Julio Leão is a photographer who began his career in acting, pretty much like myself. The interesting bit of this story is that we had been colleagues in the cast of an independent musical in São Paulo called “Noturno” all the way back in 2006, when Julio was still a teenager. More than ten years passed without any contact until we found each other again on Facebook. He was photographing, and I was modeling nude. A re-match where both of us had come a long way maturing as artists and were developing our own language and authorial works.
He was just starting a photographic series called “Spice of the Flesh” and invited me to collaborate. We shot at the studio while it was still under renovation. But the truth is we didn’t need much in terms of space. This photoshoot was all about spice.
With the word, the artist:
” ‘Spice of the Flesh’ is a visual project that emerged from the impositions that society tries to force on us to be and to live in an opposite way to that which we are. Each day and in different situations or groups, we construct and idealize new masks to camouflage our actions, what we really think and desire, and thus “guarantee” that daily living (at home, at work, in affective relationships, as son, mother, friend) stays within the predetermined patterns of behavior originated at the beginning of human civilization. Often this is not a simple or pleasurable task, and with each new established relationship, we are charged by our acts and thoughts and, likewise, we demand our counterparts to meet our expectations. […]
[…] From birth, we receive these behavioral guidelines that over time allow the appearance of these facets in our relationships, invisible to the naked eye, that will shape our personality day by day. Throughout our development comes the perception of how we are and how others see us. Thus, in order to interact in society, we create diverse mechanisms of defense, boycotting our desires and impulses in order to protect our intimacy and our real identity, unconsciously making us forget who we really are. […]
[…] In order to invalidate this invisibility, ten bodies were photographed in the nude for “Spice of the Flesh”, without modesty, interference or moorings, and on each of them, various seasonings, with their tones, aromas and flavors, were used to make visible those distinct personalities we consume and which in turn consume ourselves. Turmeric, paprika, curry, cumin, cinnamon, pepper, clove and ginger. It is the seasoning on the flesh, properly speaking, that brings to the table this confusion of palates and meanings, like the various characters we use and create in different spheres of life, from childhood to adulthood. […]
[…] It is necessary to know when to use the right seasoning to reveal your ideals and when to use the wrong ones to prove a point of view.”
— Julio Leão
We’d love to know your impressions about the shoot, so please write us about it!
About collaborating with my work:
This shoot by Julio Leão was published much earlier on my page on Patreon, where I also publish extras and outtakes of every new photoshoot. I count exclusively on your collaboration to continue making this Project, and I refrain from working other jobs to dedicate myself to making art full-time. If you think it is worth it, you can contribute from $2 per month to get access to all of this extra material and to several ways you and I can interact and collaborate in making this work. Click here to choose a contribution and become my patron.
Finally, if you haven’t seen them yet, you can find the previous 30 NUDE Shoots of Hugo here.