Ars Magazine
Eros and Civilization
Review by Gustavo Valdez, 1996

From December 5th to the 21st of just this last year, Jadite Galleries in New York City presented a solo exhibition of recent works by the Cuban-American artist, who is based in this city, Luis Mallo. “Eros and Civilization” was the title selected for this show composed of a series of photographs and photographic images on metal plates that explore the topic of erotism, the civilizations, and how social development, represented though industrial development, affects the individual in his/her erotic capacity, and the artist in his creation as an integral facet of society. In his images, Mallo juxtaposes fragments of both feminine and masculine nudes with other fragments of similar nudes, but this time the nudes are of ancient sculptures, for the most part Greek and Roman torsos and busts.
For example, a nude torso next to the fragment of a sculptured head (in his photos) reduces the distance of time between the two civilizations; one very ancient and the other contemporary. It is fascinating the emphasis on the treatment of movement as in much of the photographed bodies as it is impregnated in the marbles by the classic sculptors of antiquity. Mallo captures the motion of the model’s body upon turning, bending, arching.
In other compositions, photo sensitized steel and copper plates of semi-polished metal creating large fragmented surfaces, the use of industrial elements as a large serrated wheel, a spiral, or a machinery piece; and the manner of fixing these metallic plates to the wood panels on which all the plates rest describe his intention of establishing the connection previously detailed.
Both the photographs’ magnificent light and powerful imagery, and his constructions which line in the minimal, are worthy representatives of the creative talent of Luis Mallo; undoubtedly, a mandated addition to the list of contemporary artist/photographers who cannot be ignored.

 
Luis Mallo  
 
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