I met Cobo on Facebook, not him, nothing of him , but his images flooded the airwaves. Obsessive, dark, full of white heat, and grey smoke.
Layers of lace, deeper levels of irregular ritualistic pain. It perplexed me this flow-on voyeuristic event. Who could this guy be? What is he made of?
There was enough inventive poetic distance in the work that it resonated outside the ordinary boundaries of the prurient.
This was no sex fiend, nor a guy who was looking for a hook up, hung over.
This was work which was drawn in to its subject by blood letting magnets, cleansing leeches , not to mention a certain odd classism. It was informed by art, but art was not the point, ritual was.
The incense was sour, the flesh untouched by desire. There was clarity within the mire, a fire within the cool, which stimulated me to get in touch.
So we faced off.
He started to send me ambitious missives, his career obsession. His hunger came forward.
He sent me book designs, all bad. He knew not what he was up to, he spoke in fantasies, and he spoke of illusion, of a theatre, of drive.
I backed off, but didn’t want to miss anything. I was completely seduced. The anticipation of the unknown had a thrilling undulant heat. I couldn’t help myself.
So we continued …
And now this …
What is it that we are seeing?
A sad line of sinews.
A hole in the universe.
The burning bush.
Pain crumbled in front of a TV set.
Rivers of tarnished cloth, you could smell despair. Clothing which in an inverted form would be priestly. But there was no collar in evidence, no guilt, nothing to repent.
But relentless, the under- darkness flowed as if a river of escape. But there is no escape from ritual.
There is no release from pleasure.
There can be no moral pain in an underground throbbing.
But therein lies absence, dark frivolity, heavy breathing, a sodden wink.
Exit pleasure — enter pain.
– Larry Fink
Exit Pleasure comes in an edition of 500 copies.
About the artist:
Victor Cobo was born in 1971 to a Spanish mother and an American father. His autobiographical pieces explore lurid and playful melodramas that address the primal mysteries of sex, birth, death, damnation and salvation. His deepest unspoken concern is the nature of reality itself.
Cobo is a self-taught photographer who draws inspiration from Surrealism, Film-noir and German Expressionism. Repeated visits to The Museo del Prado in Spain with his taxi-driving grandfather and seeing midnight thrillers in Florida with his father as a child changed his life.
In 2007 his works were included in “Masters of American Photography” at the Amon Carter Museum of American Art with William Eggleston, Robert Frank and Lee Friedlander. In 2010 Cobo’s works were included in “Hauntology” at the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, alongside such artists as Francisco de Goya, Francis Bacon and Diane Arbus. The exhibition was curated by Scott Hewicker and Lawrence Rinder.
In 2016 a book of his work titled, Exit Pleasure, was published by L’Artiere Editions in Italy. The forward was written by world-renowned Photographer, Larry Fink.
About the publisher:
L’Artiere Edizioni is a young publishing house specialised in photography books characterised by the high quality of its products. The publishing house was founded in 2013 from an idea by Gianluca and Gianmarco Gamberini.
Specialised in the presentation of photographic collections, L’Artiere Edizioni strongly believes in the concept of quality and attention to every detail of the finished product, devoting itself to the creation of volumes that are aesthetically pleasing and made to last, not only aimed at expert photographers or collectors, but also at fans or people who simply want to catch up with the world of contemporary photography.
Passion, dedication, technical knowledge and craftsmanship are the cornerstones of our business.
Grafiche dell’Artiere is behind the experience of L’Artiere Edizioni, having transferred a very high level of technical know-how and extensive experience in the field of printing to the young publishing house.