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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

UPR-Carolina launches exhibition of nude photos to open minds

By The Star Staff

The University of Puerto Rico (UPR) Carolina campus, for the first time, has launched an exhibit of photographs of naked bodies to open people’s minds about the beauty of the human body.

Titled “Mito y Figura,” the exhibit consists of 11 black and white photographs from Juan L. “Papo” Gómez which, through their poses, also represent figures of classical mythology and early Christianity.

Gómez told the STAR that he took his first photographs of nude individuals in 1997 as a student.

“I have always liked to challenge established norms, especially moral norms,” he said. “It is easy to point out things but very difficult to accept how we are.”

Gómez, who said photography is an art form like painting and sculpture, said he hopes through the exhibit to help broaden people’s thinking about the beauty of the human body and about acceptance. The exhibit is located in the Arts Corridor at the campus where it can be easily viewed.

“I am not worried about what people might say,” the artist said. “My only concern was to make photos that my own mother could see, and she likes them.”

The exhibit’s curator, Héctor Maldonado, said he selected the photos for the exhibit with the goal of allowing people to see what “the soul” of the photographer sees. He identified the photos that could best represent mythological figures and had elements of sculpture and paintings.

For instance, one of the photos of a naked young woman holding a seashell at the beach was titled “The Birth of Venus,” and two photos of a naked woman and a naked man in the woods were respectively titled “Adan” and “Eva.”

“There is nothing worse than something that is not exhibited,” noted John Rivas, the head of the university’s Graphic Design Department. Jomarie Pérez Serrano, who coordinates UPR-Carolina’s cultural agenda, said it was the first time she has helped organize an exhibit of nude photos at UPR-Carolina even though she has worked on nude exhibits before.

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