Body of Work
Three female photographers render sex-informed images, minus licentiousness
Media / 12 Apr 2011
With Terry Richardson approaching 46 and Last Night’s Party no longer a morning-after destination, there’s a new generation of sex-obsessed photographers focusing their lenses on the naked and the beautiful. The twist? The most promising talents in this nascent group of shutterbugs are women who, through their work, are turning notions of sexuality, voyeurism and provocativeness on their head.
Mari Sarai:
When she’s not snapping fully clothed portraits of Adele and Penelope Cruz, ads for Y-3 and Reebok, and fashions spreads for Vogue UK and Dazed and Confused, Mari Sarai likes her subjects to show plenty of flesh. The Tokyo-born, London-based photographer’s many au natural snaps of friends, models and famous faces alike make up her recently released debut book, aptly titled Naked. Although the poses—and in some cases, the women themselves—may look familiar, Sarai captures women’s sexuality in a way that is always celebratory and never lecherous. This is quite the feat, considering that Sari’s standout images include a close-up of a fishnet-covered crotch and a laughing woman in a bubble bath. Hugh Hefner, she isn’t.
Jessica Yatrofsky:
Growing up in Las Vegas left its mark on Jessica Yatrofsky. She’s since relocated to Brooklyn, but the twenty-something shutterbug remains fixated on the naked male body. But don’t confuse her photos, which can be viewed on her website I Heart Boy, with those found in Playgirl. The men she shoots are all pale, lithe hipster guys wearing nothing more than their tattoos, and the photos—sundrenched, hazy, and dream-like—represent a form of sexuality rarely seen in an era when masculinity is defined by the ’roided out guys on Jersey Shore. So compelling is her photography that it caught the attention of New York publishing company powerHouse Books, which released I Heart Boy, a collection of her Polaroids, earlier this year.
Laurel Nakadate:
Posing with men met on Craigslist might not be everyone’s idea of a good time, but for Laurel Nakadate, it’s proven to make good art. The photographer/filmmaker toes the line between Larry Clark and Sofia Coppola, with pieces that are as much about the finished product (lots of underwear, and some sensuous dancing) as the story behind it (Nakadate was first inspired to work with strangers after getting hit on in a Home Depot parking lot). Although the Iowa-raised artist spends plenty of time in front of the camera, she also has a knack for documenting teenage girls, portraying their burgeoning sexuality without getting exploitative. New Yorkers can catch her solo show, Only the Lonely, at MoMA PS1 through August 8.
©The Intelligence Group