Central to Silano’s project “How to Disappear” is the relationship between loss and desire, death and ambition. The artist employs photographic fragmentation, layering, a variety of repeated cut-outs from erotic magazines in order to re-evaluate gay-eroticism specifically in the context that commences with the Stonewall riots up until the mid-1980s AIDS/HIV crisis. The images selected by the artist and found mostly in disco-era magazines are saturated in innocence, almost naivety. However, the vibrancy and euphoria of Silano’s colour palette suggest a possibility of complete freedom.
The artist eliminates any eroticism that lies on the surface of the crumpled paper, creating, instead, portraits of the new era that are structured from fragmented bodies, lifeless objects and landscapes.
These new images are, in a sense, the silent witnesses of a careless era, which terminated swiftly and tragically. It is just as impossible to recollect the names and faces of all the smiling models found in the magazines of the period, as it is to name all those, who became victims of the AIDS/HIV crisis. The LGBT community, represented and disseminated through cheap magazine culture, is now a symbol of the era’s immeasurable loss. Our relationship with the past is constantly in flux and the interpretation of these images must not be regarded as permanent or regular. The artist is interested in the power of the photographic image, the relationship between people and the mass-produced image, as well as their role in shaping the modern LGBT identity.
This project is immensely important today, when silence, censorship on both a governmental and personal level, as well as denial of the illness itself are catalysing and even greater number of deaths, despite modern medicine and innovative methods of therapy.
Pacifico Silano was born in 1986 in Brooklyn, New York.
Received his MFA in Photography from the School of Visual Arts.
Pacifico Silano is a lens-based artist whose work is an exploration of print culture, the circulation of imagery and LGBTQ identity. His work has been exhibited in group shows, including at the Bronx Museum; Tacoma Art Museum, Oude Kerk in Amsterdam and ClampArt in New York City. He has had solo shows at ClampArt, Baxter ST@CCNY, Rubber-Factory and Stellar Projects, NYC.
Reviews of his work have appeared in The New Yorker, Artforum, Washington Post and The New York Times. He is a winner of the Individual Photographer’s Fellowship from the Aaron Siskind Foundation and a Finalist for the Aperture Foundation Portfolio Prize. He was chosen as an Artist in Residence at Light Work in Syracuse in NY and at AIM at 80 White Street at The Bronx Museum, granted a Workspace Residency at Baxter Street CCNY and was a Key Holder Resident at the Lower East Side Printshop. He is a 2016 fellow in Photography with the New York Foundation for the Arts. In 2018 Silano got The BRIC Media Arts Fellowship.
In November 2019 the artist’s works were acquired for the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art (New York).
A selection of his work will be included in the forthcoming exhibition "Fantasy America" at The Warhol Museum in 2020.