fetishism - sexual fetishism - erotic photography
Gilles Berquet: La Solitude des Anges (1994) - Gilles Berquet [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]
Steve Diet Goedde photograph sourced here.
A fetish photographer is a photographer who takes photographs of people in fetishistic situations, such as in bondage, or wearing rubber or leather clothing. More extreme fetish photography depicts paraphiliac acts such as urination, enemas, or SM activities.
A bondage photographer is a fetish photographer specialising in depictions of people in bondage.
Depending on your point of view, fetish photography can be fine art, erotica, pornography or perhaps a combination of these.
Once only published in bondage magazines, fetishistic photography is now also published as "art books". The publisher Taschen has been a prominent force in getting fetishistic imagery accepted into the mainstream. Bondage and fetish imagery has also made its way into mainstream pornographic magazines.
The pioneering fetish photographer was arguably John Willie, who published a famous fetishistic magazine, "Bizarre" from 1946 to 1959.
Photographers whose work has involved fetishistic elements:
Count Theodore Zichy, photographer
“Count” Theodore Zichy was a British photographer, born in Austria in 1908 who commonly photographed women’s legs and feet. His 1948 portfolio “Chiaroscuros” played off of the erotic sexual fantasies of modern man, featuring photographs of women’s legs and chains.
Corset, 1962 - Jeanloup Sieff
Shot in New York. 'It was the beautiful Anka, with her desperately tiny waist, who posed in this 1900 corset. In spite of her slim figure, she found it difficult to breathe,' Jeanloup Sieff. Reproduced in 'Jeanloup Sieff: 40 years of Photography', Evergreen (1996) page 131.
Jeanloup Sieff 1933 - 2000 was a practitioner of the photographic art of high fashion, and avowed a fidelity to the frivolous and superficial. His legacy places him in the top rank of fashion and art photographers. --wikipedia.org, Apr 2004
The Philosopher Illumined by Candlelight - Alva Bernadine
The Philosopher Illumined by Candlelight - Alva Bernadine
I once listened to a late night BBC Radio 4 programme called Sex in the Head where people described their sexual fantasies and on it a woman described how she enjoyed her partner reading his newspaper by the light of a candle placed in her vagina.
The image stayed in my head and 2 or 3 years later I was able to find a couple who agreed to model for the picture.
The book the Philosopher is reading is entitled The Destiny of the Mind East and West.
List of fetish photographers' works
- Irina Ionesco[Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]
Irina Ionesco was born in Paris in 1935, the daughter of Romanian immigrants. She spent her childhood years in Constanta, Romania, at the threshold between East and West, before returning to France in 1946. Her first photographs appeared in the 1960s. Since 1970, her work has been exhibited in France, Italy, Spain, Belgium, England, Egypt, the US, Japan and Germany. Irina Ionesco lives and works in Paris. "I adore all that is excessive, dreamlike, curious. So I have adopted as my own these words by Baudelaire: 'In art, only the bizarre is beautiful.'"
For Irina Ionesco, photography is a poetic medium. The pictures of female nudes collected here are witness to genuine encounters between women and, because Ionesco's daughter Eve is frequently the subject of her photography, between mother and daughter. Born in Paris, Ionesco spent her childhood years in the port city of Constanta, Romania. Deeply affected by the loss of her mother in childbirth, her photography is also the pursuit of the motif of suffering: the painful experience of the absence not only of her mother's affection, but of the memory of her image. This desire for an encounter with a mother's face is a dual one: Ionesco strives to recreate a sense of both visual recognition and affection in an ethical sense. --http://www.children-in-art.com/eva/en/irina_ionesco.html
- Sex (1992) - Madonna, Steven Meisel [Amazon US]
In 1992 Madonna released an erotic book called Sex. Adult in nature, it featured Madonna as the centerpiece of photographs depicting various sexual fantasies and acts (including lesbianism, anal sex, sadomasochism, homosexuality and rape.) The book was bound in sheet metal and mylar, and came with a CD single of her new song "Erotic", which was packaged to look like a giant condom.
- Corpus Subtile - Helmut Wolech [Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]
Helmut Wolech: born 1954 in Vienna/Austria The desire to photograph was born out of his exploration of the literature of the Black Romantic movement (De Sade, Lautréamont) and his interest in Surrealism, Symbolism and Viennese Actionism.
He aims above all to visualize the interrelationships between the erotic, death, love, madness, perversion and extreme emotions.
