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Modern Saints

Title: Modern Saints
Year: 2013
Type: Digital Photography
Size: 16x24 inches

Performers: Lindsay Smith, Rebecca Crose, Nicholas Geronimo, Ryan Trainor, Jeff Chambless, Amanda Mancuso, Matthew Maharaj, Candice Smith, Stephen Long, Austin Farrell

DP / Camera: Stephen Crompton
Color correction / Printing: Corey George
Mounting / Framing : Carl Cowden III

Links: Luis Gottardi - Art Taco // Julie Garisto - Creative Loafing

I have always been fascinated with the images of Saints and Angels that battle demons like super heroes. These special beings save others with their weapons and manage to rescue the community they live in. In the summer of 2011, I participated in a collective show entitled "Saint Sebastian: from martyr to gay starlet" with a series of digital prints and a video-art piece analyzing the image of this saint and its impact in today's politics. As a continuation of this project I produced a series of large format digital prints studying the iconography of saints battling their demons and the possible contemporary interpretation of their symbology. In the catholic tradition, these heroes are represented as spear carrying beings taming or killing a monstrous entity.

In today's world, without real dragons, who could these saints and their monsters be? I asked this question to ten very diverse and talented young people, that live and work in Tampa, Florida. Each one of them came up with their own visualizations of their own monsters, frustrations and fears. These range from personal memories of deadly car accidents, scarring events, life altering surgeries, psychological wounds, life-long illnesses to more spiritual family memories, career goals and self-esteem.

I worked with these performers during the pre-production phase and the photo shoot to facilitate a cathartic process for those who participated in this process. I projected their fears on their faces, using a portable video beam, showing how, at the end, they are all victorious, proud and strangely handsome. This is the portrait of a new generation that in spite of facing strong difficulties at very young ages has been able to tame their monsters, with confidence, inspiring all of us to do the same.

Modern Saints Show
Hillsborough Community College Art Gallery
Ybor City, Tampa, FL- Oct 7 - 29, 2013

Panoramas by Michael Snyder