- Gebundene Ausgabe: 1 Seiten
- Verlag: TWIN PALMS PUBL; Auflage: 1 (1. Februar 2001)
- Sprache: Englisch
- ISBN-10: 9780944092880
- ISBN-13: 978-0944092880
- ASIN: 0944092888
- Größe und/oder Gewicht: 26 x 3,2 x 26 cm
- Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 2 Kundenrezensionen
- Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 1.387.005 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
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Premiere Nudes (Englisch) Gebundenes Buch – 1. Februar 2001
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During the 1920s. a time when the United States was, from all appearances, open to artistic experimentation, a Bay Area photographer named Albert Arthur Allen unwittingly took on the Goliath of nudity and politics. An obscure figure who operated outside the margins of the fine art community, Allen was known to a small coterie of clients who bought boudoir studies, pictures of comely young voluptuaries. (In Europe these photographic etudes were an acknowledged integral part of the academic tradition.) A homespun aesthetician who had a marked propensity for self-invention, Allen produced photographic protfolios that were initially inspired by the naturist movement. Today his images, which are typically perceived as high camp, are more familiar than his name.
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Mr. Allen will probably be remembered primarily as a pioneer in presenting full frontal female nudity. For this, he spent many years being prosecuted as a pornographer. The images here surpass in being explicit what you would see in an "R" rated movie.
Mr. Allen's best work was from 1916-1923 when he worked outdoors with naturists. The work will remind you of Jock Sturges's images. These were often modestly done, and create a wonderful mood of outdoor idylls. I enjoyed almost all of these works, which he referred to as Alo Studies.
He was permanently disabled in 1923 in an accident and had to work indoors thereafter. Mr. Allen was not a good studio photographer. His models were often awkward, they were posed in artificial ways that are often unappealing, and he published a lot of subpar images. His best studio work was of individuals posed to look like classic statuary.
Supported by a wealthy family until he went bankrupt in 1927, Mr. Allen had enormous sums to spend on his work. He published a lot despite having had only one solo show. He was able to hire as many models as he wanted.
Without having to pass critical tests, his work went off on tangents. He had strange ideas about how the physical type of a person determined other things about them. He did "classifying" photography to help establish these types. One cannot help but feel that this was in some ways a psychological cover to legitimize his fascination with naked, comely young women. Undoubtedly, his disability may have played a psychological role here.
At his worst, the work is exploitive. Imogen Cunningham was doing outstanding nudes at the same time, and the contrast could not be stronger. I thought his work in "The Boudoir" showed this tendency the most. The work in "Vacation" looked like an early Playboy pictorial.
Overall, his style came closest to Pictorialism, featuring a soft focus and carefully retouched or painted over "private" areas.
After you finish enjoying this book's good points, perhaps you would benefit from thinking about the importance of capturing truth in expression. Where do you see, hear, touch and feel truth being expressed? How can you tell? Why does the essential truth touch us so much more than artifice that misses the truth?
See past the images being represented to capture the essence of what is being revealed.
Allen's work could certainly be seen as a reflection of the "high-flying spirit of the Roaring Twenties" and seemed to appeal less to the art collectors of the time than it did to gentlemen who in later times would be fancying Playboy and Penthouse. This is not meant to impugn the artistic merit of Allen's work at all, just the opposite. Allen was just a lot more daring than his peers and this generated an electrifying element of excitement to his photographs, something can still be felt to this day. Initially, a lot of his models were fellow naturists, but towards the end of the 20's he started to recruit more from newspaper advertisements, targeting women who had come to California to chase dreams of stardom. Allen's young women were "clearly crossing the line of acceptable behavior for a proper woman - and they new it." That's exactly what makes this work so exciting, so deliciously naughty. Do whatever you have to do to get your hands on this book - it will not disappoint.
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The text about the photographer actually went a bit academic and on too long for me, so after a chapter or so in, I stopped reading and started just flipping through the photos themselves. The way they treat the photos is interesting - some of them are left on the sides of the text, and it's not until later in the book that you get full-page photos. Those were the highlight for me - classic ladies in period accessories, nude for the camera and often repetitively posed from one model and photo to the next.