Cum sociis natoque penatibus et magnis
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Santa Muerte

Literally ‘Saint Death’ and similar to our Grim Reaper, this female sacred figure venerated in Mexico is a syncretism between Mesoamerican and Catholic beliefs. She is usually seen with a scythe but her iconography is personal and no two images are alike. This is a powerful saint who can grant favours including harming or even killing others but only in the name of justice. The white signifies loyalty or purity and the red signifies passion. Her worship is generally clandestine and practised by those living outside or on the edges of the law, including drug traffickers, prostitutes and gangs. In the last decade her cult following has grown massively.

When Cynth turned up with all her fetish gear and donned the rubber stockings and gloves I wasn’t sure how I would portray her. When she put on the rubber hood it reminded me of a skull and the concept began to form. I happened to have a scythe at the studio (don’t ask!) so, playing prop master to her wardrobe, we styled a shot of this unusual saint. The model’s fetishism mirrors Santa Muerte’s underground nature and hovering in space against the dark background she makes an imposing figure. Compositionally I used the scythe to draw the viewer’s eye up and around the head and back down the arm to her feet and then up the scythe handle again, reflecting the never-ending circle of life and death. In contrast, her gloves, nipples and lips make a red zigzag across the image to break up that circle.

These photos are supplied acrylic face-mounted, ready to hang on the wall, eliminating the need for framing. If however you prefer to buy just the unmounted print only, please enquire about those prices.

Material: Fuji Pearl archival C-type photographic paper

Extra Large size: £4800    Unique – Edition of 1
cm: 90w x 180h     inches: 36w x 71h

Large size: £2480    Limited Edition of 3
cm: 61w x 122h     inches: 24w x 48h

Medium size: £1500     Limited Edition of 7
cm: 45w x 90h     inches: 18w x 36h

Small size: £940     Limited Edition of 11
cm: 30w x 61h     inches: 12w x 24h

(NB prices are ex VAT so UK & EU customers please add 20% for the vat man)

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