Gracelands (Plaster #12)
London, September 2012
From the Skintones series
“Every nude betrays its author” — Carlo Mollino
Roxie very kindly shot the “Monograph” portrait with me. I wont attempt to explain the metaphor, it’s not particularly deep or clever, I only mention it for the fact it has some relevance later on…
I normally use a ring flash which gives a very flat even light, sometimes used in fashion shoots, frequently models express a dislike for them as the effect is considered unflattering. Roxie arrives, we prep, prop and pose. Pop! Or rather not. The flash has died between the morning’s test run and pressing the shutter.
Improv with a studio light, shoot on medium format, scan and colour correct. The image looked as I intended abut didn’t “feel” like I had wanted. The lighting emphasising, nudging it into art nude territory.
I’m on record saying my work isn’t about exaggerating the body beautiful – there are plenty of people already shooting very graceful art nudes, the world doesn’t need me adding to them. So after posting it online for a few hours, I pulled it.
As a paranoid insurance, and because I love them, I had taken a Polaroid snap at the shoot’s end. Not exactly candid but without the purpose in the official medium format shots. The Polaroid capturing all I wanted to get across. The image was originally conceived at Summer’s start and it’s taken this long for Roxie and I to get together to shot. In the meantime I’ve gone from lomo to lighting, but concept remaining the same as it was back in the days of lofi. Seems the moral is: if your metaphor is lightweight and throwaway then use a methodology to match.
The result a perfect marriage. Sometimes, for an idea to work it only requires a few brush strokes.