Robert Mapplethorpe – Champagne (1977)
The truth is not always beautiful, nor beautiful words the truth.
[↖] Girls Out West – Allegra (2017); [↗] Liza Mandelup – Untitled from Give Yourself to the Sea (2013); [+] Julien Zarka – Kim (2017); [↙] Source unknown – Title unknown (200X); [↘] Louis Treserras – Tout Simplement (2011); [-] A Private Expose – It’s Time to Begin (2018)
My work flow for this project is pretty straight forward. I spend about two hours every day cycling through my dash to the point where I quit the previous day–liking anything along the way that catches my eye.
From the resulting likes, I conduct a second pass and ask myself do I have anything to say about this photo/image/illustration/set/etc. Such items get shunted into my drafts. Drafts get moved to my queue so that I can decide the best order to present them in and I usually only compose an entry for something that’s already in queue.
Anyway, there’s a mass of images in my drafts right now that I know I want to engage with but I’m not sure how I want to approach them. (Unfortunately, this has resulted in a bloated drafts section that is a bit cumbersome to navigate.)
I realized this morning that what I want to say about these six images has been difficult to coalesce because individually they don’t trigger much for me except to say that these images all view feminine embodiment in a way that I wish was a way I could learn to see my own body–as something beautiful, a bit awkward sometimes but thorough well-suited for utilitarian use and fundamentally desirable.
Source unknown – Title unknown feat. Tomoka Sakurai (201X)
…and feel within me uprush some wilder, darker violence,
–Virginia Woolf from The Waves
Source unknown – Title unknown feat. Flora & Fauna (2016)
Any one making an artsy image of someone pissing is firmly standing in Emmet Gowin’s formidable shadow. (Especially when it’s a B&W image like above.)
I’m referring specifically to one of my favorite ever photographs that Gowin made of his wife Edith peeing in the open doorway of a ramshackle shed.
There was an article in The New Yorker several weeks back about this photograph that’s more than worth the two minutes it takes to read.
I’m not willing to place the above image on even close to the same level as Gowin’s photo of Edith. But the article winds down with a sort of lamentation on the fate of depictions of intimacy in our current mass culture of oversharing:
I wonder, sometimes, about the fate of this kind of photographic
intimacy in the age of Instagram, when users are encouraged to share the
granular details of their lived experience, their most nominally
intimate moments, but on a platform governed by likes and clicks.
To me, the above image may function in the fashion described but despite some pretty gnarly technical flaws (#skinnyframebullshit being a huge one), there is something carefree and playful about it that turns what might otherwise be a salacious image, into something much more matter-of-fact.
Source unknown – Title Unknown (20XX)
How much more effective would the above image have been if it adopted a perspective that included both women more or less in scale on par with this image?
It would not only have avoided reducing these two women to little more than their genitals and the area immediately surrounding them; it would’ve made for a better image.
Also, for the last fucking time: the distinction between B&W and color shouldn’t be a desire for it to seem more or less ‘arty’. respectively.
The earliest instance seems to be this post; beyond that your guess is as good as mine.
This image demonstrates at least a cursory concern for composition. The focal point of the image is not the center of the frame. There is a consistence in the angle and space allotted to the outside-edge-of-the-tub/floor and the inside-of-the-tub/tile wall. The model is watching what is happening in the frame not searching for approval from the viewer. She is presented nearly whole in the frame. Lastly, the flash is exposes the white fiberglass perfectly, stopping short of overexposure.
I love that this young woman is still wearing stockings and cute top. Along with the polish on her nails, the image retains color that levels out what would have otherwise been the tub being too white or her skin blanched.
In other words, some forethought and technical skill went into making this image. It’s gritty and transgressive but quality is not sacrificed just because its content features fetishistic elements.