I’m not sure this piece is qualitatively ‘good’ but it gets me super hot and bothered.
I think what resonates with me is that cunnilingus is bar none my favorite behavior on the sexual spectrum. The sight, feel, sounds and dear lord the taste are things I absolutely crave.
So while I hardcore relate to this image being solidest around the glaze sheen around submissive’s nose and mouth–mirroring the way in the moment of licking, sucking and penetrating perception can winnow down to just mouth and genitals; there’s also the way that the dominant woman is rendered in a vague archetypal fashion which undermines the specificity of the submissive’s hunger.
The way the legs muss the submissive’s hair seems thoughtful until you look again and see that it’s flat and relatively forced. All the legs are is a graded wash tying the frame together with the painstakingly rendered vulva.
I feel like–depiction-wise–this minimal approach actually has (whether knowingly or not) quite a bit in-line with Georgia O’Keeffe–if O’Keeffe had opted for a lazier, less rigorous approach to her visual experimentation.
When people distinguish between porn and not-porn, the difference is usually framed in terms of what is shown and what remains unseen.
A better question might: what does the manner of presentation tell us about how we are supposed to see what we are being shown?
There’s honestly too many things I could go on and on about with 3cm: his mindfuck mastery of color; precocious Photoshop manipulations, clever visual puns, recurrent images/themes, my guess that his process is highly improvisational and a repudiation of all the lazy ass characterizations of his work as ‘surreal’.
That’s all lagniappe.
Positioned as it is in the no man’s land between capital-A art and small-a art, I think there’s an instinct to round up. I’m not opposed to that. Not all of 3cm’s work is good, but almost none of it is crap outright.
What I think people have talked themselves out of is the implication of the sexual subtext in the work. The sexual subtext is not only the raison d’etre it’s much, much more than a subtext, it’s shockingly pornographic.
There aren’t even three nipples in roughly a thousand images. But that doesn’t matter, read the space between what you see explicitly in the images with the huggable elephant in the room of what the image is ultimately fixated upon. It’s a little like reading Shakespeare: read the first scene and then start over again and this time you’ll pretty much have it.
But here you aren’t searching for the rhythm as much as the correct tone. The space between what is explicit and what is implicit has a confessions of depravity feel to it. If you can stay in that space long enough, you’re initial response will probably be to blush. If you are like me though, you’ll be extremely turned on.
Whereas color photography displays the world more-or-less as it appears. Among the keepers of culture, this begged questions as to the inherent art value of color in photography. What criterion could separate mundane snapshots from carefully considered works of art?
William Eggleston was one of the first to breakthrough this impasse. His use of color worked as a logical extension of his compositions and was anything but incidental.
Today, color is viewed as having equal viability with black and white as a medium for fine art photography. And while this allows photographers to focus on one or the other without recriminations, questions about the purpose of color in photography still linger.
The preceding image is a stunning exception: a young woman—framed from midriff to mid-shin—lays splayed on a green lawn flecked with autumnal leaves in a wet red dress; clear water pooling in the fabric between her thighs—a doubtless intended visual innuendo.
There are themes of sexuality as potential, the elemental (earth, fire and water) and I am of a mind that there is an auto-biographical element (every dead leaf in the frame appears specifically placed to me). However, it is impossible to dodge the insistence of the color in any conceptual consideration; the red and green complement one another perfectly, the skin tone, a touch sickly as a result of the hyper-stylized color. Stylization masked by echoing the pooled water with colors approximating the heightened saturation after rainfall on overcast days.