It was 1966, the movie Blow-Up was in theaters. David Hemmings is a young photographer, both journalist and fashion photographer, a combination I would never imagine. The plot, he unknowingly captures the death of a man after following two lovers in a park. I guess you could add voyeur to his CV. All of that was interesting of course, but my favorite scene, I was 18 years old at the time, was the naked models frolicking on the studio backdrop.
By the early 1980s and I had developed a serious interest in shooting nudes as fine art. This was a radical departure from the assignment work I shot for my livelihood. These two photographs were early efforts.
The first photograph (c.1982) was a friend. I was experimenting with drag exposure and contrasty light. The second, taken 10 years later was a natural light exposure. I sometimes wonder, what brought me to this particular genre? I’ll digress here to mention that I have always been fascinated by structure, light and negative space. It may be why, for a good chunk of my career, I specialized in architecture. I now find my approach to nudes is both sculptural and architectural; I am using structure, negative space and light here as well. The difference being that I can totally control the elements in the studio. No tour buses will come into my frame as I am about to shoot. My studio is a spare environment, I shoot mostly without props with simple backdrops, mostly in black and white. Working with women of all size and age, I take an austere approach to create the shapes I want, I think of the body as clay. I want to mold the image to capture a rhythm and flow of curves, straight lines, contrasting angles, light and shadow.
The new series is called Nus Feminins, comprised at this time of about 24 women’s photographs.