Divine Instants at Studio 73

Photography researcher Annalisa Burello chats with Roman Perona about Luminous Numinous and Divine Instants

The Spanish photographer Roman Perona presented two of his most recent portrait photography series at Studio 73 in Brixton: Luminous Numinous and Divine Instants. The stunning analog colour prints of Luminous Numinous were presented again alongside a selection of never-shown-before original Polaroid portraits, all made during the liturgical creative process that Perona followed to summon the very essence of his subjects. This body of work was conceived by the artists to make available to visual perception a key aspect of the individual that remains in the realm of the meta-sensible: The soul.

Perona has used solely analogue processes — from portraying, through processing to printing — to make the most of the alchemical potency of photography. The goal: Elevating image making to the divine.

The people portrayed in Luminous Numinous and Divine Instants don’t belong to a common demographic group or social condition. They are random people from different backgrounds, age segments, nationalities, sexual orientations, beliefs and political affiliations. The selection criteria to invite people into the project was the spiritual intensity perceived by the artist during the different encounters Perona have had with them along the time. Despite the differences between the sitters, they were brought together under the same spotlight at Perona’s London photo studio to be part of a common introspective experience.