“Divine Cracks” represents the idealisation of the feminine essence as the source of creative rebirth, an ode to woman as her whole: life generator/object of male desire/regent of the universal order.

After a difficult personal event I needed to get back in touch with my masculine side and confront my torn relation to women (mother, ex-wife, lovers…); to do so I simply had to get close to the mystery of womanhood, chasing my very own vision of Courbet’s “Origine du Monde”. I printed the old negative of an ex-girlfriend of mine, pushing the contrast and exposure to the limit. The result I got I thought was extraordinary in its abstractness: an image that was at the same time eerily erotic and confusely evocative. I decided I would need to take this experiment further and turn it into a project.

I realised that the strong contrast of the print together with the detail of the framing generates an abstraction of the human body, almost as if it were the marble statue of a classical “divinity”. The anatomic detail would be subtly revealed within the black of the line confining the erotic tension to an almost subconscious level. The result forms a “crack” (loosely inspired by Lucio Fontana’s revolutionary cuts) in the white idyll of the paper that shatters all certainties of the male universe, a slight discomfort, a faint embarassment… the photographic medium reminds the viewer that everything is real, attainable, earthly yet uncanny. In the end every single image takes a life of its own, mutating into anything anyone sees in it.

The images don’t bear names, only numbers, making all the subjects equivalent, at the same time different from one another, thus sanctioning the uniqueness of each and every woman.

Aliocha MERKER


“Divine Cracks” won 1st place (gold) in the Fine Art Nudes category at the 2014 Moscow International Foto Awards, 1st place in the Fine Arts category at the 2014 Golden Camera Awards, Honorable Mention at the 2014 Monochrome Awards, Honorable Mention at the 2015 PX3 Awards, was Bronze Finalist (3rd place) in the Body Parts category at the 2015 Nude Awards, Finalist at the 2015 IPA Awards, Finalist in the Abstract and Nudes categories at the 2014 One Eyeland Awards and Finalist in the Fine Arts category at the 2014 Pollux Awards.

Print series are 100x100cm (series of 9) and 60x60cm (series of 11).



The work of art… is a form, it is a movement that has reached its own conclusion: somehow it is an infinite included into a finite. Its totality results from its conclusion and has to be considered not as the closedown of a static and motionless reality, but as the opening of an infinite (world) resumed within a form. The artwork has in fact an infinity of aspects which are not fragments nor spare parts, but are a place where each of us can identify in our entirety and reveal ourselves in a determined perspective.

Umberto Eco, “The Open Work”, 1962

Throughout his eclectic and complex career, ranging from death metal drummer to film stills photographer, author for documentaries and director of photography, Aliocha Merker has imagined and portrayed a plethora of contexts and individuals to penetrate both the inner and outer surface of human existence. Using the photographic lens as a kaleidoscope the artist investigates forms and expressions to overcome and transcend all physical conditions, social groups and genders adopting an intimate language that unveils aspirations, desires and memories… Inspired by the purpose and spirit of great artists of the past such as Nadar, Edward Steichen, Edward Weston, Irving Penn, Nan Goldin, Inez Van Lamsweerde or Carlo Mollino, his portraits alternate heroes and anti-heroes to reference intimate experiences, thoughts, emotions and fears; his snapshots being visual passages where both subject and spectator coincide and cope with past ashes to fabricate new identities.

Recalling a Shakespearean narrative the artist often recurs to a black and white play of shadows and light to formally decipher the nature of ethereal beauty, unfolding the emotional universe of his sitters. Fascinated with the mysterious longing of the human soul, his research of the human body appears as a prism-like space; a boundless “lieu de mémoire” where the result forms “a crack in the white idyll of the paper that shatters all certainties of the male (and female) universe, a slight discomfort, a faint embarassment… the photographic medium reminds us that everything’s real, attainable, touchable, earthly yet uncanny. The single images don’t bear names, only numbers, making all the subjects equivalent, at the same time different from one another, unique”1.

Works as Il Ronzio delle Mosche or Portraits feature fragments of whispered desires. The human skin is the canvas to map a visionary theater of impulses and behaviors where the body is seen as the universal vehicle to experience the “otherness”: like a Trojan horse the artist penetrates the “unknown land”, the mysterious relations that relate the human to the divine, the ordinary to the extraordinary. Aliocha’s vision does not prevent, it rather comes from afar to abruptly awaken into a vortex of sensuality and alienation. Like a tightrope walker the artist wanders across a sensitive and unstable land where the models move between misery and love of life (le mal de vivre et la joie de vivre!) unveiling the un-finite and transient nature of difference.

“La terre est bleue comme une orange” once said Paul Eluard…

Dominique Lora, 2014


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