Source unknown – Title unknown (19XX)

There’s a very fine line between simplicity and knee-jerkiness.

This is a square frame. (Judging by the color and insinuation of texture in the border, I’d wager it’s Polaroid 600.)

The act of penetration is just ever so slightly above and right of center. And given most Polaroid cameras are technically TLRs.

It’s a good bet that whomever framed the image, intended to have the explicit action dead center. The discrepancy between the viewfinder and the taking lens due to parallax saves it.

Er… perhaps it doesn’t.

See: initially, I thought I liked the way that the frame is divided into implicit quarters by the L form of her legs. With more careful consideration, I’m not sure it’s such a great idea.

HOWEVER, it does work here–although it is less about the implicit parsing of the frame and more to do with the way the parsing flattens the frame.

Normally, I’m not someone for flattening the frame. But it’s interesting to note that the fellow here is almost entirely parallel to the focal plane. She’s actually every so slightly foreshortened. (It’s not obvious when you look at her abdomen but consider how her leg is straddling the crook of his hip and then trailing back away from the camera.

There are a couple of reasons this ambiguity aides the photograph. First, it draws in more context. There’s not a lot to take in and while I’m not all that big a fan of close-ups, this has the feel of a hotel room to it. But not in a way that makes you think… oh, hotel room. It’s not something you’d necessarily think of unless someone asked you directly where this scene was shot.

Also, while the subject is pornographic, there’s enough of an auspice of formality that renders the whole thing somewhat understated and demure even. (I’m thinking here of how you cannot photograph water. But you can make images of water when it is contained–in a cup, or a stream bed; or in motion, rain and you don’t show the essence of water so much as you can draw attention to certain characteristic attributes.)

The foreshortening also suggests overlap with the paintings of Caravaggio–in color and mood. But I’d be remiss if I didn’t point out how much the remind of Gauguin’s work from Tahiti. (I can’t explain why…just look at it and I think it’ll be plain as day… I just don’t know how to say it.)

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