bLod Lodblue (2010)

Okay… so I am 120% infatuated with this image even though I don’t think for even a second that it’s objectively ‘good’.

The light is nice and the limited palate–the white-white light falling through the window behind the sink with the white of the counters and sink, the red high heals and vermilion nail polish, the dark blue dish in the sink and the cerulean dress–are all extremely effective.

But the–what are those 3 inch heels–push things over the line into porn territory; while the carefully positioned right index finger seems less like an honest attempt to pull things back and more like a winking see-what-I-did-there?

(EDIT: a reblog called into question whether or not I’m implying that porn is objectively bad and suggested that I’m implying that based upon heel height. The suggestion is arguably missing the forest for the trees but I’ll admit that it’s possible to take things that way just based on the evidence that someone clearly took it that way. I was referring more to the porn trope where heels remain on in situations that are grossly unfit for heels. I mean I really can’t image climbing up on a counter wearing heels and not legit fearing about breaking my neck. So I was referring more to contrived artifice and less to the objective good or bad of porn. Alternately, I was absolutely imply that contrived artifice in image making is a godawful thing.)

And the framing is super problematic. The angle of view is awkward and the way her left knee, head and shoulders and right knee are cut out of the frame offers no suggestion that there exists a continuity extending beyond the frame edges.

But when I look at this I see the angle corrected so that the camera includes the entirety of the subject from head to toe and suddenly all the things that are problematic about it disappear and it’s a hauntingly perfect, narrative image.

Why narrative? Well, maybe not a detailed narrative but there’s a sense that the subject has masturbated to orgasm and is enjoying the post orgasmic afterglow. (The erotic is after-all the conceptual structure which most closely mirrors narrativity, i.e. attraction, arousal, negotion, climax, post-climax.)

I love the way that the water standing in the sink basin furthest to the right is poetically suggestive of ejaculation while the water filling the blue bowl in the sink suggests that the arousal has not yet been completely sated.

I’ve tried several times to recreate this image. None have succeeded. Largely because I can’t find a sink facing a window, partly because I can’t decide whether or not I want to take a picture of a friend and sometimes collaborator or if I want the same friend and collaborator to make a portrait of me like this.

Well see. Until then I hope you enjoy the potential of this concept as much as I do.

Zachary AyotteUntitled (2014)

This is really kind of great.

I’m not sure whether I think so due to the way the hand is positioned in the frame, the way the position of the hand corresponds to the tile and sink and the ever so slightly soft focus that comes from trying to focus with hold the camera and focus one-handed or that it recalls a series of photos Traci Matlock made employing her hands, water and objects in or around her kitchen sink.

Most likely, it’s both.