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Ruven Afanador Torero Exhibit – October 28th,2021 – February 26th, 2022



Throckmorton Fine Art

Throckmorton Fine Art is pleased to present its fifth exhibition of the photography of Colombian-born Ruven Afanador. This exhibit commemorates the second edition of the artist’s celebrated book, Torero. (Torero is the Spanish word for bullfighter.) While Afanador is an internationally acclaimed portrait and fashion photographer, he is also a fine artist. He has selected forty photographs from his work as an artist for this exhibit.

These images masterfully reveal the mystical world of bullfighters, which is rich with rituals. In all of the intricacies—including of dress—and drama, Afanador finds art. “To fight well a bull, you have to forget that you have a body,” said renowned Spanish torero Juan Belmonte. In his book Torero, Afanador does not capture the bloody struggle between the torero and the bull (which in Spanish is toro). Instead of the dance between beauty and horror in the bullfight, Afanador’s photographs are dedicated to the physical and emotional transcendence of men who defy death, driven by a passion for bullfighting. At first sight, Afanador appears to only focus on the torero’s figure, his sensual masculinity and the handmade, elaborate haute-couture-like outfits traditionally worn by bullfighters.

Throckmorton New York Art Gallery | Ruven Torero Exhibit

However, Afanador does more: he reveals the struggle the torero experiences before facing the bull. With the threat of death, the torero needs to feel and show that he is strong, proud, and the central performer in the dramatic pageantry of the bullfight. Life and death are at play in the plaza. Afanador wants us to have empathy, as he surely did while spending time with the toreros. The torero must display virility in the plaza, and Afanador captures well all the strength that is mustered before the spectacle. Afanador ceaselessly pushes the limits of aesthetic cultural conventions.

Torero, his first book of personal work, reflects his own artistic expression, links history and Hispanic culture, explores his passion for dance and poetry, and indulges in his delight for unconventional beauty. These pursuits are also evident in his other personal projects: Sombra (2004), Mil Besos (2009), Ángel Gitano (2014), Yo Seré Tu Espejo (2016), and Las Hijas del Agua (2020). This latest book, done in collaboration with the artist Ana González, presents remarkable portraits of indigenous Colombian communities and their ancestral traditions. Afanador is a well-recognized fashion photographer. He began working in New York in in the early 1990s. His work has appeared in Vogue, Elle, Vanity Fair, Rolling Stone, and the New York Times. Afanador is also a sought-after portrait photographer.

Throckmorton New York Art Gallery | Ruven Torero Exhibit

Those who have been captured by his lens include: President Barack Obama, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the Dalai Lama, Margaret Atwood, and Marina Abramovic. Afanador’s photographs are in many private and public collections, including in his native Colombia. Museums in Colombia holding his work include El Museo Nacional de Colombia and El Museo de Arte Moderno de Bogotá.

His work has been exhibited internationally, including, in addition to the United States, in Switzerland, Italy, Spain, and Argentina. Throckmorton Fine Art is proud to represent Afanador in New York. This exhibit will also mark the twentieth anniversary of the photographer’s first show with the gallery.

Gallery Focus

The Intersection of Technology and Fine Art:



How NFTs are Revolutionizing Fine Art Photography

The art world has long been dominated by traditional mediums like painting, sculpture, and printmaking. However, in recent years, a new medium has emerged that is shaking up the art world: digital art, specifically Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) in fine art photography.

Fine art photography has traditionally been seen as a niche within the larger art world, but NFTs are allowing photographers to create unique digital assets that can be bought and sold like traditional art pieces. In this article, we’ll explore the intersection of NFTs and fine art photography, and how this emerging trend is changing the way we think about photography as an art form.

NFTs and Fine Art Photography

So, what exactly is an NFT, and how does it apply to fine art photography? Put simply, an NFT is a unique digital asset that is stored on a blockchain. This digital asset can be anything from a piece of digital art to a video game item, or in this case, a fine art photograph.

When a photographer creates an NFT of their work, they are essentially minting a digital asset that is unique and one-of-a-kind. This means that the NFT holder owns the original digital asset, even if the photograph can be easily reproduced. In other words, the NFT acts as a certificate of authenticity for the photograph.

This is a game-changer for fine art photography. Historically, the value of a photograph was largely determined by its physical characteristics, such as the quality of the paper or the size of the print. However, with NFTs, the value of a photograph can be based on its uniqueness, scarcity, and provenance.

