The audacious and electrifying conceptual photography of Robert Earp focuses on the ‘surreal realness’ of transgendering with Venus Virgin Tomarz – Named after Earp’s ‘divalicious’ collaborator and muse.
The true story of Venus Virgin Tomarz is told in hyper-colourful composite photographs that recall the sci-fi kitsch of yesteryear. “Venus’s idea of taking 1960s sci-fi as the metaphor of her story of transgender, I just thought that was brilliant,” says Earp.
In Earp’s images, entire galaxies and epic encounters have been created in minute detail, using everyday household items as their building blocks, the stars are bicarbonate soda or a sprinkling of chalk dust; the moon is a swirling pour of beer; a Kitchenaid blender whips up tornadoes; and the flesh of alien robots comes from the fish in Earp’s own tank.
Nothing is as it appears but, once you metaphorically scratch the surface, these very analogue methods come together to pose profound futuristic questions that affect us all (whether goddesses or otherwise).
Where are we going and how are we getting there? Will we be able to accept each other in whatever guise we appear?
“Behind it all, the narrative is about equality, really,” admits Earp. “It’s also about that fight between Venus and Mars in the classic sense from literature – you know, men are from Mars and women are from Venus. That fight is in everybody.”
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