Human skin. It is the obsession with human skin that drives many nude photographers to do what they do. Great nude photography seems to create an imaginary link that connects a flat picture portraying a nude body to a real sensory impression of touch and feel. In such works, we seem to be able relate to a particular person and the skin is the connection we need to build that link to another person.
Skin is the largest surface of the human body and it is like a giant fingerprint unique for each individual. The imaginary link works precisely because the skin texture is so unique – we recognize it for its singularity – but special lighting is required to see that texture and once we see it we’ve got a connection. We want to touch it, we want to feel it, we want to know how it feels to interact with that surface, and with that other person. To find the most beautiful way to show that texture and to transform its beauty into a sensory experience becomes the nude photographer’s primary obsession. Here is where decisions of framing, resolution, color grading, and print sizing are taken which create a unique communication channel for the artist’s point of view.
A bad nude photograph operates on stereotypes – when we see such photography we see a nude body as a representation of all other bodies we’ve seen and we relate to it as such – a nude body composite. Our brain seems to love stereotypes as it creates mental shortcuts and consumes less energy to process information. From an evolutional perspective, it is smart to assume that all snakes are venomous even when some are not, people who assumed otherwise probably died of snake bites. The drawback of stereotypical thinking is that while it probably speeds up our mental processing it seems to neglect important facts about our surroundings and it fails to alert us that the world around is changing. Without a proper alert system we might end up operating on mental models that are no longer valid or never have been and we end up spending our lives chasing ghosts.
Chasing ghosts is exactly what commercial nude photography has managed to create by relying heavily on stereotypes. This type of photography is rather new, probably started by Playboy, when it decided that “sexy” means having blond hair, curvy figure, big chest and slim pussy. The images are made as a product to be paid for by paying subscribers guaranteeing them sexual arousal and satisfaction. Such images are not created for appreciation, thinking or emphasizing with the person photographed – it is created with one single job in mind – arousal via the quickest mental shortcut possible. In this type of photography everything is designed and created to be generic – any traces of personality in such pictures are removed – the skin is replaced in Photoshop by digital texture; tattoos, scars, piercing are removed; make up is heavy and generic; clothes are standardized to fit specific male fantasy genres; models are often themselves stereotypes of trendy looks or retouched in Photoshop to fit one.
In this set we want to show Katya in a way she has not been photographed before. We don’t have to sell you Katya’s beauty, you most likely have seen her before and you know she looks great. Instead we want to catch Katya’s stunning body, illuminated by beautiful light of morning sun rays. It is our tribute to the beauty of the human body independent and free from sexually charged social constructs.
Check Katya’s set here