The photography of Marco Sanges creates dramatic works peopled by uncanny, larger than life characters. His untidy troupe of old money and sugar daddies wear their powdered wigs and brylcremed toupees at jaunty angles. From lavish opium dens gentlemen peer out suspiciously through tobacco-smoked monocles. Blindfolded and androgynous, they are morbidly fat or incredibly thin with ribs like spiral staircases. Tulle-skirted girls are wilting in their velvet chairs waiting for the end- they are resigned to the fact that it is probably already written. Stooping drag queens wear their fox furs attached by teeth to tail, grease-paint crowns their regal noses and cupid’s bows. Tall ladies politely face the wall, small ones run amok under madly darkened eyebrows.
This extraordinary storyteller creates photographic narratives that read as lavish cinematic sequences. Borrowing stylistically from the silent movies of the 1920s and 30s, Sanges’ subjects gesture helplessly from the other side of their screens with exaggerated expressions, trapped in endless mimes. His photographs are darkly enchanting but remain touching in their depiction of human frailty and strength. Surreal, romantic and distorted, Sanges’ images will leave the viewer whirling, drawn into their wild, illogical beauty and sent out into the world again.
This exhibition will be held alongside a sculpture collection that features works by Eleanor Cardozo, Richard Minns, Palolo Valdes, Andy Cheese, Ian Edwards and Nicola Godden.
The Indecent Eye, 26 May – 21 June, Hay Hill Gallery, Baker Street, London, www.hayhillgallery.com