Dreaming gods

“The other day, as I was reading El Jove (The Young Man), by Blai Bonet, I thought of a possible title for my collection of nudes: Dreaming Gods. In the poem Tres (Three), he says: ‘When I dream you, you are God’. This title is a very good explanation of what I have done until now: mythologise the body. I have taken photographs of beautiful bodies to be looked at and admired, but not touched. If they make love, it is how the gods would do it”, says photographer Toni Catany (Llucmajor, 1942–2013) of his photographs of nude bodies, taken between the late 1980s and early 1990s.

The uncomplicated sensitivity that Toni Catany perceives and transmits is a kind of dance of life, in which the photographer captures the sensual movement and presence of a man’s body as though he were an authentic god. Bodies beautiful in themselves, dancing, gesturing, displaying a subtle, elegant perfection similar to that of a body one admires like a hitherto-unseen beauty. To capture that precise moment, Catany envelopes himself in the words of the poet Blai Bonet (Santanyí, 1926–1997) when he says “all the unknown realities were the kingdom for entering the search for God, with the certainty that the skin and seasons of beauty are forever beneath the mind of man”. 

According to Catany, these photographs mythologise the body with the idea that “a body is the life of life itself. My models will not be mere extras on a set, they will be the main theme of my work. I let the model express himself with complete freedom and I will capture the moments that [...]


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