Amandine KuhlmannCinq Sens [Five Senses] (2015)

The adage talent burrows, genius steals–most often attributed to Oscar Wilde–actually originates from T. S. Eliot:

Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal;
bad poets deface what they take, and good poets make it into something
better, or at least something different.

There’s zero question that Kuhlmann is stealing with this series. The color palate, poses and timing might as well be verbatim visual quotes from the posters for master provocateur Lars von Trier’s Nymphomaniac.

I won’t argue that these images are better than the posters. If nothing else, the posters almost certainly required a team of creatives and tens of thousands of dollars to produce. They are more dynamic, dimensional and artfully constructed.

But Eliot doesn’t imply that the only justification for theft is that you make something better–making something that is at least different is also an option.

Kuhlmann succeeds admirably in that regard by focusing on little tics–scratches, broken blood vessels under the skin, a silvered thread of spit suspending bubble of saliva above a mouth open in an orgasmic gasp, hair clinging to sweat slick skin.

Looking at these makes me realize that although the Nymphomaniac posters are technically superior–they could have been much more impactful if those responsible for creating them had been more attentive to such seemingly mundane details.

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