IT IS REMARKABLE HOW WE ARE ALWAYS FACINATED BY THE CONCEPT OF TIME. WE LOOK BACK AT OUR RICH HISTORY AND IT OFTEN SEEMS LIKE WE ARE LOOKING AT A PERIOD IN TIME THAT IS SO ALIEN FROM WHERE WE ARE NOW, THAT IT SEEMS HARD TO IMAGINE WHAT LIFE WAS LIKE IN THOSE DAYS. IF ONLY WE COULD TRAVEL BACK AND RELIVE THE DAYS LONG PAST. IF SO, THAN WHO WOULDN’T LIKE TO EXPERIENCE LIFE IN THE EXCITING CENTURIES THAT FORM THE LATE RENAISSANCE AND BAROQUE PERIOD IN ITALY.
As so many leading artists of his time, Gian Lorenzo Bernini was not only a sculptor, he was also a prominent architect, a painter, a playwright and set designer and skilled designer of metalwork. Bernini was born in Naples but lived most of his professional life in Rome, where he blossomed under the protective coat of the Holy Church and papacy. Knighted by Pope Gregory XV at the very young age of 23, young Bernini received many important commissions, the design of the Piazza San Pietro in front of St. Peter’s Basilica being probably one of his most successful and innovative architectural works.
Being a student of Classical Sculpture, Bernini showed at young age already a cunning talent and ability to capture the essence of a narrative moment with a dramatic naturalistic realism, which was almost shocking. This outstanding skill gave him the name of being the successor of Michelangelo. Now, more then 300 years after his death, Bernini’s spirit still rules in Rome, with numerous architectural highlights and brilliant sculptures and fountains, and he is still a great example for many artists of the 21st century. Andre DeLoach being one of them.
Andre DeLoach’s The Ecstasy of St. Cameron is not only unique in its sublime portraiture and reference to Bernini’s The Ecstacy of St. Theresa, it is also remarkable because it lifts model Cameron Earnheart to a saintly level where no one alive has ever been. And why not. Isn’t Cameron divine? Andre is fascinated by the blending of religion and sexuality that is so characteristic in Renaissance thinking and a strong presence in the Baroque art. “Despite the degree of sexual liberation that surrounds us as Westerners, I am still very excited by depictions of a male subject, instead of a female, in the throes of passion or ecstasy,” Andre explains his passion. “I find that such imagery of men (when I discover it) has an extra potency because men are much more commonly shown in control of their bodies and emotions, in command, emotionally unmoved. I like moving away from that particular masculine stereotype in my work. There is something incredibly erotic to me to see a powerful, muscular male body swept away by the still more powerful force of ecstasy.”
We all like to travel back in time and experience what we now consider to be the golden ages first hand. True, life was different then, compared to ours probably harder, but there was also so much beauty. Beauty in discovery. Beauty in exploration. Beauty in art. Cameron Earnheart seems to have traveled in time, originating from that time of beauty and forwarded to our busy and hectic 21st century. He is the kind of man a 17th century master sculpture or painter would have gravitated towards, using him as the centerpiece in a religious or noble portrait. And so we are grateful for artists like Andre DeLoach, who is so capable to capture that classic beauty and immortalize it as only Bernini could 3 centuries ago. –BM-
ANDRE DELOACH | BEAUTIFULMAG
CAMERON EARNHEART | BEAUTIFULMAG