Guido Mocafico - Photographs London Monday, November 17, 2014 | Phillips

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  • Literature

    P. Remy, ed., Serpens: Guido Mocafico, Göttingen: Steidl, 2007, n.p.

  • Catalogue Essay

    Titles include: Dendroaspis Jamesoni Jamesoni, 2003; Lampropeltis Getula Californiae, 2002; Rhynchophis Boulengeri, 2003; Boiga Dendrophila Melanota, 2003; Bothriechis Schlegeli, 2003; Spilotes Pullatus, 2003

    In his visually arresting series Serpens, Mocafico captures beauty within danger and order within chaos. He explains, “There is absolutely no symmetry, it is fractal, anarchy. I have no control about the snakes…I’m just recording the reality of the beauty of nature which is beautiful by herself.” He explores the seemingly opposing yet often coexisting human emotions of being simultaneously terrified and fascinated or attracted and repulsed. The snake strongly embodies this dichotomy for Mocafico. He not only approaches his subject from an aesthetic viewpoint but also is concerned with the scientific – almost to the point of being forensic – to reveal “something primordial in our species.”

    According to Mocafico, photographing the snakes takes about 45 minutes, during which the expert snake handler corrals the snakes into a cloth-lined, clear plastic container. Mocafico then stands two feet away, points his camera and waits for the patterns and curves to emerge. While the sides of the boxes are digitally obscured in post-production, he does not alter or edit any of the colours of the actual snakes. In the three years that Mocafico worked on this series, he photographed some 120 different species of snakes. Mocafico’s works have been exhibited internationally and are held in various collections, including the Sir Elton John Collection, Atlanta/London.

    “Beauty is dangerous.”

    Guido Mocafico




Unique work comprised of six chromogenic prints, printed 2014.
Each 70 x 90 cm (27 1/2 x 35 3/8 in.)
Each signed, titled, dated, numbered AP1 in ink and printed copyright credit on an artist's label affixed to the reverse of each flush-mount.
This work is unique. Each print is AP1 from the sold-out edition of 4 + 2 AP.

£60,000 - 80,000 

Sold for £92,500

Contact Specialist
Lou Proud
Head of Photographs
+ 44 207 318 4018


London 18 November 2014