Flair of fla­menco

Los Angeles Times - - ARTS & BOOKS - —Jessica Gelt

The high drama of gypsy fla­menco dance cul­ture is cap­tured in stark black and white by pho­tog­ra­pher Ru­ven Afanador in the new se­ries of im­ages “Ángel Gi­tano: The Men of Fla­menco” at Fa­hey/Klein Gallery in Los An­ge­les through July18.

The pic­tures, also compiled in a Riz­zoli book of the same name, were cap­tured by Afanador in the An­dalu­sia re­gion of south­ern Spain, where fla­menco de­vel­oped in the1 8th cen­tury. Fla­menco, de­fined by the fierce emo­tion dis­played by its prac­ti­tion­ers aswell as sig­na­ture rhyth­mic hand clap­ping and fin­ger snap­ping, is closely as­so­ci­ated with the gita nomi­nor­ity group, hence the ti­tle of the work.

Afanador was born in Colom­bia but said he is ob­sessed with Spain. “Ángel Gi­tano” is a com­pan­ion piece to his 2009 book, “Mil Be­sos” (Thou­sand Kisses), which fea­tured ar­rest­ing im­ages of fe­male fla­menco dancers.

The­men in Afanador’s pho­tos cut strik­ing and of­ten bizarre fig­ures, with lean, mus­cled bod­ies arch­ing at im­pres­sive an­gles— faces ac­cented with thick black eye­makeup, hair long and wild.

“The men were very fa­mil­iar with the project I did­with the women,” Afanador says, “so they al­ways wanted to outdo the women. They­were in­cred­i­ble sub­jects.”

Pho­to­graphs by Ru­ven Afanador Fa­hey / Klein Gallery

PHO­TOG­RA­PHER RU­VEN AFANADOR fo­cuses on a dra­matic move by Ruben Olmo. Afanador’s pho­tos are at Fa­hey/Klein.

RUBEN OLMO ap­pears to have wings. “An­gel Gi­tano” runs through July 18.

PABLO Egea Campillo, left, Car­los Sanchez Se­gura and Al­fredo Merida Enci­nas.

MIGUEL FLORES’ im­age is in show.

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