Visiting Lorena Torres Martell’s Instagram page is like tripping headlong into a grotesque, fantastical underworld. Filled with ghoulish creatures clawing at bandaged faces, inky-haired monstresses, and arachnoid women, Martell’s photography is gruesome, sensual, and unforgettable. The artist, who resides in San Luis Potosí, México, will soon be featured in the upcoming Transmutations: Witches, Healers, and Oracles exhibit at The Buckland Museum of Witchcraft in Cleveland, Ohio.
This event, held in collaboration with the Stephen Romano Gallery will showcase new works and an accompanying compendium of witchy vernacular photographs. According to Romano, who curated the exhibit, Martell’s work so grabbed him from the moment he laid eyes on it, that within a few hours, he had added her to the show:
“When i first came upon the art of Lorena Torres Martell, I was immediately struck by the immediacy of the images, not only in their subject matter but also in their technical proficiency and how the two things came together with such ferocity in the execution of the art itself. These are the measure of things that define a visionary, that they are able to take their their chosen medium (in Lorena’s instance, photography) and push well beyond the boundaries and restrictions of the medium to find their own personal vision and do it so well that we are able to suspend our own disbelief, like we do in film, and enter into their worlds.”
Previously, Martell’s work has been featured in various painting, engraving and photography exhibitions, and she leant her photographic eye to a storybook, Siniestro by Violeta García at Fóbica Fest in Guadalajara and at the Centro Cultural de México Contemporáneo in Mexico City. In 2018 she held her first individual photography exhibition, titled Excision, at the Casa de las Bóvedas Cultural Center, and recently won first place in Spain’s Terrorificamente Cortos festival’s horror photography contest with her exceptional “Tres Brujas,” and was awarded the festivals “Instagram prize.”
Martell, herself describes her influences and styles:
“My main inspiration is horror movies, gothic culture and the aesthetics of the grotesque, I am passionate about creating these types of images, I can spend hours in post production, I really enjoy creating characters with deformed features that reflect despair and suffering, witches, monsters and supernatural beings. The terrifying, the strange, the fear and death.”
To experience Lorena Torres Martell’s work first hand, visit TRANSMUTATIONS at the Buckland Museum of Witchcraft and Magick from March 4th through April 31st, 2021. You can also follow her on Instagram.