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Richard Matias launches Retrospective exhibition and book this Friday


Local photographer Richard Matias is known for his captivating images that capture the human form through a queer lens.

Following the success of his last book of work, Liberated, which continues to raise funds for the WA AIDS Council’s youth service Freedom Centre, Matias is preparing to exhibit a fresh selection of his work that reflects on his career.

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Retrospective features over 300 images of West Aussie men and queer folks, continuing his exploration of masculine figures from a local, LGBTQI+ perspective, and will be presented both as an exhibition and as a photo book.

Speaking to Harriet Kenny on RTRFM’s All Things Queer program yesterday, Matias explains from where his love of capturing images began to bloom.

“Initially my style of work was drawing the female form and painting and that’s where I started from a very young age,” Matias said.

“The male form came a little bit later in life and it was only when I was on holiday about eight or nine years ago when I was looking at the photographic work of another photographer where they used the statue of David by Michaelangelo as the subject matter that I could possibly create something just as beautiful.”

Matias often works with models, and he’s also captured a number of recognisable subjects including local drag queen and cabaret star Cougar Morrison, Irish marriage equality champion Panti Bliss and Fringe World favourite Tom Worrell of BRIEFS fame.

“There’s always a challenge in every situation, I photographed Tom because I was very interested in how he maneuvers his body, I was very interested in how the body moves and the shape that it creates,” Matias explained.

“Creating those lines and finding those lines, I enjoy the challenge, and I think the shapes that we create when we do is always, for me, exhilarating when we do the shoots.

“Panti Bliss, I was fortunate enough to photograph her when she was on tour here in 2017, and at that time the WA AIDS Council had their ICONS exhibition and I was looking for a subject to enter.

“I was told I’d have an hour, forty-five minutes to shoot her before her show. Turns out I only had 15 minutes in the end…

“We managed to create some beautiful images and as we speak some of those images have been donated to charity and we’ve been able to raise funds for LGBTQI freedom shelters and call centres and for artists worldwide.

Retrospective looks back on Matias’ career, specifically the last five years of his creative output, featuring highlights from his across extensive body of work.

“Whenever an image resonates with me or moves me I definitely go ‘that’s a creative high’, but I don’t have any reassurances of that, that’s just me in my head!” he laughs, when asked if there have been any stand out moments.

“There is one particular image called Calm Reflection, which is a beautiful image of the male form submerged in the deep blue colours of the water.

“The water surrounded the male figure and reflects the garden that surrounds the pool, and I entered that in a competition for an Australian photography magazine and it earned a top 50 commendation for 2017, so that really was a complete high for me.”

Richard Matias’ Retrospective launched at Studio 281 this Friday 20th November and runs until Thursday 10th December. For more information about the exhibition and the book, head to richardmatiasphotographer.com

OIP Staff


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