DARK ROOM OF LUIS ROYO AND ROMULO ROYO
Exhibition from the 4th to the 30th May
Very few collections like these we can prepare during the year. Doing it has been an arduous job and a luxury. DARK ROOM is the most hidden provocative and secret of the artists we represent.
Already in 1999, they did their first work in collaboration in PROHIBITED, the collection of erotic-themed books that was an international success that has been reissued since then over the years. Another of the most recognized collaborations came with the project of the great fresco of the Medvedev in Moscow in 2006, also with an erotic and allegorical theme to the themes of classical art within this genre, picking up this work in his book DOME. That's why Laberinto Gris has considered that this exhibition, approaching both authors the erotic theme, was totally indispensable.
The introduction on that first book PROHIBITED on its first collaboration defines itself the author’s dared and disinhibited concept in terms of face this theme:
INTRODUCTION OR MANUAL
These first words are to give us guidance to the form and attitude we should adopt when we browse through this book.
But let’s get to the point, forget the old truism about eroticism, about pornography. Let’s look for a quiet place, a comfortable and soft place to sit, even if it also serves as a bed with creased sheets. Let’s take the book and rest it on the arm of the chair or on the pillow, and let’s turn the pages with our left hand.
Let’s take off our tight and uncomfortable clothing and put on a comfortable shirt or pijamas. After, let’s slip the fingers of our right hand over our lips that previously had been moistened by our tongue, then let’s move down, massaging ever so lightly to one side and then the other side of the neck, let’s continue by moving our open hand over our chest, let’s create some playful moments around the bellybutton, going inside it ever so slightly.
With the index finger, or perhaps with the forefinger and the heart, stretch while the rest of the fingers remain relaxed or make a beautiful “O” with them all, depending on whether you are of the feminine or masculine sex, let’s bring ourselves to the inner surface of our thigh, with all the desire of staying moist.
From this simple and rewarding operation we’re able to begin using our left hand to turn the pages, keeping in mind that the right hand doesn’t forget its duty and continues with the gentle movements it knows. I hope that when this book reaches the end, the hand is left impregnated with the sacred liquids of our interior and that the pages have been left unscathed (and the need for a second glance).
The author would be satisfied if all the steps of this book work out well.
From simple titillation to hardcore representations, erotic have a long history of incorporating scandal, fantasy, provocation and fun in sex.
In recent years, the erotic theme has grown into a potent, dynamic and, sometimes, subversive form of art, worthy of academic investigation. Sexual encounters, acts and characters that cannot exist on reality and are constrained only by the illustrator’s imagination. For some, even the creation of erotic work is an experience sexually charged, particularly if the sexual fantasy is in some way inaccessible on reality. As Tom from Finland famously said, “If I don’t have an erection when I’m doing a drawing, I know it’s no good.” Whether mass-produced or created as individual works of art, erotic images are a reflection of society and unabashed sexual fantasy, where every sexual act ever performed or imagined exists.
Museum of Sex (New York)
We live in a highly visual culture: we are presented with hundreds of representational impressions, if not thousands, of times every day, often until the point of sensory overload. The impact of these visual images resonates in every facet of our lives, which contributes to how we interact with and interpret the world around us; it shapes our opinions, creating output results and desires. Images also clearly serve as a driving force behind our decisions about what to believe, what to value, where to go and which people and relationships are worth our time and energy. The most widely-used, persuasive images of all are indisputably those belonging to sex. Sexual and sensual images abound in adverts, music videos, television shows, mainstream film and on the web. Ignoring the intriguing, suggestive and titillating influence of these images is nearly impossible…but, more importantly, why should we?
Museum of Sex (New York)
In the debate discussion of preparation to offer you the selection, we expose some of the artists’ words and reasons:
Outside the current rhetoric that invades us at this time (although except for obvious inequalities) and in front of many of those speeches, that covered with a veneer of "rights" do nothing but hide a new puritanism growing day by day (perhaps a deception to ensure that we are less free), including in these claims a patina of asexuality or rather of disapproval towards any manifestation of a sexual nature. We gathered all these works in a dark selection, we wanted to put the weight on what has been present since the beginning of the human being, from the remote matriarchy (here we have the sculptures of the "goddesses of fertility" found scattered around the world) and to lean clearly towards that primordial feminine figure that is not an invention of our century. That need for equality between humans does not have to hide eroticism or sex, something so obvious, today seems to be in danger self-censorship and hooking off pictures of museums.
Let’s carry on dreaming in dark rooms with the most perverse and hidden, leaving as unknown which is the genre we got on our minds or below our hips.
Luis Royo & Romulo Royo
Women have no problem objectifying the bodies they desire. But every woman knows what it's like to be that object, to be reduced to a flat vehicle for someone else's fantasies instead of a person with sexual agency. We don't have an even playing field, and given the opportunity to express desire, whether for one's own body or someone else's, women perhaps have an easier time remembering what it's like to be the object.
Maybe someday we'll get to a point where all depictions of sexuality are this complex, with bodies on display for arousal or introspection, but not for ownership.
Elle – Jaya Saxena
LIMITED EDITION DARK ROOM
As a tribute to DARK ROOM, we add to the exhibition with a disinhibited and “very exclusive” limited edition consisting on four images dedicated to eroticism: Metal Piel IV, The Blue Prince, Prohibited I and New Prohibited IV, each other consist only of a small print run of 30 copies and the mythical image of III Millennium, On the Southern Beaches II with a print run of 90 copies. These editions with a small range of copies become on a reference inside the erotic theme of our artists.