Andrew KaiserTitle Unknown (201X)

I dig Kaiser’s work. His B&W stuff is frequently good, sometimes great. (This image of Gwendolyn Jane from last year will hold its own against just about any other image made that year.)

He seems to prefer film and although I’m probably reading into it too much he seems to possess a better grounding than 95% of the quote-unquote fine art nude photographers out there–in that he appears to own that something isn’t just art because some schlep asked a a naked woman to stand on a bounder in a picturesque landscape.

I love this image, for example because there’s a stillness, a calming quiet around it. It feels uncontrived–the viewer is allowed to glimpse something that they probably wouldn’t otherwise be able to see. But the emphasis isn’t on the transgressiveness of the seeing but on documenting the immediacy of the experience. The current rippling around her fingers, the watery undulations of her reflection.

But the thing I like best about it is that her anonymity is preserved. No, it doesn’t look entirely natural–it’s clearly been burned in quite a bit. But the point is it is unequivocally bad craft/technique/etiquette to use the frame edges to decapitate a subject. It’s inherently objectifying, first off. Second off, it’s lazy and inexcusably sloppy. Yes, including the entirety of the body presents a litany of additional challenges that aren’t always easy to negotiate; but the result will always be superior to the alternative.

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