Pacifico Silano

Sweetest Kill

18th February – 31st March 2023



MONTI8 is excited to announce “Pacifico Silano – Sweetest Kill”, third show of the artist with the gallery.

Referring to the twenty years of opposition between conservatism and LGBTQ rights activism and weaving through the complexity of a period of transgressions and conquests, repression and freedom, Silano investigates American images and myths conveyed by gay porn magazines circulated in the 1970s and 1980s – including Blueboy, active from 1974 to 2007, or Honcho: The Magazine for the Macho Male, published from 1979 to 1996.
The source material of the works on display is the result of the selection and cutting of photographs published in magazines, which the artist later rephotographed. Sometimes Silano focuses on just a few details, other times by cutting and framing choices, he interrupts the formal composition of the images creating voids and fractures. The result is a zone of ambiguity and complexity which undermines the voyeurism from which erotic photography itself feeds. Thus, ambivalence and lacunae become visual paradigms capable of seducing, disrupting and complicating the very perception of the male body, sex and sexuality, and allow the artist to reshape an idea of manhood which still leaves its mark in contemporary society.
Silano’s new work proposes a fragmented mythology of manhood, creating a special visual archive yet to be questioned in the gaps between present and past, and fostering new reflections on issues such as gender and identity conceived in their relational dimension and cultural and historical relativity. Browsing through the pictures, going from the 70s magazines to Silano’s works, the aggressive grammar of virility acquires new declensions: abstracting and transforming the modern erotic effigies into unfinished figures with cut-off faces, the artist gives way to soft sensuality, to interrupted or denied touch. No longer ambassadors of a consummate idea of man, these “broken” icons find a place in the artwork to finally put down their weapons. With the exhibition Sweetest Kill, Pacifico Silano uses his poetic gaze to contemplate the push and pull between desire and violence.