January 23, 2012

Irving Penn - The Dancer

Irving Penn was a great, really great photographer, one of the greatest of last century. Here is a late series he shot with a dancer called Alexandra Beller. I don't feel inspired enough (and good in English enough) to write seomething more interesting than this text I found on this site, it's about one of the above picture. So the best is to post it "In 1999 Irving Penn made this tremendous series, in which he photographed dancer Alexandra Beller posing and dancing nude. The fleshy and voluptuous woman stands fully lit in the center of the frame. She is facing the camera, her knees slightly bent and feet arched up so only her toes would be holding her frame if were not for extended arms and flayed hands positioned against the rubbery dark backdrop. Her left breast juts out, creating a crescent moon shadow beneath and her torso is slightly tilted as a slight backward bend gives way to a head completely dropped back, so we cannot see her face. Her head is completely extended backwards, much like the woman in Man Ray’s piece. Except now we get auxiliary information; a whole body in fact. The image is sexual, dynamic and forceful and if such a thing as positive representation of the female exists in modern culture through the lens of contemporary art rhetoric, than it has been accomplished by Penn in his vision and documentation, and by Bella in her performance." You can see the complete series here.

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