Oyster & Nail Polish

Colour photography – Baryta Fine Art Paper – Size: 100 cm x 100 cm – Limited Edition.

In the realm of photography, “Oyster & Nail Polish” by Emmanuel Gimeno presents a complex tapestry of meaning that can be unraveled through a semiotic reading of the image.

At first glance, it is evident that the photograph in a very large format is not a mere depiction of an oyster and a female hand. While the gaze may be fleeting, we cannot definitively determine if we are being exposed to an erotic or even pornographic image, or if it is an advertisement showcasing a beauty or jewelry product. It becomes clear that the image carries multiple layers of interpretation.

The oyster, a symbol of sensuality and indulgence, is situated between the woman’s thighs, adding a sexual undertone to the photograph. The positioning of the hand, with the middle finger almost touching the oyster, creates a sense of tension and desire, evoking the viewer’s own subjective responses.

Furthermore, the title of the artwork, “Oyster & Nail Polish,” suggests a link between beauty and desire, and how the two are often intertwined in contemporary culture. The use of nail polish, a cosmetic product that is traditionally associated with femininity, adds an extra notion, emphasizing the objectification of women and their bodies in modern society.

Through this photograph, Gimeno challenges our assumptions about beauty and sexuality, and forces us to confront the ways in which they are commodified and marketed. The image itself is gorgeous and highly polished, with sharp lines and vivid colors, mimicking the style of an advertisement, which serves to underscore the commercialization of desire through erotism.

“Oyster & Nail Polish” is a skilful and facetious trap that shows with a touch of humor how photography can play with our senses and perceptions. By deconstructing the image’s symbolic elements, we can discern a deeper meaning that challenges our preconceived notions about desire and beauty, and provokes us to think critically about the world around us.

© 2022 R.B – Medina Art Gallery, Roma

Oysters & Nail Polish Diptych : C-Print photographs 65 cm x 50 cm (x2). Limited edition

© 2017 – Rare Tempo Gallery, Denver