Monday, 4 February 2013
2013 will be the fortieth anniversary of my photographs first appearing, very gradually, in print. And, after 40 years, it's the first time I've ever been offered a show of my erotica.
Other than in a few coffee table collections in the '90s and the Model Mayhem website, it's work that hasn't been seen before. And it's certainly never been exhibited anywhere.
It's an area of photography in which I've always been interested but, until fairly recently, never had all that much confidence in myself.
Ten years ago I showed my erotica to the well known publisher Miki Bunge. He said it simply wasn't good enough. He also said there were too many bathrooms and he was sick and tired of looking at bathrooms in photographer's portfolios. Although I was left slightly bruised by his comments, I quickly came to see that he was dead right on both counts.
But I didn't give up and, since that point, I think my erotica has developed quite a bit. And I should probably use the qualification "erotica, for want of a better word" when describing my work. Some may even disagree that it qualifies as such and I don't think I'd mind that. There really isn't that much difference between my erotica and my portraiture. Other than all the photographs are of women and they are wearing less. "Naked portraits" might even be a more accurate term.
It sometimes takes me months, even in some cases years, to come to terms with some of the photographs I've shot. I think this is because I'm not in total control when making the photographs and it's intended to be that way, in order to make the best of any serendipity that fall my way. Most of my real control comes in my choice of model. After that they get little to zero specific direction from me. Some models don't like that approach at all but, usually, I don't like that kind of model either. I think the trick is to photograph models who live interesting and creative lives outside of being models (like the performance artist Miss Crash and Lapine above, who is a film student and keen photographer herself). After that, everything becomes much easier, not least in finding genuine reasons to make the photographs in the first place.
If the show is going to happen and things are still at the discussion stage, it'll be at the Society Club in Soho and in due course I'll post the dates on here.