Two cultures unite as photographer Javier Hirschfeld captures Senegalese locals in a style inspired by Spanish painter Julio Romero de Torres. Poised, elegant and striking, Hirschfeld adopts a painterly aesthetic to recreate the painter's most famous works.
Hirschfeld uses props and materials that are local to Senegal whilst maintaining the essence of Romero de Torres' art. In this picture, Hirschfeld recreates a portrait of a bull fighter using a Senegalese wrestler.
Hirschfeld maintains the proud stance of the Bull Fighter, as shown here in Romero de Torres' original painting.
A key element in Hirchfeld's work is the use of objects that reflect Senegalese culture. Here, the photographer recreates the painter's most famous work, La Chiquita Piconera, using local incense.
In the original work, the subject is pictured handling coal.
A common thread in Hirschfeld's work is the power of his female subjects. Rather than being submissive, the women look the viewer straight in the eye.
This portrayal of strong women is an element of Romero de Torres' work that is especially significant for Hirschfeld. "In the history of art, when women are portrayed, most of the time they're being looked at. I like portraits of women that look back at you," he says.
The strength of the eyes is a theme that Hirschfeld explores throughout the series. In fact, it was this fascination that really inspired him to capture Senegalese women.
"The powerful eyes of those girls; they are very dark and very deep" Hirschfeld mentions. This particular feature reminded him of the women that Romero de Torres' painted, who also possessed similar intensity.
Melancholy is another feature that appears prominently in Hirschfeld's portraits.
This similar sense of longing is also featured in Romero de Torres' work. By taking themes often used in the painter's art, Hirschfeld situates them in a Senegalese setting to fashion universal portraits.