I love the vintage patina of this von Gloeden's photograph: an indefinable colour, a unique texture that remind me some ancient frescoes... I love also the relaxed pose of this young model, comfortably sitting on an embroidered carpet, one among the many props used by the Baron of Taormina. Nothing anachronistic here: the sandals with thin straps of leather around the calf, a headband dividing a black hair. We are in Athens, fifth century BC, under the shade of a gymnasium portico. Or is it Phidias studio, were ephebs were posing for the sculpting of the frieze of Parthenon ? Or are we in Pompei, the Campanian city of the dolce vita, the day before the Vesuvius eruption ?
We are in von Gloeden's imaginary world, between a dreamt Antiquity and a new century just beginning... The beginning of a new world, of a new era, the eve of modernity... when Classica Antiquity was the long way to go around to express a homoerotic vision and desire that could not be socially understood and accepted yet.
This pensive epheb fascinates me with his studied indifference, with his relaxed beauty, with the balance of what he shows and what he hides, of what he tells us and what he let us imagine. Von Gloeden has a unique way to depict a suspended time, to let the viewer imagine the whole story, before and after the photographic shot.
This photograph tells me a sensual story stamped with an undefinable poetry, perhaps a nostalgia for a lost paradise...