Michal Solarski and Tomasz LiboskaUntitled #98 from Cut It Short series (2013)

Pursuing this blog I’ve encountered exactly four (4) photographers whose work destroys me: Igor Mukhin, Amy Montali, Allison Barnes and Prue Stent.

Michal Solarski needs to join them.

I don’t even know where to start here. I’m Stendahl-ing all over myself.

The religious iconography alone–Jesus praying in the Garden of Gethsemane on the left, a crucifix on the right, i.e the span of Christ’s final mortal night framing the scene–speaks volumes. Add the triangulated tension–personal, sexual, dramatic and fuck me but if this isn’t utterly compelling.

What would be a throw away subtitle [a]fter first sexual encounter instead puts the rest the electrical charged question of have they or haven’t they.

But this is one of those times when I need to shut up and trust the work to speak for itself. Here are Michal on Tomasz on Cut It Short:

We come from a little town of more or less four thousand people, in the southern edge of Poland. This is the place where twenty years ago, both of us were coming of age. It was nothing unusual, growing up is a process everyone goes through and there are certain things we all must encounter and discover at some point or another, and people of a certain generation find themselves going through the same fads and trends as fashion, attitudes and politics enter our awareness, well, at least that’s what we think.
It was the early 90’s, and if you really wanted to be cool, there was only one way – to declare war on your hairdresser, wear anything stripy and dive into the very depth of the Grunge revolution.
All that counted was our friendship and our dreams. And always, while listening to another new CD, somewhere in between the first and second bottle of cheap wine, that absolute certainty of having our lives under control was coming back. Time had stopped. But, before we learned the rules of the game, it was already over. Fate pushed to the front row unannounced. It wasn’t the first time fate had played unfairly. We happened to choose different schools, we started to eat burgers and to visit hairdressers from time to time. Both of us went to find our own happiness far from the little town we once used to call ‘home’.
Today we return to the familiar place with Dominik and Marek. With their help we are trying to reconstruct past events of our lives.
Slowly, we are back in the game. Sneaky fate – you better play your cards carefully this time!

The title ‘Cut it Short’ refers to the old tradition in Slavic cultures called ‘Postrzyzyny’. Young boys have their hair cut in order for them to enter society, a ‘coming of age’ of sorts.The custom is still being practiced in some circles as a kind of symbol of obeying the rules.
It’s an autobiographical story about transition between boyhood and adulthood, about friendship, and the passing of time.

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