Philip Holsinger

Bull Action Shot (1/10)
Matte-Ink Print on Cotton Paper (Framed)
44 x 54 x 4 in
"Matador" Series Artist Statement: In 2020, when the world shut down, I was in Mexico to learn about bullfighting. Two of Mexico's most famous matadors were fighting bulls for a private audience at a private ranch over a series of weeks. Out of sight of press and government since all bullfighting worldwide had officially been halted due to the pandemic. I was invited to go through the intimate process of the matador's training and his ceremonial preparation for death. I have a deep affection for nature and especially animals, but I have never liked the hunt because I have no stomach for that kind of a kill. And yet I am drawn to ritual and especially to blood ceremonies and have pursued them around the world. It has been the sacred that has attracted me. When I was invited to be with the matadors, it was because of my background as a photojournalist and approach to the sacred. Nothing is more sacred than blood, the circulator of life. And at its core, the ceremony of the bullfight is a ceremony forcing us to confront the reality of life and death. "Fellow traveler, do not judge me by the standards of your culture or religion. Judge me according to my own."

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