Rick PostonTullee (2012)

This image is such a mixed bag; but it’s a mixed bag  in a way that reflects a broad swath of conflicting feels I have w/r/t Poston’s work in general

As a strategy for preserving anonymity without dismemberment by frame edge, this pose is rather clever. Trouble is: Tullee is an established nude model; therefore anonymity wasn’t the concern.

Even it if had been, there’s the unsettling way this essentializies the female body. (That Poston is ostensibly standing over the scene holding the camera only exacerbates the matter).

Then there’s the random canting. I mean: it’s clear the aim was to align the junction of the two tile walls with the top-left corner. Interesting; but it’ll never happen handheld.

In turn, this misalignment skews the registration between the upper frame edge and the first horizontal tile seam. (Now, I understand the compositional logic here. But, I am not sure reiterating the framing so aggressively is the wisest choice when with a slight elevation of the camera, the frame would be opened to the vertical tile seams thus emphasizing one point perspective and drawing the eye downward at the same time as reiterating the actuality of the location.)

Yet, it’s not all bad. Sloppy composition notwithstanding the flubs do at least allow for a happy accident: the two little dribbled puddles where the soapy water has overflowed the tub remain visible.

Yes, it’s a thoroughly silly detail but it adds immeasurably to the truth of the image for me.

Now, if he just could’ve only bothered to slide that little sliver of that bath mat back two centimeters so it was out of the lower right third of the frame…

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