Signed Arnoldas Kubilius, HOMBRES was published last June. Placing man at the center, the work divinely enlights pain and suffering. That is, “a complex object that stimulates the fingertips, eyes, heart and, hopefully, your brain”. The author tells us more about his first photographic book.
HOMBRES is …
a very rigorously organized and coherent selection of my recent works which form a certain rhythm in a finite object. I wanted to move away from social media and the exhibition format and create a tangible object that makes you slow down, take time, touch, smell, and really see.
The book, which I co-created with designer Jake Noakes and which features an essay by photographer Connie Imboden, elevates my work. It adds more dimensions to it: the feel of the skin-like surface of the cover photo, the texture of the cover paper, the way the pages stimulate your senses and guide your eye. It’s an object you can come back to and rediscover, slowly.
For your photo book, you choose a title that breaks the language barriers: Hombres (Spanish term) and ombres (French). Why is that ?
I live in a French speaking country and have just started studying Spanish. Shadows are an essential part of any photographic work but also an archetype of a certain darkness that we have inside of us, something that our psyche tries to suppress. “Hombres” and “ombres” seemed like a perfect playful match.
The color blue is present in many photos: water, sky, etc. Is there any meaning behind this use?
Blue is by far my favorite color. I’ve been drawn to it all my life. As a teenager, I covered my whole bedroom in blue and still like to surround myself with this colour, for example, in clothing.
It is the color of the oceans and the sky – they can both be serene but also bring darkness and pain. The cover of my book is also a certain deep metallic blue. For me, it has a feeling of depth and calm.
You captured the models’ bodies without showing their faces. Is this a way of denouncing the obligation for LGBTQI + people to hide their sexual or gender identity?
What you are seeing is an expression of my sense of beauty, aesthetics, masculinity, sensuality, sometimes play – my inner world.
When I photograph a person, I try to transcend the individual, to transform an image into my own individual statement which, hopefully, is accessible to others.
Some photos show black and white people. In this way, do you think you represent diversity well?
Diversity and inclusion are core values. In recent years, I tend to photograph a small number of muses that I already know. It helps me build mutual trust and get into a creative flow.
After all, my work is not an anthropological study or a manual of human anatomy but rather an expression of my inner self.
Until October 4, Arnoldas Kubilius is exhibiting his photographic works at the CAW gallery in Luxembourg. More than 30 of his photographs, present in the book and which you can obtain on his site, are exhibited there.