Portraits in reverse

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Antiretrato” by José Castrellón

A new photography show at Diablo Rosso in Casco Antiguo explores the antithesis of the portrait. Entitled “Antiretrato,” this latest project by 34-year-old artist, José Castrellón, pays homage to Man Ray, the American artist born in 1890 to a Russian-Jewish immigrant family who promoted avant-garde art in the American and Parisian art scenes.

José Catrellón presents “Antiretrato” at Diablo Rosso.

José Catrellón presents “Antiretrato” at Diablo Rosso.

Castrellón explains: “This show is the antithesis of how I make a living. I work as a portrait photographer, so I decided to take pictures of women facing away from the camera in reference to Man Ray’s ‘Le Violon d’Ingres’.” In this iconic 1924 image, Ray’s model poses with her back to the camera.

Unlike Ray’s exploration of sensuality, Castrellón’s intention “is not a search for beauty. Man Ray had a double life, as do I. He was a renowned fashion and portrait photographer, but he was also quite dedicated to his work as an artist.”

The show comprises a series of juxtaposed images, the backs of women’s heads and nude torsos. The models became involved in the project through social media and word of mouth. Of diverse backgrounds and interests, their personalities still come through despite their faces not showing, an effect mostly derived from their choice of hair color or style. Castrellón’s triumph is in celebrating their defiant, unabashed femininity.

“Antiretrato” is on display until Sunday, November 2 at Diablo Rosso, located on Calle 6ta and Avenida A in Casco Antiguo, two blocks past the Church of the Golden Altar. In addition to their art gallery, Diablo Rosso features a café and a “concept store” and plays host to many fun activities. For hours and other details, visit DiabloRosso.com or Facebook.com/DiabloRosso.

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