When my work with nudes first began, it was motivated mainly out of curiosity. For me, that early curiosity quickly became a strong drive, and even an obsession. This precipitated a shift towards creating an image, as opposed to capturing one, and a focus on the studio arts.
It was during my early studies in experimental color that I first began to realize how dramatically color affects the interpretation of the viewer. I imagine the moods and the memories that color pulls out of people. The playful, emotional, and even aggressive nature of color creates radical reaction. The saturated blacks help to ground the intense color bursts creating a frame, a void, and a sense of mystery.
The work began to develop to its fullest potential in the darkroom; often years after the photographs were actually taken. Working in alternative processes provided latitude in palette and presentation. As I mastered the subtleties of each process, I learned how to create an image that was supported by the technique rather than driven by it.
Photographing the parts of the body rather than the whole person gives the work a freedom that a “portrait” can never attain. Deconstructing the body and removing the personality from the person allows the viewer to respond in more universal terms. Without the face, the emotional connection to the body is transformed to an appreciation of form, texture, and function.
Color and technique can force the figure into another world; unnatural, inhuman, and unattainable. Fragmenting the body dehumanizes it as well. I love the dichotomy this creates. You can relate to this disenfranchised body, but at the same time, it is highlighting the reduction of the individual to nothing but parts.
We have all endured a parade of “beautiful” people with “beautiful” bodies throughout the mainstream media. Our lives have become the target of a continual campaign promoting a hypothetical body beautiful. Self-awareness in main stream culture has become understanding that your body will never be slim enough, smooth enough, toned enough, tanned enough… simply never enough! The challenge is to honestly experience the body, our own and other’s, with ones own genuine passion.