- Motel Fetish - Chas Ray Krider, Chas Krider [Amazon US]
"Taschen is this art vampire. He's going to bite me on the neck and my art is going to have immortality." - Chas Ray Krider (from an interview with Eric Kroll)
A number of years ago I began to see distinctive layouts in Hustler's Leg World that got me nervous. The photographs were that good. Whoever it was had style and made the women his women. Krider women. Women I began to desire on a monthly basis. In the world of professional golf there is an expression "the world's greatest golfer not to win a major tournament." Chas Ray Krider was the world's greatest erotic photographer not to have a book.
Thanks to TASCHEN we now have over 160 Krider images to pore over. To salivate over. Like a good film noir, he takes us to lustful places. Is it a crime scene or a sea of lust? These beautiful, languid women wait for whom? For me. For you. They play the "waiting game" beautifully. An ass in the air, a pair of crossed legs in nylons, all bathed in warm tones. A still life unstuck in time. So this is what goes on behind closed doors?
Oh, I almost forgot. Alongside these many Midwest femme fatales is Dita, raven-haired icon. Not since Betty Page has a woman fleshed out so correctly a vintage girdle and bra ensemble.
Enjoy. He takes you places where you only vaguely think you have been. - Eric Kroll, editor and pupil
- Fantasies of Fetishism: From Decadence to the Post-human Amanda Fernbach [Amazon UK]
At the dawn of the 21st century, Western culture is marked by various fantasies that imagine our future selves and their forms of embodiment. These fantasies form part of a rapidly growing discourse about the future of the human form, the disappearing boundary between the human and the technological and the cultural consequences of greater human-technological integration. This book is about those cultural fantasies of fetishism, the different forms they take and the various ways in which the transformative processes they depict can reaffirm accepted definitions of identity or reconfigure them in an entirely new fashion. This book argues that the orthodox interpretation of "classical" fetishism is not and never has been up to the task of explaining all cultural fetishisms. It identifies several forms of fetishism - decadent fetishism, magical fetishism, matrix fetishism and immortality fetishism - and accounts for its sometimes radical and productive edge. Ranging widely over texts and cultures, Amanda Fernbach applies these concepts of fetishism to topics in cultural studies, such as sexual difference, queer identities, computer culture and the "post-human" and also to her objects of study: cross-cultural dressers, techno-fetishists, cyberspace cowboys, cyborgs, geekgirls and SM/fetish cultures. This book argues that fetishism can contest postmodern malaise and provide utopian tools for a post-human existance. It urges that we embrace the new fetishism emerging from the fringes of the fetish scene and that we begin to classify fetishism in a manner that does justice to its multiplicity.
- City of Broken Dolls - Romain Slocombe [Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]
Tokyo metropolis. Both in hospital rooms and on the neon streets, beautiful young Japanese girls are photographed in plastercasts and bandages, victims of unknown traumas. These are the "broken dolls" of Romain Slocombe's Tokyo, a city seething with undercurrents of violent fantasy, fetishism and bondage. City of the Broken Dolls is a provocative photographic document of the girls whose bodies bear mute witness to Tokyo's futuristic, erotic interface of sex and technology. --Book Description, amazon.com
- Prisoner of the Red Army - Romain Slocombe [Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]
Influenced in equal part by '70s Japanese porn movies, the bondage art of Eric Stanton, and the revolutionary doctrines of Chairman Mao, this is a modern classic of dominance and submission.
- The Beauty of Fetish - Steve Diet Goedde [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]
Steve Diet Goedde is a self-taught erotic photographer who has made a name for himself by going against the traditional cliches of erotic photography. While most erotic photographers explore nude landscapes, Goedde prefers to survey the sensual appeal of fetishism. While lovingly documenting such textures as latex, PVC, and leather, Goedde manages to remind us that there are indeed people under the clothing. In addition to the high degree of eroticism, a sense of individuality and warmth seep through his portraits and settings. His first hardcover retrospective "The Beauty of Fetish" was just released by renowned Swiss publisher Edition Stemmle.
- Revenge (2003) - Ellen Von Unwerth [Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]
Though I understand the opinions expressed in the other commentator's reviews on the book being too small a format. I found the small format to add to the intimacy of the content. The size is small and intimate a little book to tuck into a purse, a silken drawer, under a pillow. Its physical size matches the intimate unmentionables that the book plays with. The details of the small S&M line drawings on the inside covers also add to the intimacy and playfullness of her book. And of course, the photographs are gorgeous. --meixlan from CA USA [Ellen Von Unwerth]
- Helmut Newton: Postcard Book - Helmut Newton [Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]
Born in Berlin in 1920, Helmut Newton achieved international fame in the 1970s while principally working for French "Vogue". This postcard book contains some of his work, reflecting the photographer's emphasis on images of powerful, sexually predatory women.
