Masturbation is a practical activity practiced by everyone since always, and it doesn’t make you blind, as they told me it did when I studied with priests at school, on the contrary it serves as a way to see even better and also more in depth.
Masturbation is a creative action which helps develop the genital organs, which makes them more familiar to us, increase our confidence with them and expands our fantasy. Sometimes, masturbation satisfies us much more than certain wives and girlfriends.
Today technology permits us to masturbate not only physically, but virtually as well. The software and hardware offered by the market make it possible for us to masturbate continuously, developing our creative talents.
Technological masturbation is not a simple activity:
producing creativity that avoids the risk of homologation, is an exercise which very few are really capable of.
So, well done to Mastromatteo, who proposes and brings us something new through a masturbation that will surely never make him blind, on the contrary will help everyone see a bit better.
Giuseppe Mastromatteo’s portraits bring poetic Surrealism back to life. They could be collages, but take advantage of the subtlety of digital technology to reproduce humanity in impossible and illusory dimensions. Ripped faces, eyes and ears which run through hands, are the centre of an imaginary truth that draws inspiration from the visions of Magritte and Man Ray to land inside a new visual synthesis with stylistic patterns representing the most contemporary photography of our time, in a continuous overlapping of visual languages that live in the world of advertising and genuine research.
Backgrounds are white, the light homogeneous: nothing averts the detailed expressions in the characters of this silent and fascinating theatre of the absurd.
Transfigured bodies, pierced and lacerated do not show any form of violence, but instead pose solemnly in front of the photographer’s lens, beyond any suffering.
No expression exists in these faces, there is no tension, but rather a sense of timelessness that leaves us open to reflect about the uncertainty of this third millennium.
The observer’s eye is immediately attracted by the extravagance of these creatures, which at the same time produces a true sense of discomfort and uneasiness. Mastromatteo intervenes in the interior sense of beauty. The models he chooses for his images bring to the stage classic canons of harmony and equilibrium creating a complex dialectict between fascination and repulsion.
From here the evident sensation emerges of discovering oneself in front of a Pantheon where every possibility of self identification is precluded.
A universe unto itself is the object of aesthetic contemplation and intriguing reverence, magnified by the means with which this is all narrated because photography continues to maintain a link with an indissoluble reality of facts.
The process of recognition inherent in portrait photography appears as something distant. Physiognomy comes to light only to recover the aesthetic detail of our time.
Reality and fiction appear as outdated ideas with full attention focusing on memory.
As a conclusion, in order to bring together feelings and fragments of this project, photography in itself seems not enough and becomes something more, transforming into a metaphor of itself, reaching the final objective of communicating through other forms and channels.
Seeing a new project by Giuseppe Mastromatteo means entering a microcosm that flows with evocations and artifices; within, a specific portion of the human body becomes both the surface and medium which exists autonomously and is there to be explored. This was true of his previous works such as Indepensense and Homogenic, and is even more evident in the brand new EYEDENTIKIT, in which the artist becomes the protagonist, and puts parts of himself into his musings on human identity. An extremely important part, namely the eyes and the gaze, which represent the essence, the site of creation for every photographer.
This work presents a series of portraits. The evolution of the portrait genre in photography has taught us that there’s a mutual relationship between the subject being photographed and the photographer; a sort of resemblance between the two participants on set. Often one can make out features of the artists themselves in the final image, as though a part of the latter were faithfully reproduced, like a visual testimony of their encounter with the other.
In Mastromatteo’s photography, that “as though” translates, through expert manipulation and a refined conceptual ability, into the tangible prospect of amplifying that resemblance, turning it into a perfect union between the subject being immortalized and the photographer.
This artist’s proven talent for combining technique, aesthetics and theory places us before a growing archive of images; the immediate result is one of identity theft, a continual removal of other people’s gazes, obsessively replaced with the photographer’s own eyes. In doing so, he offers a series of self-portraits, represented by the only portion of his being that he decides to reveal.
Far from being self-referential, this mechanism employed by the photographer becomes a device for making visible that which is truly pointless and superfluous: the staging of the human being, deluded that he or she is living his own life, implementing his own originality day after day. The self-image that we all believe we authentically show to the outside world in daily life, is removed and annulled by the predominance of a single, unfamiliar gaze which probes and unsettles, because it makes the process of recognition and resemblance to reality more tortuous than expected.
This artist’s action disrupts the individual nature of each subject, about which many questions remain open, with a single answer: our identities lie not in the image we present, but in that which others project onto us; and so we exist insofar as those eyes look at us; for as long as the camera or video camera are running and recording us.
Mastromatteo’s eyes, multiplied infinitely upon our own faces, invite us to leave behind the sphere of the appearance, so lacking in substance, and suggest that the essential things in life lie elsewhere.