Even hardcore has a soft underbelly.
In his new book Eroticum, photographer Lucas Castro Pardo finds beauty and intimacy in a place usually associated with struggle: sex addiction.
Set against the backdrop of New York City, the deeply personal photo journal chronicles the friends and lovers Pardo has met in the throes of depression and addiction. But rather than an expression of despair, Eroticum is a quiet reflection on the moments of fleeting affection that permeate his encounters.
Check out our interview below for a SFW preview of the book and more on Pardo’s background and process.
Hi Lucas, where are you from and how did you get to where you are now?
I’m a 29-year-old New York-based Photographer. I’m originally from Buenos Aires, Argentina. I started working professionally as a photographer at age 19 while I was still in photography school. My later years as a teenager and early twenties were somewhat difficult. Coming from a conservative and homophobic family, growing up in catholic schools and in a macho culture country, I was in a very lonely spot.
My substance abuse and sex addiction started when I was 17. I quit engineering school (imposed by my parents to follow the family business) to find a profession that would help me find joy in life. It was the darkest phase of my life, but also marked the end of my unhappiness.
When I was 20 I took my first trip to Europe, not knowing that I’d spend most of the next four years in the Old Continent learning from life and evolving professionally. I’ve had the chance to work for several magazines, clothing brands, agencies, and portraiture projects, and this work opened the door to move to New York (almost 5 years ago now!)
I’ve been lucky enough to publish my first book Portraits & Nudes here, and now my second, Eroticum. I got to where I am now with lots of hard work, but am also thankful that I’ve had the luck to meet wonderful friends who offered me support while dealing with my anxiety and depression (and my therapist, special thanks to my therapist as well, ha!).
Can you tell me a bit more about your aesthetic and photographic style?
I believe the aesthetic of my work is based on the simplicity. I like to keep things simple. I want my photographs to be realistic. Some people have used the words “raw” and “hardcore” to describe it. I like to portray beauty as it is, and with “beauty” I don’t limit myself to the common concept of the term, but from a personal view.
How did your book Eroticum come about?
I always liked to portray subjects in an intimate or vulnerable way. The same goes for my first book Portraits & Nudes. One day I came to realize I had a big collection of photographs (digital, film & polaroid) of people I slept with. That was when I decided to work on this project.
How did you cast your subjects?
All of my subjects were people I knew or I had met over the years.
What is the message of the book? What is your work trying to say?
Eroticum can be seen as a photo journal. It’s a reflection of my own struggles with sex addiction. I wanted to portray my subjects in a very intimate moment, but also as a way to highlight my intentions to physically satisfy psychological and affectional needs.
Who knows! Ha! Certainly a new exciting personal project. I’m also always working with different subjects and clients, so whatever is next I’m sure will be great.
Where can people see more of your work?
My portfolio is available on my website: http://lucascastropardo.com, or you can check out my Instagram @lucascastropardo.
Launch event for Eroticum will be Friday, October 6th, 8pm-10pm at Bedlam, 40 Avenue C, New York, NY.