February 19, 2012

Michael Rosen - Sexual Art

Between 1985 and 1993, Michael Rosen provided a tender, amusing and subversive iconography of sexuality via friends and relatives posing in various sexual-derived postures (theirs surely) that were hitherto hidden (with some exceptions from other photographers) in the obscure places associated with the worst of bleak and devil part of humanity. A judeo-christian (and more widely religious) vision of sex that one day we'll have to escape from, if we want to live in peace with our bodies, our sexual pulsions and fantasies that are one of the most pleasant aspects of life and in which we often resolve symbolically the deepest wounds of our soul and self-esteem. Here's a paragraph about these pictures driven from the text of the book Sexual Art that you can dl freely on his site here : "Often we can see ourselves in the subjects, even when who they are or what they are doing is foreign to us. We find smiles and laughter where we expected snakes and toads. We find warm, open, loving human beings where we thought there could only be demons and psychopaths. We find complex emotional matrices rather than one-dimensional simplicities. A sense of universality emerges; the sense of Otherness diminishes. This is an essential part of Michael’s mission, and an important facet of his skill: his ability to humanize sexualities that are more commonly reduced to alienating stereotypes. We respond to these photos with parts of ourselves that are not used to being disturbed or exposed, parts that live deep in the belly of the unconscious". I couldn't imagine adding something more intelligent to that. I selected my fave pix from the book but encourage you to see more to make your own choice. He did other series (a recent one in 2005) but there'll be no more this joyous atmosphere in them.

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