Once upon a time I fell in love with a series of photographs by Doris Mitsch of the poisonous and glorious datura flower. I was perturbed and fascinated when I learned that the images were made using only the light from her scanner. Fast forward a decade and find Coco Martin using his scanner to fully expose his models, holding it close to them, painting them with the light from it, and recomposing the images in post, to marvelous effect in a series of unusual portraits. Martin shares his time between Lima, Peru, and New York, and has been widely exhibited.
"This particular body of work represents the last five years of my practice in photography. I've been questioning myself about the concept of what we call a photograph and the meaning of the mechanical act of capture itself. I am looking to provide to my photographic work a new conceptual approach, and through scannographies, as a temporal denial and refusal to use a regular photographic camera, I am still able to call myself a photographer."
"By only using a flatbed scanner on the skin's model - no external lighting, nor lens or aperture to control - I ended up discovering this 'magic kingdom of a candle light'. This is a statement of pause, a way to take some distance of the overwhelming reality and get the chance to think about the main source, the light and the subject, the eager attitude to really get someone soul almost from the very skin.
"Within the current context of massive production of images due to the arrival of the digital era and despite the fact that each piece might take days to be composed and completed, the process took me back to rediscover the meaning of patience instead of the present immediacy."
All images © Coco Martin