“The Pursuit of Hapenis” – a new art show by Franz Szony


By Anna Peirano

Opening tonight is a new exhibit at Project One Gallery in San Francisco by artist Franz Szony, called “The Pursuit of Hapenis.” 

Szony prefers to call himself a “photographic painter” or a “character portraitist” rather than photographer – and it’s easy to see why. 

His work combines a myriad of treatments and processes, creating a unique image that seems part vintage photograph, part Baroque Opera-esque tableau.

Thematically, the work is dark while maintaing a certain carnival scene. Sex, death, decay, and rebirth combine, brought to life through Szony’s costumes and sets which he designs himself from scratch. 

Szony says in the brief documentary about his work that the, “goal for all of my photographs is to seduce the viewer with something beautiful. But because my images are always twisted in some aspect, I hope it leaves the viewer questioning.”

In an interview with blog site Eclectix Arts, he goes on to say: 

“Each photograph takes me anywhere between several weeks to several months to create and set up. I sketch out design ideas before each photo, and then a blueprint before anything is made. 

I fabricate all my own sets and the majority of my costuming is antique or vintage pieces I find through ebay or auction houses. Once everything is created, a shoot usually lasts me an entire day, although for a couple large pieces I have spent several days shooting models and different elements that make up the photo. 

Without revealing too much of my “magic,” I usually tell people I treat my photography the same way vintage animation was created. In the old days of animation, one frame consisted of many different cels layered on top of one another (background, mid, character, vignette, etc) to make a scene. 

I create very much the same way, assembling the scene in different sections and overlapping each photo in the computer after.”

The gallery opens at Project One (251 Rhode Island) tonight at 7pm with a reception, and runs through August 4th. Admission is free.

Check out more of his work on his website here


All or Nothing from Franz Szony on Vimeo.

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