mariano vargas Young woman with mirror
Marijn Kruijff
3 min

Modern-Day Renaissance Sensuality of the Spanish Photographer Mariano Vargas

3 min

The photographer Mariano Vargas was born in 1964 in San Fernando, Cadiz, Spain. He grew up in this small town in southern Spain in a Catholic family, which undoubtedly caused him to be very curious about feminine mysteries from a very young age.

White Skin

He hid in his paternal grandfather's library and looked at the art books on the shelves, overwhelmed by shame but attracted to the naked women with their white skin, their poses, their expressions.

mariano vargas Young woman with soap bubbles

Fig.1. 'Young woman with soap bubbles' (2009)

Birth of Venus

Vargas developed a strong fascination for Botticelli's Birth of Venus when he discovered it in one of the books, and soon after found his mother standing naked on a white towel in the bathroom.Though her figure did not match Simonetta's, and lacked the great hair and white skin, she still brought to mind the Venus, especially when, surprised, she tried to cover her exposed womanhood, while ordering him to close the door immediately. From that moment on, the image of that chubby little Venus and the decision of capturing the beauty of naked woman stuck with him. even while he worked for advertising agencies, publishers, and record labels. 

mariano vargas Reading

Fig.2.  'Reading' (2018)

Tribute to Femininity

Initially, Vargas worked as a painter, uniting Victorian and modern aesthetic of women taken from his head. Then on his 20th birthday he got a camera and started shooting girls from the street, and then painting them. Over time, the photographic process took on an increasingly dominant role, in which each photo became a tribute to femininity.

mariano vargas Young woman with mirror

Fig.3. 'Young woman with mirror '

Conscious Eroticism

The mission of the driven photographer is to captivate the spectator, both through his senses and intellect. In The New Erotic Photography (Taschen) he explains, 'The eroticism in my photos is a conscious eroticism, connected to growth and self-esteem rather than just sexuality. It is the function of images to produce emotions; if an erotic photograph doesn't excite us, it does not work.'

mariano vargas Lady with camera

Fig.4. 'Lady with camera

mariano vargas X-ray

Fig.5. 'X-ray '

mariano vargas Lucrecia

Fig.6. 'Lucrecia'

mariano vargas Gracias

Fig.7. 'Gracias' (2009)

mariano vargas Marina and Mimi II - tattoo

Fig.8. 'Marina and Mimi II - tattoo'

mariano vargas mariano vargas girl with mixer

Fig.9. 'Lady with  '

mariano vargas Lady portrait with phone

Fig.10. 'Lady portrait with phone' (2011)

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More on the recent work of the artist can be found on his Facebook account

Click HERE for the large-scale parties of the young Americans as portrayed by Terry Rodgers

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