastic tradition of the 17th century, to the iconography of the martyrs, from an absolutely contemporary stance in which Saint Sebastian takes on a new dimension, ceasing to be an exemplary character.


Artist biography