Edward WestonNude [Charis, Santa Monica] (1926)

I have a conflicted relationship with Weston’s photography: on the one hand, his images don’t do much for me; on the other, I consider his print making skills unsurpassed.

Yes, Pepper No. 30 was printed by Weston’s son. And yes, it features the dynamism of a stiletto pressed against your jugular. But the prints made by Weston’s son–although never less than monumental–are good because the exaggerate what the senior Weston was so astute at underscoring in his work: dimensionality conveyed by means of rigorously exacting control of tone and texture.

Perhaps I’ve just worked too long with B&W film but the skin tone in this looks more perfect than I can fit to words. I don’t miss color. In my head, Wilson’s skin looks exactly how I see skin in my head. (And I love, so much, that one of the most iconic images of feminine beauty in the photographic canon features a woman with unshaven legs and pubic hair.)

You can want to be drawn me like one of those French girls all you want. Me? I want to see (and be seen) the way Weston saw Charis.

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