The German-born photographer has put all flesh behind him. No more shots of predatory naked women wearing chains and dog collars. No Amazonian voyeurs or sadomasochistic high-society belles. Those decadent scenarios with million-dollar models posing as midgets and wearing saddles -- images found in books like "Private Property" (Schirmer's Visual Library/Norton, 1990) and his most recent book, "Helmut Newton Illustrated #4" (Schirmer-Mosel, 1995), are a thing of the past. He has even bid adieu to his hard-edged fashion shots. In the new buttoned-up dispensation, the phrase "very Helmut Newton" will no longer be accompanied by knowing leers.
What was behind his decision? Not protests by feminists, or age, or mellowness, Newton says. It was just too much skin.
"It is like when I got tired of doing the bondage-dominated fashion shots in the early 1980s," he says. "I just couldn't bring anything new or fresh to the subject any more." --Joel Stratte-McClure, Salon 07
- Roy Stuart, Vol. 1 - Jean-Claude Baboulin [Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]
A book of erotic power rarely seen
"Animal sexuality differs from eroticism in that human sexuality is limited by taboos and the domain of eroticism is that of the transgression of these taboos" is how Georges Bataille explains eroticism. Casting a new light on that most human of acts, Roy Stuart presents us here with a book of erotic power rarely seen. The brilliant technique and skillful presentation of his videos and stills present sexuality directly and without prudery. They have earned this Paris based American a reputation as a grandmaster of the erotic camera.
- Robert Mapplethorpe - Black Book [Amazon US]
In his lifetime, Mapplethorpe did not need government assistance; he became a millionaire by selling his photographs in the marketplace. Jesse Helms, however, did bring Mapplethorpe his current fame. -- Tyler Cowen
Mapplethorpe presents an astonishing photographic study of black men today. In their diversity, impact, erotic appeal and deep humanity, these photographs constitute a stunning celebration of the contemporary black male. Black-and-white photos throughout. --Ingram
- Pictures: Robert Mapplethorpe - Robert Mapplethorpe [Amazon US]
Mapplethorpe, whose name is now synonymous with controversy, was renowned for his refined aesthetic and his willingness to confront taboos. In contrast to his classical portraits, nudes, and still lifes, his sex photographs and the reactions they engendered have been much discussed but less frequently seen. Edited and designed by Levas, this compilation of images (made between 1976 and 1980) showcases 103 beautifully reproduced duotone plates and demonstrates Mapplethorpe's intimate, personal vision of homosexuality and fetishism. Interview editor Ingrid Sischy provides a brief introductory essay that concisely contextualizes the work, explaining that while they may be shocking the photos are not pornographic. "Explicit pictures of homosexual sex don't make up a huge proportion of his work, but they are its underbelly." This handsome book is a welcome addition to the 100 books and articles listed in its bibliography, offering valuable documentation of an important artist. Highly recommended for specialized collections. --James E. Van Buskirk, San Francisco P.L. Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information, Inc via amazon.com
- Fruit of the Secret God: The Dark Erotic Images of John Santerineross - John Santerineross [Amazon US]
Fruit of the Secret God is a groundbreaking collection of dark erotic images from one of todays most unique photographers. The hauntingly resonant poetry of Victoria Rimerman accompanies his beautifully provoking images for which Bethalynne Bajema provides a revealing forward. Also included is an insightful article by respected critic and author, Philip Miller. Collected here are thought-provoking images from eight years of work, selected and printed by the artist for this unforgettable monograph. --amazon.com
- New York Girls - Richard Kern [Amazon US]
At first glance it is tempting to see Richard Kern as an imitator of Eric Kroll. This is hardly the case, but the comparison is inevitable. Both are New York photographers who specialize in fetish work, primarily photographing women. Both have a good sense of graphic imagery. In truth, though, the similarities end at the surface. Their intent and approach are radically different.
Kroll has a strong background in commercial and fashion photography which gives his images a more glitzy, mainstream look. Kern came to New York and immediately fell in with the extreme sex crowd. He spent his early years publishing little, Xeroxed magazines and making short films with such dark stars as Lydia Lunch, Nick Zedd and Cassandra Stark. In a sense, "New York Girls," marks a shift closer to mainstream fetish work.
