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Cocks

Cocks is a site-specific project depicting portraits of fighting cocks. You’ll see a rooster who embodies personality and reveals a stage, which references the world that surrounds it. Using my camera as an ambassador, I am able to explore the tradition of cock fighting, and socially integrate myself in this community.

As a child I first heard about that tradition listening to my father’s stories of his cock fighting adventures in Cuba. One of his tales was about his friend Julio (El Chino) Chane, a man who cared for his roosters more than his family. Years later, I discovered a short story with a similar plot “No One Writes to the Colonel,” by Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

I spent time watching the fights before I started photographing them so to develop an understanding of the viewer’s perspective as well. I believe this patience made a great difference in creating the beginning of this project both in relation to the environment and in my own appreciation to the subject. My presence with the camera has not been unwelcome; on the contrary I feel accepted by all. The rich visual quality of the photographs occurs through the technical innovation of a bracket with multiple flash heads, which affect the visual struggle through what is an extremely confined space. This project can be considered as having a documentary style referencing the history of photography. I reference the Teutonic affection for sorting and cataloging depicted by the portraits of August Saunders, and the photo reproductions of crime scene images taken in New York and Paris in the 19th century. The portraits of the fighting cocks evoke the hidden horror of the spectacle, which is mentally produced by the individual viewer.

My goal with the project is to produce images that respect the cultural tradition of cock fighting in San Andrés, and at the same time, I am uncovering through a visual understanding the meaning of this sub-culture which is a big part of my Hispanic background

Tony Chirinos

Tony received a Master of Fine Arts from Columbia University in New York. Trained as a Bio-medical photographer in 1985 at Miami Children’s Hospital, later in 1989 Mr. Chirinos created the Medical photography department at Baptist Health Systems in which he worked as the Director until his departure in 2001. Mr. Chirinos is a Fellow of the South Florida Cultural Consortium. His work has been exhibited at Photomonth 2016, Krakow Poland, Candela Books + Gallery, Richmond Virginia; The Leroy Neiman Gallery in New York, NY; Hunter College/Time Square Gallery; Centro Colombo Americano in Bogotá, Colombia; Silver Eye for Photography, Pittsburg, PA; Newspace Center for Photography, Portland Oregon; The Center for Fine Art Photography, Fort Collins, Colorado; SRO Photo Gallery at Texas Tech University; UNO St. Claude Gallery, New Orleans; Photo Center NW, Seattle Washington; The Center for Photography at Woodstock, New York; Martin and Pat Fine Center for the Arts in Miami Florida; Art Miami, South Beach, Florida; and Ism-Gallery, Wynwood Art District Downtown Miami Florida among others. Mr. Chirinos participated in the III Bronx Latin American Art Biennial with his series Lost Structures. The series Cocks has been featured in photoeye.com under Photographer’s Showcase®, Portfolio & Interview: Tony Chirinos’ Fighting Cocks in blog.photoeye.com and in finitefoto.com Issue seventeen: Vice. Tony Chirinos was among 100 photographers that participated in Review Santa Fe 2012, which is the premier juried portfolio review event in the world. Most recently Mr. Chirinos participated in the Fourth Annual New York Portfolio Review sponsored by New York Times Lens blog. Mr. Chirinos also received an Honorable Mention under the Documentary Category in the Blurb’s Photography Book Now 2011 Competition. His work has been collected by Indie Photobook Library  – Washington DC, Candela Collection – Candela Books + Gallery, Richmond Virginia, CPW – The Center of Photography at Woodstock, Woodstock, New York; Light Work, Syracuse, New York; Photographic Center Northwest, Seattle, Washington; Enfoco, New York, New York, Cuban American Phototheque Foundation, Miami Florida and Mount Sinai Medical Center, New York. Mr. Chirinos is currently an Associate Senior Professor at Miami Dade College Kendall Campus in Miami Florida, he has been teaching photography since 2003.

  Painted Streets

Web: www.tonychirinos.com
Insta: @chirinostony

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