influences ~ Simon Subrosa

Simon Subrosa is a Port Elizabeth-based photographer/digital artist whose work, while not directly influencing my own, deals with themes and motifs that I also find attractive or intriguing. Much of his art contains elements of religious imagery, sexual acts, post-apocalyptic environments and an almost painterly eye for digital manipulation.

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His photographs are meticulously accented with an endless layering of textures, creating a mottled, aged effect most often associated with ancient oil paintings – or physical decay. Personally this effect is very thought-provoking for me as it lends to an image which would not look out of place in a two-hundred-year-old book; yet the subject matter would, of course, be decidedly out of place.

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Most often Simon uses himself as a model in his art, which has led to him being accused of narcissism. Being lucky enough to know the guy in person I can assure you that this is untrue. There are many creative people out there that realise the most convenient model is oneself – for example, I would not have asked anyone to strip nude and lie on a cold tile floor in winter while contorting in various positions as if undergoing painful mutation just to take some reference photos (which is what I did — thank you, camera timer). In Simon’s case his inspiration often strikes on a whim, causing him to take a few pictures on the spur of the moment and begin manipulating them at some forsaken hour of the morning.

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Despite this, female models and bodies appear frequently in his work; horned or tentacled or stained or crowned in thorns. I enjoy his use of halos and animal parts; both favourite tropes of mine to abuse, as well as his creative use of the female body.

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All in all, Simon unfailingly creates work that I find extremely pleasing to my occipital lobe and continues to be a many-faceted source of inspiration. Find him at his blog, on Facebook or Shadowness.

Necrophagous.

For this piece I  tracked the development of a maggot, from the fly laying the egg to the maggot forming a pupa and emerging from it as a fly itself. The book got eaten away by said maggot more and more as it went along; and also began to show stains of decay. I buried it in a shallow grave for a week to make it more authentic.

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