The monumental photography of Gerard Rancinan

                         

Big, brash and obnoxious; that's how I like my art.

Gerard Rancinan's new show at New Bond Street's Opera Gallery opened last night and boy, did I love it. These five monumental pieces stretched from floor to ceiling:







The whole show brings together five of the fifty photographs from his Trilogie des Modernes series (if you're wondering what the 'trilogy' is here, they are accompanied by three books, three films and three pieces of music). Ranging from 2.8m - 4.7m high, they are at once indulgent, guilty and mesmerising pieces.

                                         

My little chum Bould and I stood in front of the second one for about half an hour and kept finding new things (the Trilogie is photography's answer to Xtina's video for Dirrty). A plate full of cocaine, an alarming religious figure, a wedding dress train made from old plastic packaging; these people are having one hell of a party. We wondered just how much of the composition was 'real', and how much was digitally enhanced, but video footage of the photoshoots on the wall show Rancinan as quite the director. You can take a look at the videos here.



Let me readjust my Art Historian's hat for a moment. I just love how he has an identical approach to both subject and form. He's taken something oh so familiar, poked and prodded it, made a few alterations and come out with something that is, in the art historical sense, monumental. With the subject, he takes scenes that remind us of Mantegna or da Vinci and gives them an aesthetic twist that would make them at home in a Baz Luhrman film. With the form, he has taken a size that is usually reserved for big oil paint masterpieces and handed it to the medium of photography.

Nice. Even these guys loved them:



Funnily enough, 2D representations just don't work with these pieces. In order to appreciate Rancinan's sumptuous disorder in its entirety, you'll have to pop down to Opera Gallery before the show closes its doors on 3rd April. Get your skates on, Rancinan fans.

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