Sookie Sirene - Various self-portraits

Among the thousands of people sacrifying to self-portraits, I sometimes, but rarely find something targeting my own obsessions and providing a strong visual equivalent to them. It is the case of Sookie Sirene, a photographer living in Oslo and using her own body and face as the subject of her work (at least for what I found about her, which is not much). It is a scenography of the most important human inner torments (anguish, fear, despair, self-destruction, seduction, sadness, boredom, pleasure) and once again, a woman did it, men being apparently not able to explore and use the deepest of their soul with the crudity and the lucidity of their female counterparts. Or maybe they (we) do not have this richness and strength in them (us). A historical heritage of centuries of male domination being now a terrible weakness in art. Sookie Sirene leaves a longing trace in our brain and finally, a sensation of a close intimity with her, these images destroying the usual distance photography puts between the viewed and the viewer. No site for this artist, only a facebook page here.


Nobuyoshi Araki -Various works

Strange I never posted anything from this great and famous japanese photographer before. Not that I share his obsessions for women in gynecologist postures or bonded or humiliated, but because it is one of the most influential image creator in the domain of body, only female it is to note. Based on a fascination for sex and death (Antoine d'Agata is one of his spiritual son in a way), I often see in his work a way to abolish the barrier between a picture designed to be seen as an esthetic work or as a support for sexual excitation. In another words, between art and porno. But since he was one of the pioneer, he deserves to be known and cited. Here I selected some images without bondage and in which I find a kind of visual poetry when in many (he is very prolific) there is much less. Born in 1940, he's a veteran now but his pictures look as fresh and juvenile as ever. You can have a glimpse on his work here.


Alberto García-Alix - Selected works


Few would deny that Alberto Garcia-Alix is one of the most important Spanish photographer of the last 20 years and this selection gives convincing credit to this statement. Being part of the La Movida movement, he's mainly interested in marginal people, but everybody knows that only in the margin you can write something personal, the rest is full of conventional wor(l)ds. I admit that I've a tropism for his pictures of nudity because it is after all the base of this blog, and also because he adds something to a domain so full of candidates and so few of creators. What I like is the fact that these portraits are neither only the exposition of unclothed bodies, neither their eroticized scenography. Pissing, showing their cunt, or only being there without giving a fuck of the camera, models give the impression that they're waiting the end of the shoot to do their stuff and only provide the posture asked by the photographer. And among the whole, a portrait of Johnny Thunders and another pix with Tav Falco. The last images are the artist himself. Long live to him (I'm not far from his age so it's a common wish maybe although death is finally nothing so terrible). His site here. Go and see much more, and maybe stuff you'll like much more than my personal selection.


Günter Blum

Born in 1956, this famous German erotic photographer died in 1997. He is often compared to Helmut Newton for his love of highly sophisticated women shot naked in somptuous environments. Not usually my personal taste but in some series, his rather fetichist approach of female body provides a strongly exciting iconography. An unusual excursion in this visual lands for me, but it's crucial to open his horizons from time to time. You can read and see more from this now classic master here. I recently used one of his pictures for a cover sleeve (an Adam and the Ants one, here)


Artur Żmijewski - Oko za oko (an eye for an eye)

Artur Żmijewski is not a Polish photographer per se but a multismedia artist using various materials. Here is a series of pictures associated with a short movie (11 min, posted below) called Oko za oko which means An eye for an eye, with a disabled man (one leg missing) as main character. Here is the description provided with the video: "Oko za oko (An Eye for an Eye) consists of a set of three large-format color photographs and a video. The photographs and video depict naked men with amputated limbs, accompanied by able-bodied people, who in the staged photographs and in the film "lend" their limbs to the amputated as they stroll, climb stairs or bathe. The naked bodies of the protagonists were assembled by the artist in complex compositions creating bodily hybrids: two-headed men, men with two pairs of arms etc., and at the same time the appearance of new able-bodied organisms in which the “healthy” supply the amputated with substitute limbs. The title of Zmijewski's work recalls the antique rule of dispensing justice, but the artist is not concerned with the question of revenge but with that of possibilities". A way to show alter ego compensation in opposite to help, pity, charity. But more importantly, this is visually appealing. Born in 1966, Żmijewski achieved this work in 1998 at 32, showing a great maturity in the way he treats such a subject. He's now a rather respected artist but I didn't see such a strong work in his subsequent projects. Maybe I missed some.