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Nudes/Human Form Newsletter Vol. 4

photo-eye's Nudes/Human Form Newsletter features books that explore the human form in a variety of ways. Past editions can be found here.

Jane Hilton’s new monograph, Precious, explores the lives of women working in Nevada’s brothels. After completing a BBC commission of ten documentary films on the subject, Hilton returned to Madam Kitty's Cathouse with her plate camera, creating a series of engaging color portraits that give the viewer a glimpse into the lives of these working women. Photographing each partially clothed or in the nude, the slowness of Hilton's technique allowed her time to bond with her subjects. The beautiful images feature a wide range of women and body types and are all striking their intimacy. The book closes with Hilton's interviews with her subjects, offering  insight into their varied backgrounds. These touching, candid stories breathe new life into the photographs, empowering them through the act of image making and storytelling.

Breasts is a small saddle-stitched collection of found images compiled by Belgian graphic designer Jurgen Maelfeyt. The images are culled from vintage girly magazines, each cropped to feature just the breasts and some small hints at the contents of complete photograph. Images are reproduced as full page spreads, keeping the focus on the breasts -- which is probably where eyes would gravitate even if the entire photograph was pictured -- while also occasionally abstracting the subject matter. Maelfeyt's books from Art Paper Editions are thoughtfully designed and composed. Printed with a Risograph, which gives a lo-fi graininess to the reproductions, the book has the look of a furtive, homemade publication -- a selection of favorites resulting from a "research project."

If you’ve ever picked up a copy of Vanity Fair or spent time in a boys’ dormitory, you’ve been exposed to a Purienne photograph. Purienne is a photographer of American Apparel fame whose models are always basking in sunlight on a beach, lounging in a jungle-like backyard scene, or leaning, half-clothed, from the window a polished vintage car; even if you don’t know his name, you’ve see his work.

Purienne’s self-titled debut book has a few surprises as well as his trademark standards. There is no lack of femme fatales, but Purienne also includes a healthy mixture of exterior landscapes, sophisticated looking cars, and grungy South African and Californian interiors.

Purienne’s lens captures a uniform world of sex-soaked, wet-haired women and steel blue eyes; the world of James Bond on vacation. This is fashion photography envisioned by a young hipster, a lo-fi world of malaise lacquered faces. His models have a uniform appearance with full lips, long disheveled hair, and casual poses. Purienne’s world is a world of green, blue, and white trimmed at its edges by a saturate light. His is a world of ironic coyness. This book will have a specific audience -- college boys -- but also lovers of vice and desire in the broadest sense. -- Christopher J. Johnson

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