Things feel a little like they’re not what they should be—a little off-kilter—about Agustin Hernandez’ photography. Perhaps this is why his work is so addictive; you want to see more to keep uncovering these witchy, magic images that leave you feeling a little disconcerted, a lot voyeuristic, and occasionally like you walked in at the worst moment on a situation that can’t be explained.
Contorted bodies, nature and patterned fabrics reappear time and time again. The men and women he captures (and there are many) are all quite beautiful, and in a bare, stripped-down way.
A recurring theme is that of hidden faces, or those we can only partially see. Interestingly, the Portland-based photographer himself appears to remain in the shadows. There is little information available, and the prolific photographer has a small online presence, in the form of Instagram and Tumblr accounts, showcasing the incredible uniqueness of his work. Unsurprisingly, he has a huge following of over eleven thousand on Instagram, which is likely helped by the fact that he has so much work to show.
The images are incredibly tactile—leather, bloody, vibrant pomegranates, waxy plants, human flesh all meld together to provoke a heavy sensuality. There is a quietness and a slowness; nothing is jumping out to shock or unsettle the audience, but rather to draw them in.
It’s hard not to wonder what events preceded these photos, what gave rise to these to these strange narratives. What just happened or is about to happen? Somehow it feels as though we are not supposed to know, but to remain in the dark. Hernandez can transform the position of the viewer into the peeping Tom lurking behind a garden hedge or spying through a crack in the curtains, captivated and puzzled but at the same time, oddly gratified. Check out his work at @agvstin.
By Sarah-Jane Ryan