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(Credit: Yasuji Watanabe)


The changing world of erotic photography


In 1839, when Louis Daguerre presented the world with the first high-quality camera, with images that didn’t fade, he opened the world up to a new age of sexual liberation. Traditionally, nude art at the time in France had to be approved by the French government. Essentially, this practice was to ensure that the images produced had a certain artistic integrity, shall we say. The very first nude images were also orchestrated by artists and were initially dubbed as aids for the painters to work from. 

However, now you could probably take a nude photograph of yourself in the next five seconds as you read this. Thus, as the world has changed, so too has nude photography along with it. As a modern pioneer of the field, Parisian photographer Laurent Benaïm is not someone who sees his camera as a paintbrush depicting pretty pictures and more so a means to bottling an emotion. “I have no criteria for aesthetic selection, only the expression of human desire interests me,” he once opined.

This naturalistic process is key to Benaïm’s overall artistic aim. “I’ve always been fascinated by sex, the diversity of practices, the will and perseverance of people to realize their fantasies,” Benaïm explains. “These moments of pleasure captivate me in all their forms: the beautiful, the ugly. I have no criteria for aesthetic selection, only the expression of human desire interests me.”

This is just one of the many approaches that modern photographers have taken as the art continues to develop. The Taschen publication, The New Erotic Photography curated by Dian Hanson has collated this unfurling journey and collected the finest examples of erotic photography in recent times.

As the book’s summary explains: “The featured photographers include new names Gregory Bojorquez, Jo Schwab, Tomohide Ikeya, Frédéric Fontenoy, Andrew Pashis, and Jan Hronsky, as well as established artists Guido Argentini, Bruno Bisang, Eric Kroll, and the late Bob Carlos Clarke. Several outstanding women are also featured in this edition, including erotic film star Kimberly Kane, digital pioneer Natacha Merritt, heavy metal skateboarder Magdalena Wosinska, self-portraitist Jody Frost, and cover artist April-lea Hutchinson.”

The book perfectly depicts how art and sexual liberation are indelibly interwoven. In some ways, this is more apparent in erotic photography than in any other realm. In short, nudity lifts the curtain on society in a truly figurative sense. Below you can see a snapshot of the finest examples of where we find ourselves now as we seemingly move away from abstractionism and bring the power of femininity to the fore in all of its guises.

The New Erotic Photography is available by clicking here.

The New Erotic Photography:

(Credit: Aloisov)
(Credit: Perry Gallagher)
(Credit: Petter Hegre)
(Credit: Cyril Torrent)
(Credit: Ed Fox)
(Credit: Taschen)
(Credit: Taschen)