Intimate Strangers, Untitled Encounters, Family Affairs
Hugo presents these sensual and sultry images with subtlety and grace. His use of lighting and unassuming setup makes for gorgeous photography. This young SVA grad certainly knows how to command attention and draw you into the scene. Hugo is one of those talents to look out for, you can contact him directly through his website for purchase info. Hugo Fernandes, the next wave of whats coming!
"My photographs are a memoir of my most personal struggles within. Reflecting on my life as a gay man, Intimate Strangers is a series that explores my personal experience with confronting my own identity.
My teen years were void of truth; in its place, shame and anxiety. Lying to my family, friends and even to myself, I sought comfort through encounters with random strangers who, at the time, seemed to share my problems. Engaging in sexual activities with these outsiders allowed me to experience an affection that I yearned for, in a world where I often felt outcast. Meeting a new guy at least once a month, I developed a routine for sneaking out of my house at night, and escaping into my own twisted world of anonymous encounters.
In time, I realized that physical gratification wouldn’t amount to emotional happiness. At first, I regretted my secret past and everything it encompassed. Later, I realized, that my vulnerability allowed me to mature and grow. Untangled by nothing more than time and those experiences, the pride I now know, is a result of the photographic confrontation of my experiences.
Today, I find myself enamored with capturing the personal and emotional depth of my subjects. Within minutes of meeting, I begin to photograph these individuals and their unfamiliarity interests me. I am drawn to their discomforts or their immediate comfort. I am particularly fascinated with loneliness and it’s role in promiscuity.
With every subject I encounter, I feel more empowered to further experience this community of sexual outlaws: to strip them of the physical properties of a typically sexual moment and to then capture them in the essence of a moment which is both foreign and familiar."
Hugo Fernandes was born in New York in 1985 and received his BFA in Photography from the School of Visual Arts in New York City in 2007. Inspired by his inability to fit into any particular community, Hugo's photographs are reflections of his personal experiences and relationships. His work reflects on his interaction with two very different groups of people: those he is very close with and those he doesn’t know at all. The resulting images are often melancholic, yet intimate and evocative.