Creating an NFT of a fine art photograph can also open up new revenue streams for photographers. They can sell the NFT of their work directly to collectors, who can then resell the NFT to other buyers. In addition, photographers can sell prints of their photographs alongside the NFT, offering collectors both a physical and digital version of the same work.

Examples of NFT Fine Art Photography

There have been several notable examples of fine art photography being sold as NFTs, which has demonstrated the potential for this emerging trend to revolutionize the art world.

One of the most high-profile examples of NFT fine art photography is Trevor Jones’ “Piccadilly Circus”. This photograph, which depicts London’s iconic Piccadilly Circus at night, was sold as an NFT in February 2021 for over $100,000. The NFT was purchased by an anonymous buyer, who now owns the original digital asset of the photograph, making it a one-of-a-kind piece.

In November, 2021 Alyson and Courtney Aliano’s Twin Flames #49 fetched a staggering 871 ETH, earning it the fifth spot among the most expensive photographs ever sold. This puts the Alianos in the same league as iconic artists such as Andreas Gursky, Richard Prince, and Cindy Sherman, solidifying their place in the annals of art history.These sales demonstrate the potential for NFTs to unlock new revenue streams for photographers and provide a unique investment opportunity for collectors.

Beyond individual photographs, some artists are using NFTs to create entire collections of digital art. For example, Mad Dog Jones recently released a collection of NFTs called “REPLICATOR,” which features a series of digital sculptures and animations that explore themes of consumerism and mass production. The collection sold out in just a few hours, demonstrating the appetite for digital art that is sold as NFTs.

While these examples are just the beginning of what is possible with NFTs in fine art photography, they represent a significant shift in how we think about the value of digital art. By creating unique digital assets that are one-of-a-kind and cannot be replicated, NFTs are allowing photographers to monetize their work in new ways and reach a wider audience of collectors and investors.

Challenges and Criticisms

While NFTs offer many benefits to fine art photography, they are not without their challenges and criticisms. One of the main criticisms of NFTs is their environmental impact. Creating an NFT requires a significant amount of energy, which can contribute to the carbon footprint of the digital art world.

In addition, there are concerns about the speculative nature of NFTs. Some critics argue that the high prices of NFTs are driven more by hype than by the value of the underlying artwork. This has led to fears of a NFT bubble that could burst, leaving buyers with worthless digital assets.

Despite these criticisms, the use of NFTs in fine art photography shows no signs of slowing down. As more photographers experiment with this new medium, we are likely to see even more innovative uses of NFTs

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Gallery Focus

Painted Smiles and Hidden Tears: A Photographer’s Journey into the World of Circus Clowns



I have never been able to resist the allure of the mysterious world of the circus. Everything about it piqued my interest, from the flashing lights to the colorful costumes to the air of wonder and excitement. Hence, when I made the decision to start on a tour as a photographer to chronicle circuses located in different parts of the world, I knew that I was in for an exciting experience.

Polichinelo – Portugal/Brazil

My adventures have taken me to some of the most remote parts of the world, from the neon-lit streets of Tokyo to the desolate plains of Africa, and everything in between. I couldn’t help but be fascinated by the clowns no matter where I went. They were a mysterious and intriguing bunch of individuals who were usually hanging out on the outside of the circus and never quite seemed to belong with the other performers.

Harlequin – England

When I first started taking pictures of the clowns, I didn’t understand that behind their painted-on smiles, they were hiding a profound sense of melancholy and isolation. They were frequently the punch line of jokes and the objects of mockery, and yet they continued to perform night after night in the hopes of distracting themselves from their problems by entertaining the crowds.

Klaun – Czech Republic

I came across clowns who had given up everything to the bottle, including their families, their houses, and any sense of who they were. I encountered clowns who had been shunned by their communities because they were unconventional and did not adhere to the standards set out by society. And there were clowns who were just moving around aimlessly, never exactly settling into one location as their permanent abode.

Palyaço – Turkey

In spite of the challenges they faced, the clowns were some of the most strong-willed and motivational people I’d ever encountered. They instilled in me the value of perseverance, the significance of finding joy even in the most difficult of situations, and the admirable quality of being honest to one’s own nature.

Augusto – Italy

As a photographer, when I think back on my travels, I am overwhelmed with gratitude for the people I had the opportunity to photograph along the route. They not only reminded me of the significance of empathy and connection in a world that can frequently feel so cold and unconnected, but they also opened my eyes to a world that is full of wonder and possibilities.

Limited edition prints are available, please contact David S. Spivak from Focus Gallery, 201.275.5323, [email protected]

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