rafael medina queer nightclub photography
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Rafael Medina
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February 22, 2022
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Queer bodies and all their facets: discover the photography of Rafael Medina

Between the private aspect of the body in its home or the anonymity of bodies in nightclubs, Rafael Medina’s photography is like a glimpse through the keyhole of a forbidden door.

If there was one word to describe Berlin-based Brasilian photographer Rafael Medina, it would certainly be range. Although the topics are similar: body and sexuality, models and atmospheres completely shift from image to image.

After buying a small kodak in the 2000s as he came out of the closet, Rafael started photography by taking his camera to nightclubs. He then began to document queer nightlife through an intimate lens.

Grain and multiple exposure characterize his photography, giving an almost secretive? aspect to the pictures. Working with analog film since 2016, Rafael attaches importance to the texture given to the images images. In his latest project, “Roulette”, he takes us in the heat of the action of a gay nightclub. Grain, bright colours and naked bodies come together in confusing and fascinating snapshots. 

One of his former project, “Transbrasil”, transports us to a completely different scene. The series of portraits of five of his friends is an intimate glimpse into their daily life. Created during his return to Brasil after 4 years away in Germany, the series is a nostalgic and personal portrayal of the life of trans people in Rio de Janeiro.

Another one of his series, “Skin Deep” showcases bodies that are often refused any sexuality: the ones of older people. Portraying nine gay men above the age of 60, the project aims to raise awareness on the issue of ageism and sexuality, a problem unfortunately very present within the queer community. Portraying the naked bodies of older gay men gives them back the eroticism that has been taken away from them.

Rafael Medina is also the founder and creative director of the Brazilian online magazine and sex party “FLSH”. In duo with artist João Maciel, they work on photography projects, throw parties and write articles about body positivity and sexuality. Go check out their website to discover cheeky shots and intimate portraits (warning, NSFW!).

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