Luminous-Lint - for collectors and connoisseurs of fine photography
HOME  BACKFREE NEWSLETTER

Getting around

 

HomeWhat's NewContentsVisual IndexesOnline ExhibitionsPhotographersGalleries and DealersThemes
AbstractEroticaFashionLandscapeNaturePhotojournalismPhotomontagePictorialismPortraitScientificStill lifeStreetWar
CalendarsTimelinesTechniquesLibraryImages and WordsSupport 
 

Social media

Share |

 

HomeContentsThemes > Erotica and staged photography

Contents

Introduction
358.01   Erotica and staged photography
Photographers
358.02   Manuel Alvarez Bravo: Good Reputation Sleeping (La Buena Fama Durmiendo)
358.03   Joel-Peter Witkin
This theme includes example sections and will be revised and added to as we proceed. Suggestions for additions, improvements and the correction of factual errors are always appreciated. 
  
Status: Collect > Document > Analyse > Improve
 
  
Introduction 
  
358.01   Erotica >  Erotica and staged photography 
  
The staged shots of Arthur Tress, Jan Saudek and the beautifully toned portraits of Robert Mapplethorpe can at times be bizarre and highly disturbing. At the same time they draw the viewer in with their technical skills and juxtapositions of objects but they can also create a strong sense of repulsion and nausea.
 
To my knowledge nobody does this better than the American photographer Joel-Peter Witkin who has consistently created a body of work that deals with the outer limits of the sexual side of the human psyche. He selects people who have deformities and then creates tableau vivant that draw the viewer into a dark taboo laden world. Here there are no limits and all aspects of perversion, phobia, pain and suffering are explored. The images are then printed and scratched to create the look of a image that comes from the early days of photography - but it goes back further into a primitive almost mythological world of horror and the inquisition. Given the subject matter it is a testament to his artist vision that his work is so widely exhibited and collected by public institutions. 
  
Photographers 
  
358.02   Erotica >  Manuel Alvarez Bravo: Good Reputation Sleeping (La Buena Fama Durmiendo) 
About this photographer | Photographs by this photographer 
  
Thumbnail Thumbnail Thumbnail Thumbnail  
  
Good Reputation Sleeping (La Buena Fama Durmiendo) staged and photographed by Manuel Álvarez Bravo (1938-1939) is an outstanding example of his surrealist vision. In 1938 Álvarez Bravo met André Breton who later requested a photograph for the front cover of a catalogue for an exhibition he was organizing for the Galería de Arte Mexicano in Mexico City. Álvarez Bravo supplied a triptych version of this photograph which was rejected by Mexican censors as it contained nudity.[1]
 
There is a Spanish proverb Hazte de buena fama, y echate a dormir that translates as "Gain fame and go to sleep"[2] or more colloquially "Earn a good reputation, then rest on your laurels". The title of this photograph La Buena Fama Durmiendo refers to the proverb. The photograph of the model Alicia partly wrapped in bandages but with her pubis exposed and with her eyes closed in fearless tranquility has suppressed eroticism. Her crossed legs and her exposed genital area are an implied contradiction along with the bandages of bondage.
 
The star cacti, in Spanish abrojo, by the side of the model are another message within this complex photograph. There is a Spanish phrase abre ojo which can be translated as "eyes wide open".[3] Therefore the cacti can be seen as representing open eyes while the eyes of the model are closed. Cacti are prickly objects that have evolved to discourage proximity through pain - for this woman, and those approaching her, the path is open but has visible risks. 
  
358.03   Erotica >  Joel-Peter Witkin 
About this photographer | Photographs by this photographer 
  
Thumbnail Thumbnail Thumbnail Thumbnail  
  
Joel-Peter Witkin is a visionary working in realms that turn the rest of us into scared voyeurs peeking tentatively at a dark world of nightmare.[4] It is a freak show of the dead and maimed made to play out dramas and rituals of medieval intensity. These are photographs that rivet eyeballs to skull and demand that we question what it is to be human. 
  

Footnotes 
  
  1. Λ Manuel Alvarez Bravo, 2001, Manuel Alvarez Bravo: Photographs from the J. Paul Getty Museum, (Getty Publications), p. 56 
      
  2. Λ Mark Glazer, 1987, A Dictionary of Mexican American Proverbs, (Greenwood Publishing Group), p. 134 
      
  3. Λ Manuel Alvarez Bravo, 2001, Manuel Alvarez Bravo: Photographs from the J. Paul Getty Museum, (Getty Publications), p. 56 
      
  4. Λ Parry, Eugenia, 2007, Joel-Peter Witkin, (Phaidon Press); Joel-Peter Witkin, 1994, Gods of Earth and Heaven, (Santa Fe: Twelve-trees Press) [3rd edition]; Joel-Peter Witkin (ed.), 1994, Harms Way: Lust & Madness, Murder & Mayhem, (Santa Fe: Twin Palms Publishers); Joel-Peter Witkin, 2001-2002, Songs of Experience and Songs of Innocence, (21st Editions) [Photographs by Joel-Peter Witkin, poems by William Blake]; Joel-Peter Witkin, 2004, Songs of Innocence and Experience, (21st Editions) [Photographs by Joel-Peter Witkin, poems by William Blake]; Witkin, Joel-Peter, 2008, Joel-Peter Witkin, (Thames & Hudson) 
      

alan@luminous-lint.com

 
  
 
  

HomeContentsPhotographers > Photographers worth investigating

 
Robert Mapplethorpe  (1946-1989) • Nora Ness • Jan Saudek  (1935-) • Arthur Tress  (1940-) • Joel-Peter Witkin  (1939-)
HomeThemesErotica > Erotica and staged photography 
 
A wider gazeRelated topics 
  
Erotica 
 
  

HomeContentsOnline exhibitions > Erotica and staged photography

Please submit suggestions for Online Exhibitions that will enhance this theme.
Alan - alan@luminous-lint.com

 
  
ThumbnailRolf Koppel: Male Nudes 
Title | Lightbox | Checklist
Released (April 17, 2008)
 
  

HomeVisual indexes > Erotica and staged photography

Please submit suggestions for Visual Indexes to enhance this theme.
Alan - alan@luminous-lint.com

 
  
   Photographer 
  
ThumbnailJack Smith: The Beautiful Book 
ThumbnailStudio Biederer: Domination 
About this photographer | Photographs by this photographer 
 
  
   Themes 
  
ThumbnailDomination 
 
 
  
Refreshed: 30 March 2014, 23:32
 
  
 
  
HOME  BACKFREE NEWSLETTER
 Facebook LuminousLint 
 Twitter @LuminousLint