Adi PutraOnce in a Blue Moon (2014)

This is an impressive image. Not so much based on its virtues as its success in the face of ubiquity.

By that, I mean: I’m pretty sure everyone who has ever tried to make images of nudes in situ, has tried to produce an image like this and found the eventual product to be far less compelling than the impetus that spurred the act of creation.

This succeeds partly because of perspective (the horizon divides the visual field into constituent parts: 40% water and 60% sky–a result of the camera being positioned several feet lower than the usual human POV, which would’ve rendered the horizon bisecting the model’s waistline), allusion (pretty sure this pose in this environment is intended to recall The Colossus of Rhodes), ambiguity (the object in the sky is the sun, but with the weird effect of the strobe it’s difficult to tell whether or not its the moon, which is after all in keeping with the title) and the blue hair (which always commands attention).

Also, I really like how if you look closely you can see that she’s wearing sandals–a necessity if you’re going to walk on volcanic rock like that without cutting your feet to ribbons, the subtle reflection of her legs along with the sparkling glitter of the sunlight on the water’s surface and the fact that if you zoom in you can actually distinguish her shadowed labial cleft (not that it is a sexual image but to merely convey that whether or not nudity is sexual has nothing to do with nudity and everything to do with intent and consent.

Tony PatrioliTitle Unknown (19XX)

It’s not the first thing I notice so much as the fourth or fifth, but this photo was almost without a doubt taken in the same area where act one of Antonioni’s beautifully shot L’Avventura unfolds.

I say “not the first thing” because I have all kinds of complicated feels about this and I am not entirely sure how to convey them. (That’s not entirely true… it’s more I can’t seem to work up the courage to put it all into words would could potentially be turned against me.)

Part of these feelings relate to my suspicion this was likely made in the mid-70s when Patrioli was fixated with shooting single, hetero, cis-boys who weren’t opposed to playing along with the photographer’s homoerotic vision.

It’s a sloppy conceit–and I say that as someone convinced that it’s just barely on the grey side of immoral to ask someone to enact something in front of a camera that they wouldn’t also willing ask of you were the roles reversed; but the resulting trilateral tension is fascinating: the homosexual photographer having straight boys play at being gay, the straight boys who aren’t DTF but who don’t mind going along for the ride and the audience who subsequently  can’t take either party quite at their word.

The premo genderfuckery appeals to me. I mean really, really, really, really, really (that’s five really’s) appeals to me. But there’s also the likely unintended side-effect of decoupling physical arousal from sexual ideation. That’s the part I don’t know how to talk about…

I’m mostly opposed to the metaphor wherein sexuality is equated with hunger–that path skirts a little too close to notions of privation and entitlement. But I am willing to go so far as to say that there is at least a correlation insofar as if I say that I’m hungry, I’m asking not because I expect the person with whom I am conferring to feed me or even that their hungry. It’s because I’m fucking hungry and I need to do something about that shit, pronto and I know that I’m not the only one who is capable of experiencing hunger.

selections from Caroline MackintoshThigh Deep series

This is so how I want to celebrate my birthday this year.

Alas, with two or three exceptions my friends wouldn’t be down for drunken skinny dipping. (And I am way too chicken shit to suggest it as an option.)

Maybe next year. (Probably not though.)

Le sigh.

(Soundtrack suggestion: Oceanic)