Coming to terms with your truth can be tumultuous. As you emerge from the closet, your every desire feels like a raw nerve, vulnerable to the elements raining down from a heteronormative society.
We strain to contort our feelings until they are manageable, all the while struggling to maintain our individuality and sanity. At the end of the day, we may feel like sentient pretzels, twisted and burned and ready to be consumed by the very civilization that manipulates us to “fit in” and get along.
The complex dynamic of existing-while-queer is brilliantly reflected in the works of Kostis Fokas. His imagery transcends photography, fracturing his subjects and reassembling them into beautiful assemblages of yearning and release.
“Sexuality is a very strong energy transferred between people,” Fokas tells Metal magazine. “It’s an inside need everyone wants to express. Most of the time I expose my deepest fantasies and my addictions through the images I create.”
The resulting portfolio exaggerates the flesh and flash of corporeal lust, often hiding his subjects’ facial features.
“Though I understand how bizarre and hyper-sexualized they may seem to others, it is a way to discover and accept myself and my specifics. My art is an environment for me where I can feel safe even though I expose myself totally!”
Fokas embraces the cryptic bent of his vision, inviting observers to get lost in the vibrant ambiguities of their own imagination.
“I want to create images where the viewers can’t exactly understand what they see. Is it a reality or a fantasy?”
“I wish to directly penetrate people’s subconscious, to stir feelings, memories, emotions and make them feel connected,” Kostas concludes.
The irony pulsing through Fokas’ oeuvre is the sheer facelessness of it all. For a vanguard with such a unique perspective, the photographer goes to great lengths to obscure his models’ visages.
As you gaze upon the hairy chests and sinewy muscles of a signature Kostis Fokas masterpiece, you must ponder: why are they hiding? His art calls into question the very nature of voyeur vs. exhibitionist.
Perhaps the better question to ask: what do we deserve to see? The subjects cavorting through Fokas’ mindscape appear as mirages that can’t be coveted or categorized. They look away before we can own them, slipping back into the tunnels of our collective subconscious. Did we dream them? And when will they reemerge for another dalliance with destiny?
Photo: Instagram @kostis.fokas
Last modified: November 2, 2021