Honorable Mention TOKYO-2017 Fine Art / Abstract

From Blood to Lust

  • Photographer
    Peter Cochrane

The color red has connotations ranging from pain to lust, commitment to rage. As a queer person I am often looking to the past for clarity in the present. The excavation of Pompeii revealed a society of modern day social deviance and sexual intrigue where a patron of a bathhouse could point to an image on a frieze and engage in a sexual act between two men or multiple partners. As soon as humans moved towards the possibility of sexual liberation a volcano erased all traces of that society. From Blood to Lust is a series of self-portraits using tin foil to obscure my own emotions and desires; a reflection of life lived to survive as a gay person. Starting with masturbation through anal penetration and ending with the collapse of an orgasm, these life-sized photographs were created through the mundane moments of life—the daydreams of love for men I could not have, the ennui of isolation, the boredom for a society built around heterosexual paradigms. The question of the color photograph as art entered into the conversation around the same time the AIDS epidemic was obliterating generations of gay men. My seminal introduction to color photography was through the works of AIDS and post-AIDS artists, freezing the separation between black and white and color in tragedy.