The Altar Boy: Niccolo Cosme’s Solo Exhibition


Tally Beck Contemporary will present the first solo gallery exhibition in New York for Filipino photographer Niccolo Cosme. The Altar Boy: Niccolo Cosme’s Solo Exhibition opened November 20, 2013 and will run through January 30, 2014.

The show features approximately 13 large-scale personification photographs that draw from the artist’s background as a gay man growing up in the intensely Catholic culture of the Philippines. Just as Christian imagery was adjusted to the context of different cultures, Cosme re-imagines Counter-reformation ecstatic and hagiographical imagery with a homoerotic twist and an emphasis on national identity. Using live models, he stages his photo­graphs, and his work recalls the hyper-realism and surrealism of Pierre et Gilles. Tally Beck Contemporary will also present a lecture program on Filipino visual arts and the influence of European religious imagery.

Cosme lives and works in the Philippines and has exhibited extensively in Asia and the United States. In 2011, Cosme carried first prize in the PPA Affiliate Asia-Pacific Image Competition in Seoul.

The Altar Boy opened at Tally Beck Contemporary, 42 Rivington Street, New York, on Wednesday, November 20, 2013, with an opening reception. In addition to the usual opening festivities, we auctioned artwork by Filipino artists Niccolo Cosme and Lenore Lim with all proceeds going to the American Red Cross’s Typhoon Appeal.

In conjunction with the exhibition, Tally Beck Contemporary will also present two special lectures. On Wednesday evening, December 11, art historian and gallerist Tally Beck presented a lecture entitled The Art of Ecstasy: The Legacy of Sexuality in Counter-Reformation Religious Art. This talk will address Niccolo Cosme’s work in the context of religious imagery. The following Tuesday, December 17, Prof. Anne Hoy will present Family Tree: Niccolo Cosme and the Photo Personification, which will explain the artist’s work in the history of photography.

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