Fine Art: The Voyeur Project

Bronze Nude - 14 x 21 duotone $1100

Bronze Nude 14 x 21 duotone, serial # 11590

The Voyeur project was inspired by one of my mentors, Chip Simone. While Chip was reviewing one of my artistic nude photographs, “Bronze Nude”, he asked me a question which caused me a bit of discomfort. He asked me if I was a voyeur. His question was not meant in a derogatory context but to cause me to examine my own feelings about my work. I thought about that question and the famous 1995 quote by Helmut Newton came to mind: “Any photographer who says he’s not a voyeur is either stupid or a liar”. I began to realize that, as a photographer, I experience a lot of pleasure through the visual experience. I started to understand how the camera might satisfy a voyeuristic fantasy. I asked myself what does voyeurism mean and I launched the “Voyeur Project” where I would explore the different meanings and interpretations of voyeurism. The Phantasm Collection was the first interpretation of the voyeur construct; others followed but the Phantasm Collection remains one of my favorite interpretations.

My general definition of voyeurism is the act of viewing something sensual from a remote or distant vantage and through some type of physical barrier. These barriers are key to experiencing voyeurism and are key to my interpretations of the construct. In every collection, I define a construct by which artistic nudes are photographed through some type of barrier. In a society where AIDS leaves people afraid to engage in the sexual freedom of the 1960’s, and personal interactions are conducted more frequently over the telephone and Internet there are many physical barriers that stand between people and their sexual desire. What once only lived in our dreams has manifest itself in reality through technology at an ever increasing pace. My interpretations of voyeurism are intended to make a societal statement about our hang ups with sexuality and challenge the viewers feelings about their own fantasies and long distance sexual relations.

Some interpretations of the Voyeur construct like the Phantasm Collection are abstract where others like the Noir Voyeur are very literal. If you find yourself looking at the images in the Voyeur project and feel aroused, uneasy, disturbed, embarrassed, or confused look inward and ask yourself what skeletons of your imagination, dreams and fantasies are you denying?

The Phantasm Collection is a body of abstracted artistic nudes. The “Phantasm” represents a surreal, ghostly character seemingly in another world. The Phantasm experience is like looking into a cosmic disturbance where a distant life form is intermittently taking shape in the physical universe. The Phantasm collection contains several series, each with a single model interacting with the photographer through a translucent barrier which adds to the mystery and the abstraction of the nude figure. Each series is sequenced to portray a surreal, almost cyber-sexual encounter. Each Phantasm has a different personality. Sometimes the Phantasm seems as if she is distant, unaware and untouchable. Sometimes she seems to be reaching out for help. Sometimes she seems to know there is someone out there as she puts on a seductive show to attract and tease the viewer.

The “Noir Voyeur” series presents a more literal interpretation of the voyeur concept. Instead of abstracting the image by shooting through a translucent material, these images are sharp, low key figures shot behind window blinds. This series presents the femme fatale subject similar in context to the noir style of film. Each image captures and conveys a unique mood and sense of character. The women in these images are confident, sensual, proud, and powerful in their visual persona. Their sexual appeal is evoked more by their self confidence and comfort with their nudity than from their innate beauty. Shooting these subjects dressing behind window blinds is intended to convey a strong sense of voyeurism – as if spying on the (perhaps) unaware subject. The images in this series are intended to be viewed in sequence, as a group, conveying exhilaration by the voyeur’s discovery in the final image. As the viewer we’re never quite sure if we are the voyeur or if the model is an exhibitionist.

Bronze Nude – 14″ x 21″ duotone, $1100 may be purchased using the Paypal button below: