Otto Schmidt – Untitled (189X)
The above sampling of Schmidt’s work was posted by @vensuberg with the following note appended:
I’m posting these three pictures by Otto Schmidt to advertise another of Sparismus’ blogs, here.
The pictures there are generally of this type, about half by Schmidt
and considerable graphic material as well. Also the scans are much
better than he is able to manage on his regular Schmidt series and tend
to be about 6000×6000 (three times the resolution tumblr will post
If you like your smut turn-of-the-century vintage with a dash of too-cool-for-art-school, then you’d do well to follow them.
I was unfamiliar with Schmidt prior to seeing this but his work is intriguing. There’s an attention to depth of field (particularly in the top photo of what might be referred to as a cunnilingus pyramid) and control of overall tonal range which both suggest a familiarity with the photo avant-garde. Also, the blocking and positing suggests the photographer was extensively familiar with art history–particularly oil painting.
One might quibble that the commitment to fitting pornographic content to classical forms, detracts somewhat from the erotic effect of the work. I can see that and absolutely think that one of the struggles in trying to produce work that is Capital A Art with the pornographic depiction of sexuality as its subject is to carefully balance concept, form and technique with a carefully considered execution that leaves room for ruptures, disjunctions and spontaneity. (For example: although sterile and awkwardly over-posed the cunnilingus pyramid does end up reading as playful.)