Ruven Afanador is an internationally renowned photographer of limitless imagination, powerful vision and profound sense of self. His work is distinguished by an opulent classicism nuanced by an irreverent point of view. His idiosyncratic visual language is informed by the fierce emotion and lavish style of his Latin American heritage, filtered by an exquisitely mannered elegance saturated with singular erotic charge.
Ruven Afanador was born in Colombia, in the sixteenth century city of Bucaramanga. In his extensive body of work, Afanador has created an intensely personal language characterized by the balance of bold emotion and delicate nuance. The expressive images in his books and fashion editorials reveal extravagant dreamlike sequences that seem to emerge from Afanador’s original imagination already full grown, always splendid sometimes mischievous, often decadent, all steeped in classic formality. In his portraits, he unfailingly pierces the carefully wrought personnas of the beautiful and powerful symbols of our age to expose their essence with eloquent certainty.
In a recurring theme, he juxtaposes startling masculine force and surprising feminine strength to challenge conventional definitions of gender and beauty with confident audacity. Joining such legendary artists captivated and inspired by the beguiling traditions of Spanish culture as the composer Manuel de Falla, the poet Federico Garcia Lorca and the filmmaker Carlos Saura, Afanador pays homage to the great painters, who, like Goya, have portrayed its unique splendor. In focusing his expert lens in the most astonishing manifestation of this quality with an eye solidly planted in the avant-garde, he crosses to the eccentric realm of the ground-breaking films of Luis Buñuel and Pedro Almodóvar, while the surreal quality of his enchanting composition places his work alongside the stories of his fellow Colombian and iconic archetype, Gabriel García Márquez, showcasing with worldly sophistication the spellbinding Latin American aesthetic that is his singular subtext.