About the Photographer

Pastrana, Gary Ross

Filipino, b. 1977

Gary-Ross Pastrana is a conceptual artist working with sculpture, performance, and photography. By combining unlikely and contradictory materials that often directly reference the human body, his images create a sense of tension and unease.

Pastrana is drawn to the act of rebirth and transformation through the process of destruction. He destroys objects--often by cutting objects in half, by shattering them into pieces, and by melting them down and changing their form--and reassembles the objects into new and varied arrangements. Though his acts are destructive in nature, Pastrana is interested in what emerges in the sudden space between tactility and destruction. Objects that were once whole and solid break down in order to be transformed into a new life, a process that mimics the larger cycle of life.

An example of this practice can be found in the triptych, Two Rings, in which Pastrana borrowed two rings from his mother which he melted down into a miniature sword. He used the sword to create a cut in his own arm deep enough to draw blood. He then had the sword melted and formed back into the original shape of his rings, causing his blood to mix with the metal permanently. Though his highly conceptual works are heavily dependent on sculpture and performance, the only remaining evidence lies in his photographs, Patrana’s medium of choice.

Gary-Ross Pastrana has been included in exhibitions at the 2008 Busan Biennale in Korea, Mo Space in the Philippines, Monte Vista Projects in Los Angeles, and the Osage gallery in Singapore, and is a recipient of the Cultural Center of the Philippines Thirteen Artists Award. Pastrana has been included in major exhibitions in the Philippines, Japan, Thailand, Hong Kong and Singapore. Pastrana lives and works in Manila.