Gesture of Intimacy
I started my art career as a painter. One of my first passions was drawing the nude figure. When I began working with photography, I made that natural extension of working with the nude model. That was nearly 40 years ago. Today I continue to work with the nude figure in the studio, in nature and in abstraction. It's still one of my favorite genre of photography.
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The subject of my first solo exhibition, Minutiae was displayed at the International Gallery of Contemporary Art in Anchorage, Alaska in 1989. This body of work came out of experiments with Polaroid Type 665 and 668 instant film. Using a Hasselblad camera, each camera original was 2" square. Minutiae referred to both the diminutive size of the print and the abstraction of body parts that made up the subject matter. The symmetrical lighting played with the relationship of positive and negative space.
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This body of work was an homage to love and the unspoken consent of desire. The images exhibited are a visual love poem.
Love and desire can be communicated in ways other than the spoken word. Not only with a gesture of a hand, but also through the posture of the body. The way one carries themselves—a tilt of the head, a stance, a look or a movement—can speak volumes and communicate a message that, consciously or unconsciously, we each send and receive every waking moment. Body language is universal. Except for subtle gestures that may be artifacts from a particular culture, almost any man or woman would understand the intent of desire in a gesture regardless of the verbal language.
Over time, through photographing my model, I have come to see the familiar gestures in my images that are the foundation of our relationship. I see the openness we have cultivated and the love and desire that is felt between two people.
There are many layers of intimacy in this work. Possibly the most hidden is the intimacy displayed by my model. Her level of trust in me allows me to photograph her in this way and is a testament to the depth of intimacy that has grown between us. The part played by the artist is another. What I evoke from the subject and what I choose to photograph are the intimacies I have with my model and the medium in which I work. The last level of intimacy is what the viewer sees; the implication of intimacy in gesture and stance by the subject photographed. As you can see, this body of work is more than mere documentation. It is the product of a relationship between two lovers—one seen and one implied.
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