“Don’t expect grunge to come back into fashion when Francis Bean comes of age”
Forgetting the fact that we’re in July and the weather in London is this awful, I’m looking forward to Winter which means furs, felt, wool, leather and brocade, starting with the amuse bouche that is Carven Hiver 11. I’m salivating.
Recently I have been toying with a new side project, another tumblr blog named My Boyfriend’s a Photographer, “an exploration love and the perception of beauty through a lens”, in which I post photographs of women taken by their lovers.
This poses interesting questions when studying each of the images. How does knowing that the loving look each woman shines back at us is meant for the person behind the lens alter the way we see these images? Do they take on an inherent feeling of intimacy and therefore have more of an impact on the viewer than mere portraits of these women would? Does placing these photographs under such a particular context force the viewer to perceive the images in a certain way?
The initial concept for this project was born from a recent conversation, in which a young photographer expressed his distaste for a certain type of work often produced by fellow photographers - the series of the nude or semi-nude girlfriend that doesn’t admit it is such, and instead is titled something pretentious and overly artistic under the guise that the protagonist in each image has little to do with the subject matter the image is exploring.
I found this an interesting notion, and sought to find these types of series and images. However in the searching for photographs taken by lovers of their lovers (not an easy task I may add), I began to see a certain beauty within them. What was a wry, if not cynical stance on these images begun to develop into appreciation. I feel as though I occupy a privileged position when I look at intimate portraits, as I, the viewer, essentially come between the image maker and the image.
Take this image, a portrait by Brighton-based photographer Sam Hiscox of his girlfriend. What was initially a portrait of a young, attractive girl is transformed with the knowledge that she looks not at the cold glass of the lens with those doe eyes, but through it, to the eyes of the man she loves. I believe this added context accentuates the pre-existing beauty of this image and creates something even more powerful.
Although simply a work in progress for now, I hope to have a good set of thought and emotion provoking images up soon. For now, you can see what’s already up there at:
Today, via Vice’s annual Photo issue, I chanced across the all-female collective the Ardorous;
The definition of Ardour being both ‘an often restless or transitory warmth of feeling’ and ‘sexual excitement’, this aptly named collective seem to capture a dreamy combination of ephemeral youth and beauty, summer’s balmy haze and the ever-popular vintage film aesthetic in their variety of individual series and images curated by Petra Collins.
I could wax lyrical about each contributors work and would love to post each series in its entirety, but for now I will settle with posting these choice images that to me are evocative of the work of Ryan McGinley and Coppola’s The Virgin Suicides, a dreamy combination.
From the Series Cherry Blossom Girl
Tropical Hot Dog Night