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XTRA: The Divine Self
Jose Antonio Suarez

By uniting themes of decadence, religion, identity and spiritual practices I create a narrative world through photography, digital compositions and installation. By reconstructing a fictional narrative of my Catholic upbringing, I investigate how power and dominance are generated by confident expression of identity, as well as my own inner drive for power. I reinterpret traditions, lessons and stories from my religious past by manipulating the iconography through as part of narrative compositions. This fantasy world is conveyed through intermixing characteristics of Renaissance drama, color, light and performance.

Jose Antonio Suarez, or XTRA, was born and raised in Alamogordo, New Mexico. XTRA is an interdisciplinary artist specializing in photography and is best known for his complex and extravagant studio productions. His work is influenced by his traditional religious upbringing and mixes Renaissance aesthetics with modern attitudes. XTRA also explores the topic of identity by creating visual fantasies through portraiture. His studio practice allows for the manifestation of the fantasy world that incorporates influences from pop culture, religion and queer issues.

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