This photo work re-contextualizes archival gay erotica, taken from the post-Stonewall Riots through the height of the AIDS crisis. The artist removed all explicit content from the source material through processes of fragmenting, obscuring, layering, reassembling and re-photographing. The resulting composition is a quiet portrait of fragmented bodies alongside inanimate objects and landscapes. This work is part of a series where the artist creates new pictures within pictures that serve as silent witnesses; each work alludes to both absence and presence. These photo works are stand-in memorials for not only the models who are missing, but for the consumers of the original image as well. Each composition examines complex issues while quietly meditating on identity, queer melancholy and our evolving relationship to the archive.
Pacifico Silano’s lens-based work explores print culture, including the circulation of imagery and LGBTQ identity. The artist frequently addresses complex issues, such as the AIDS crisis; he has created photos that serve as stand-in memorials, not only for the models who are now absent, but also for the long-departed original consumers of their image. Silano’s compositions are quiet meditations on our evolving relationship to the archive.
Pacifico Silano was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1986. The artist received his MFA from the School of Visual Arts in New York City.
Solo exhibitions of Silano’s work have taken place at: the Houston Center for Photography in Houston, Texas (2021); Light Work in Syracuse, New York (2020); Melanie Flood Projects in Portland, Oregon (2020); the Bronx Museum of The Arts in the Bronx, New York (2019); Rubber-Factory in New York City (2019); Fragment Gallery in Moscow, Russia (2019), Stellar Projects in New York City (2018); and Baxter Street CCNY in New York City (2016).
Group exhibitions that have shown Silano’s work include: A Trillion Sunsets: A Century of Image Overload, curated by David Campany at the International Center For Photography in New York City (2022); Fantasy America, curated by Jose Diaz at the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (2021); reGeneration4: The Challenges for Photography and its Museum of Tomorrow at the Musée de l’Elysée in Lausanne, Switzerland (2020); Divina Comedia, curated by Pedro Slim at the Museo Universitario del Chopo in Mexico City, Mexico (2018); and Art AIDS America at the Bronx Museum of The Arts in the Bronx, New York (2018).
Silano’s ambitious accordion book, I Wish I Never Saw The Sunshine, was published by Loose Joints. The book was shortlisted for the The Paris Photo / Aperture Foundation 2021 First Book Prize, as well as the Rencontres d’Arles Book Award for Artist Book of the Year. The book was included in Time magazine's “Best Photobooks of 2021” as well as MoMA Magazine’s “Favorite Photobooks of 2021.”
Silano’s work is in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art.
Silano lives and works in New York City.
This photo work re-contextualizes archival gay erotica, taken from the post-Stonewall Riots through the height of the AIDS crisis. The artist removed all explicit content from the source material through processes of fragmenting, obscuring, layering, reassembling and re-photographing.More
- Edition of 3
- Signed archival adhesive label on reverse