Much of my photography stems from early emotionally strained years involving difficult relationships. In many ways the private world that reveals itself in my work is my own mechanism of escape. The process of my life organizes all these chaotic abstractions of existence, molding them into often surreal and theatrical forms. The results can be explosive, threatening and also sweet and sentimental. It is a universe of fragmentation and irrational disorder that is beyond my zone of safety. Yet it is my world. One in which I can always retreat to because I can manage it. I am the star of my own show.
When I was four years old my parents went through a torturous divorce. My father had been using all manner of drugs and was an acute alcoholic. The relationship had been abusive, often to the point of serious violence, and finally my mother had no choice but to flee with me and go back to Spain.
Eventually my father sobered up, and we’ve remained in contact through the years. As a child I was sent to visit him during summer breaks from school. Each day he would insist that we go out so he could take photographs of me. Years later I realized that the pictures he was making were illustrations of an imaginary relationship. One that he had created in his mind. This delusion had become his secret universe, hidden away from the rest of the world. In most of the pictures of us he had scattered around his house, I was not smiling: proof that even at an early age I did not trust that this ‘relationship’ he was attempting to depict was in any way real. The pictures were fiction.
As much as it is difficult to admit to myself, I know that I am like my father. There is a sense of ever growing isolation and peculiar delusions, thus photography has become my therapy and my best friend. I am intrigued by life’s obscure curiosities. Transfixed, they are what I have; what has me.
- Victor Cobo