Paul Kurucz’s Provocative Photography Challenges Our Views on Gender, Religion, Race

In 2015, the Franco-Hungarian stage director Paul Kurucz moved to Rio de Janeiro. He established there the Kolor art collective as a creative base organizing “nonconformist art events and photo shootings in Brasil”.

Kolor was firstly founded by the same artist in Budapest (Hungary) back in 2011, but the relocation of the project was kind of necessary due to the 180 degrees change the whole idea turned. First, Kurucz went from being a stage director to a full-time photographer, and second, the fierce, taboo free environment he found himself into unleashed the most of his provocative photo-projects.

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The first project he launched in Brasil was called The ZONE. The idea, split into series of photos called zones, is “defined by a distinctive style, texture, theme and atmosphere”. Each of them is named differently and unexpectedly, depending on the subject. “Power Pussy”, “SM Family” or “Arab Ninja” are some of the most creative. The dare-devil-ish, amazingly visual pictures illustrate some of the most still-taboo subjects nowadays, such as homosexuality, religion (and it’s “silver-linings”), abuse (of any kind), race and age gap, and the issues around the matters themselves.

As the members of Kolor art collective in Rio state, The Zone was influenced by the works of other ruthless international artists like David Lachapelle, Osborne Macharia and Jan Saudek. Tamires Melo, member of Kolor, told me also that the project was inspired, among others, “by Rio’s epic drag scene, local progressive artists and militant anarcho-humanist themes”.

(c) Paul Kurucz
(c) Paul Kurucz
(c) Paul Kurucz
(c) Paul Kurucz
(c) Paul Kurucz
(c) Paul Kurucz
(c) Paul Kurucz
(c) Paul Kurucz
(c) Paul Kurucz
(c) Paul Kurucz

The people featured in the ZONE photo-shooting belong to Rio de Janeiro’s most libertine microcosm. The actors, drags, and models, artists with anarcho-humanist views had a massive ideological contribution, influencing the scenes and the characters presented. The glam-trash and theatrical aestethics contrast used by Paul Kurucz gives that unique touch that shocks the viewer and drives him curious at the same time.

(c) Paul Kurucz
(c) Paul Kurucz
(c) Paul Kurucz
(c) Paul Kurucz
(c) Paul Kurucz
(c) Paul Kurucz

South-American progressive art scene seems to emerge in the last few years, many artists approaching important contemporary issues in a warning kind of manner. “Don’t look away!” they seem to scream. Paul Kurucz’s project reminded me of Cuban artist Erik Ravelo and his edgy sculptures. So yeah, they got good stuff in there. Thank you for sharing it with the world, fellas!

The zones are far from an end. Kolor promised us to cover this year “Sadomaso Grangma”, “Pink Gangster”, “Flexing Pussy”, “The Toilet of Ipanema” and more.

More on The ZONE and Kolor initiative on Facebook and on this Website.

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Romanian self-taught writer, interested in contemporary art, unconventional culture and gonzo journalism. He's been writing for almost a decade while doing shitty jobs for a living. He's agnostic, supports a censorship-free world, he reads way less than he wants and he enjoys feminist porn.

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