Gina Marie LeVay

["Los Dos, 2007" from Bull Fight]

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Bull Fight, 2007

Archival pigment print, from 120 negative film, Dimensions Variable, Duration Variable

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Bull Fight explores the dance, intrigue, and conflict of the feminine amidst the male-dominated “art form.” Two years ago I began to photograph the few but fierce female matadors, or las toreras, who are actively fighting in the world’s bullrings today. I immediately became fascinated with these women–their drive, strength and perseverance to penetrate the antiquated chauvinistic and competitive arena. Prior to this I never heard of female bullfighters, only of the decorated male matadors and the honored bulls. As I began shooting a mixture of reportage and portraiture, each time becoming more intimately involved with the women’s daily lives and reality of the sport, I became captivated by the strong visual attraction and inherent sensuality of the fight with the feminine dance against the bull.
My goal has been to illuminate the bull fight in true light–capturing the brutal, yet stunning theatricality, the dramatic, yet sensual, physicality, and the harmony, yet conflict, of her artistry. The vibrant images reveal the dynamics of the fight, details of texture, and their grit to conquer in the ring and in their daily lives outside. Bull Fight confronts the viewer as they are forced to gauge their honest reaction to the dance that is being unveiled before their eyes.

Artworks by Gina Marie LeVay

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