Master strokes: Slava Mogutin’s intimate portraits of love
For his latest solo exhibition, In The Name of Love, New York-based Russian artist Slava Mogutin both invites and thwarts the viewer's ability to see and decipher an image. This new series of 24 portraits was shot on medium format/120 mm Holga and Diana F+ cameras and produced as traditional analogue prints, without computer manipulation. The series documents the artist’s intimate circle of friends, other young artists and bohemians, and Mogutin’s relationship with his long-term partner and collaborator Brian Kenny with carefully constructed images that employ multiple exposures and accidental light leaks to create rich, lushly coloured compositions. "Throughout the exploration of the formal aspect of his work, Mogutin continues to look for other ways to use the camera as a voyeuristic tool," writes Belgian artist and gallerist Jimi Dams. "He explores the character and emotion of his subjects and simultaneously exposes their insecurities and vulnerabilities." Mogutin has a reputation as a firebrand. He made international headlines in 1994 when he attempted to register the first same-sex marriage in Russia. The following year, his political writing and open activism for gay rights resulted in him seeking asylum in the US where he decided to focus on photography and multimedia art. His work has been exhibited around the world from the Museum of Arts and Design in New York to The Haifa Museum of Art in Israel and published in a variety of publications including i-D, The New York Times and L'Uomo Vogue. In The Name of Love is on at the Indianapolis Museum of Contemporary Art until 21 September.
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