A Journey Through the Veil: The Mystical Lens of Juan Sebastian
Updated: Oct 26
In the quiet corridors of the art world, where whispered secrets intertwine with the echo of creativity, exists an artist whose work transcends the boundaries of the tangible. Colombian-born fine-art photographer Juan Sebastian, a masterful weaver of dreams, invites us into his fantastical realm where veiled bodies and cascading fabrics become conduits to the ethereal. In a captivating conversation, he unfolds the tapestry of his artistic vision, revealing the secrets behind his enchanting world of magical realism.
MIAMI LIVING: Juan, your latest collection, “With the Voices of Other Eternals,” is an intriguing dance between the real and the surreal. Can you tell us more about the inspiration behind this mesmerizing series?
JUAN SEBASTIAN: The inspiration for this series stemmed from my fascination with the delicate balance between wonder and disillusionment. Childhood fantasies, so pure and boundless, often fade as we step into adulthood. I wanted to rekindle those lost dreams, to create a collective reflection on the bittersweet journey of growing up. Inspired by literary luminaries like Gabriel García Márquez and Isabel Allende, I aimed to blur the boundaries between dreams and reality, crafting a visual symphony where light and dark harmonize.
ML: Your work is deeply entwined with the symbolism of fabric, transforming it from a mere material into a doorway to the mystical. How did this fascination with fabric as a catalyst for transcendence begin?
JS: In my photographs, the fabric is not just a material; it's a doorway to the ethereal. When the body is veiled, it transcends the earthly constraints, becoming a mystical entity suspended between the mundane and the divine. This transformation, this moment of transcendence, is what fascinates me. The fabric ushers the body into a sacred, ritualistic space, immortalizing it and severing its ties with the physical world.
ML: Your description resonates with a profound sense of spirituality. How does your art challenge conventional notions of selfhood, gender, and narrative?
JS: The veiled bodies in my photographs challenge preconceived notions. They shroud themselves in ambiguity and mystery, inviting viewers to contemplate the fragility of existence and the spatial boundaries that define us. In embracing the mystical, we challenge societal norms and gender roles, exploring the transformative power of self-discovery. Through my work, I encourage viewers to delve into their own nature, questioning the very essence of their existence.
ML: Your creative journey has led you to create a sanctuary for fellow artists at Galería Subtitulo. How has this initiative influenced your perspective on art and community?
JS: Galería Subtitulo was born out of the belief that art is not just an individual expression but a communal experience. During the pandemic, when artists struggled to create, it became a haven. Artists, like the talented Lorena Torres, found solace in their craft, preventing them from abandoning their passion. It reinforced my conviction in the transformative power of art, its ability to heal and bind communities together.
ML: Your upcoming photobook sounds like a literary exploration of your artistic soul. What can readers expect to discover within its pages?
JS: My photobook delves into the subversive dream worlds that shape my vision. It explores the search for identity through self-portraits, reflects on the passage of time, delves into the intimacy of the body, and examines fashion as a tool for simulation, theater, and ritual. Each series within the book represents a unique study of the body's theatricality, inviting readers to immerse themselves in the mysticism of existence.
In the enigmatic world of Juan Sebastian, reality intertwines with dreams, and fabric becomes a bridge between the tangible and the transcendental. As we step into his universe, veiled bodies and cascading fabrics whisper tales of magical realism, inviting us to dance with the mystical. In every frame, there is an invitation – an invitation to challenge perceptions, embrace the unknown, and, above all, to transcend the ordinary and embark on a journey through the veil into a world of endless possibilities.
Image by Gabriel Ponton
Juan Sebastian’s latest collection, “With the Voices of Other Eternals,” will be unveiled at Scope Art Show during Miami Art Week from December 5-10, 2023, in partnership with Photo Basel.
Social Media: @juansebastianf