Meet Senen Llanos. Well, as much as you can in a digital format. A self-taught photographer from San Juan, Puerto Rico began shooting in 1997 with the help of cheap, disposable cameras bought at Kmart. As Senen’s skill level heightened each year, so did his purchases of more prominent cameras. What started as priceless photos of drunken friends being his priority ultimately morphed into receiving work capturing night life and concert events with the use of his first real camera; a Nikon D70. A casual shutterbug was on the path to becoming a zealous photographer.
He experimented more with cameras and photography while studying computer science at the University of Puerto Rico in 2005. His passion for photography continued to evolve as he took up after his father’s hobby of photography. Subsequently, Senen realized the full potential of the message a captured moment in an image can exhibit, after the death of a close friend. This incident served as the tipping point, pushing him to take photography from a meager hobby to something more serious where he would experiment days on end to attain a coveted product.
From the onset, Senen has been particularly interested in working with textures. Instead of solely shooting nudes, he injects colour into the equation with the skin acting as a canvas. By painting his subjects, the subject’s energy and aura lusciously projects, captivating the viewer of the image. Senen’s first genuine experiments with nudes originated in 2009. Baby oil mixed with food colourant were the ingredients. Despite the outcome not aligning with his desired vision, the experience provided a starting foundation for his distinctive experiments.
Joe McNally, Dave La Chappelle, and Bjorn Oldsen. That’s the list of contemporary photographers Senen has garnered knowledge from and been inspired by. However, it is in the work of Howard Schatz that he reaps the most direct influence.
In 2011, once moving to New York, Senen made the decision to exclusively indulge in personal projects for a span of time. From there, he was awarded the top prize in the New York Dance Parade Photography Contest. The ambience in New York prompted him to embrace the company of other photographers which in turn altered his point of view and initiated various new experiments with paint. Following the shift in perspective, copious practice was involved, eventually resulting in the debut of his first series in 2013 as “The Skin Collection” at Michael Reslan’s Atelier. In this case, the outcome aligned with his desired vision after all.
Besides that, Senen also founded his own clothing line by the title of “Gotham Skin”. The leggings available to purchase on Gotham Skin’s website showcase his new canvas by coupling together curated photography and sportswear, with the sportswear featuring the great cities of the world that stand out as an art statement for fitness fashion.
Senen Llanos currently lives and works in New York City. Just Breeze hopes to collaborate with the distinguished talent in the near future.