These are harsh, revealing images. His color work reminds me a bit of Nan Goldin, but his black and white images are uniquely his own. The sexuality is blatant, sometimes erotic and sometimes not. There is a profound alienation in his images. These are people being sexual to and for themselves. They rarely meet the viewer's eyes. When they do face the camera it is to issue a challenge, to dare the viewer to cross the line into a solipsistic universe of tension and release.
Many of the photographs are haunting. There seem to be layers of content that keep the viewer's attention for hours. If you haven't encountered Kern's work before or a looking for the right collection of fetish work you will find this and excellent introduction to photography's more challenging visions. --Marc Ruby, amazon.com
- Kern Noir: Photographs by Richard Kern - Richard Kern [Amazon US]
This volume could also be called 'The Best of Richard Kern' as it presents a review of his work ranging from 1976 to 2001. Covering a wide range, we find bondage shots and girls with guns, as well as girls in the bedroom, bathroom and other scenarios, presenting an overview of Kern's interests and low-key fetish work.
Perhaps the strongest pictures are the close-up portrait shots, where the models reciprocate your gaze, as though daring you to enter their slightly dark and edgy world. In one shot, a small lizard crawls over a model's face, in the stark monochrome looking almost like a tribal tattoo. Most striking is the picture from 1993, simply titled 'Monica with Candle'. The model tilts her head backward and a lighted candle protrudes upright from her mouth. A very arresting picture the first time you see it (why that was not used on the cover is a mystery. Too provocative maybe?) Certainly a deeply erotic image.
Like all the best books of photography, this one starts well and gets better the more you look into it. A good one to keep on the bookshelf and delve into from time to time, and well worth buying.
- Realities - Jan Saudek [Amazon US]
Drawing on classical paintings, historical portraiture, and 19th-century pornographic studio photographs, the erotic images of Jan Saudek reveal a world of fantasy where artistic play and expression are given free range. Using elaborate backdrops and magical costumes, Saudek is both voyeur and participant, photographer and model, shifting back and forth in a style that lends the term autoportraiture new meaning. These 146 color photographs, featuring new and previously unpublished images with Saudek's commentaries, are as much about the artist as about the characters he creates. As Saudek states, "I don’t have the capacity to portray other people’s lives. I am portraying my own." "Spending time with Saudek’s images is an unsettling experience, a roller-coaster ride of attraction and repulsion, confirmation and confrontation." — The Spectator for amazon.com
- The Transformations of Gwen Volume 1 - Eric Kroll [1 book, Amazon US]
As a serious collector of photography, I have long been a fan of Eric Kroll. His vision is erotic, exotic, sometimes bizarre, always provoking. His Gwen series is an exciting followup to his previous collections like Fetish Girls and Beauty Parade, in that here he approaches photography as sequential art, a visual approach that adds context and implied storylines to the titillating images. Kroll picks up where the art of John Willie and Eric Stanton left off, adding his photographic skills and eye for beauty, mixing in sex and eroticism, tossing in a dash of over-the-edge shock-you images. Maybe this book (and its sequel Transformations of Gwen Vol. 2) are not for the timid, but it's the cutting-edge fantasy that wet dreams are made of. --Shirrel Rhoades for amazon.com
- Tokyo Sex Underground - Romain Slocombe, Jack Sargeant [1 book, Amazon US] Those who purchased TOKYO SEX UNDERGROUND by Romain Slocombe probably expected a titillating photo expose of the raunchy side of Tokyo at night. The majority of the reviewers listed above were clearly disappointed by what was admittedly a grainy set of pictures of women who seemed unwilling or unhappy about being included. The reviewer for Amazon.Com called this book 'stunning.' Stunning is not the right word although I saw a running theme that the other reviewers may have overlooked. What I did see was not porn although some of the women were porn actresses. The collective image that built over over the course of the pictures was one of sadness and distress. The smiling colorful face of the model on the front cover was obviously a marketing ploy, and I realized that even before I bought it. What interested me was a call for help that I could sense from nearly each woman. The harsh nightlife of Tokyo sex women can not be materially different from women employed in any other sex capital of the world. The stereotyped image of prostitutes as glamorous comes mostly from Hollywood sanitized versions of celluloid hookers like Julia Roberts. The women in this book truly were pretty women, but they were sadfaced women too. The scarcity of accompanying text accentuated rather than hid this subtext of women caught in forces beyond their ken. It is not likely that any reader seeking arousal will find such feelings here. What he might find instead is the more sobering realization that the sex industry is shiny only on the exterior, and even then the grim faces of the women pictured give the lie to that canard as well.--martin asiner for amazon.com
- Gilles Berquet: La Solitude des Anges (1994) - Gilles Berquet [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]
The photographs of Gilles Berquet present a fine sense of classic eroticism within a sexual and artistic contradiction. Working with "girl friends" rather than professional models, this collection depicts women captured in bondage ensembles and often in motion. The paradox is exposed in the expressions of the subjects, who exude an acute sense of sexual freedom and erotic breakthrough within their bondage costumes; it is the constraints themselves that seem to have set these women free. In his notes, Koharto Lizawa comments that "the women even appear to have tied themselves up . . . Berquet simply lent them a hand toward accomplishment of that desire." Classically realized in black and white, these images are sensual in nature with an underlying theme of sociosexual commentary.
