Enlarged, brightly coloured movie strips punctuated with sprocket holes cling across the tiny Salón Silicón gallery. There are seven photos in complete, all offered in skinny black frames, though in one other sense there are various extra, overlapping and melting collectively inside every composition. Alan Balthazar, the photographer behind these pictures, created hallucinatory sequences of male nudes by experimenting with a number of exposures and strange coloration flash strategies: She would scribble on the flash head with pink, blue, or yellow Sharpie, and typically paint over it with nail polish. The works on view right here, with one exception, belong to a sequence of highly-saturated, fleshy—or higher but, beefy—portraits of the artist’s buddy Edmundo Rivas. The blue monochrome Untitled (10417), 2015–2022 is a spotlight, directly intimate and unusual. Balthazar captures Rivas rolling round on a carpet in a pair of interpenetrating mirror pictures, twisting his physique into an autoerotic tangle of contorted limbs and torsos.
An actress, mannequin, DJ, photographer, and performer, Alan was a beloved multi-hyphenate in Mexico Metropolis’s burgeoning queer scene. That she is now not with us (Alan died from an HIV-related an infection in 2017) hangs heavy over the present. Flower preparations left for her by associates and admirers sit close to a wall dividing the gallery, the accolade “Nice Diva” written on a ribbon beneath them. Within the again nook, Untitled (8730), 2015–2022, meets our gaze—an intense and arresting self-portrait finished in tight close-up and enveloped in an aura of yellow. Alan’s lips are painted black, her eyes broad and wild, illuminated by the flash. Its messy, tender carnality places me in thoughts of the present’s title, “El Deseo Opaca a la Luz”—a phrase discovered on Alan’s Tumblr and right here translated as “Lust Blocks Out the Gentle.” Certainly, need was the gas that powered Alan’s pictures, an equal companion to the sunshine required to make them.