- Asia Bondage - Steven Speliotis ([1 book, Amazon US]
Several dozen Asian women -- well-educated, independent, liberated, experimentally-minded, and familiar with the stereotype of the submissive Asian female -- volunteered to participate in this highly- stylized fine art. In these photographic images by a non-Asian male, they appear elegantly nude and often intricately bound, often not just participating consensually but actually controlling the scenario, and thus the imagery, while ostensibly surrendering all power to another. These images are * a collaborative form of body art * exemplify the traditional values of classic creative studio photography -- formal exploration, spatial drama, nuanced lighting, concern with chiaroscuro, attention to textural detail These unusual partnerships succeed, the photos a microcosm in which they move through and past stereotypes into a zone of unexpected freedom and mutual empowerment. With an introduction by A.D. Coleman.
- The Illustrated Story of O - Doris Kloster [Amazon US]
When Story of O was first published in 1954 in Paris by Jean-Jacques Pauvert, it narrowly escaped censorship by the Department of the Interior and eventually became the most widely translated French novel in the world. Now Doris Kloster, a photographer specialising in issues of women's sexuality and power, has realised a long-standing dream by creating a photographic representation of one of the most famous and controversial erotic novels ever published. The Illustrated Story of O presents over fifty superb images which mirror perfectly the intense eroticism of the novel. Schooting entirely in Paris and its environs, Kloster has succeeded in matching characters, locations, costumes and props to the original descriptions. Each colour photograph is accompanied by a short extract from the novel and together the portraits create a rich visual feast that will delight fans of Doris Kloster's work while appealing strongly to connoisseurs of the darker excesses of sexuality.
- Doris Kloster's Demimonde: A Visual Exploration of Fetish - Doris Kloster [Amazon US]
Doris Kloster is one of the world’s leading fetish photographers. Unlike the work of most of her contemporaries in this field who specialize in photographing fetish and fashion models in artificial studio settings, her work shows the secret real-life decadent world of dominance and submission. The previously unpublished color, duotone, and black-and-white photographs presented in Fetish World were shot on location in many private dungeons and provide an unforgettable insider’s view of dominatrixes and their slaves in full costume and highlighting their use of sexual props and positions.
- Thomas Ruff Nudes (2003) Thomas Ruff (Author), Michel Houellebecq [Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]
Girls, girls, girls. And well-endowed boys. They're the subjects of Thomas Ruff Nudes, a book of photographs by a well-known German artist best known for his searching images of faces, night skies and architecture. The new photographs were pulled off Internet porn sites and enlarged, colored and blurred by the artist. The fascinating thing about these nudes is the way the indistinct tumble of imagery replicates the physical sensation of sex. Everything is hazy, incomplete, replete with longing--a giddy carnival of orifices and sex organs. Skin is suffused with the blush of sexual arousal. Women offer themselves to unseen men and to one another. Some might say that Ruff is "making a statement" about the easy availability of pornography. Nonsense. He is documenting, in his painterly way, the elemental human urges that attract us to each other’s flesh. The most interesting images in the book are the most abstract, revealing sexual appetite as the eternal pursuit of another body’s knobs and holes. Accompanying the photographs is an earthy, supposedly fictional, fragment by the controversial French novelist Michel Houellebecq. The narrator reminisces about the years when he and his wife visited sex clubs on the Riviera. He writes of "dark rooms where people make love without choosing partners, submerged in the flux of tactile sensation." This is the world of Ruff's most successful photographs, a place where the staginess of pornography is transformed into the realm of pure desire. --Cathy Curtis, Amazon.com
Steve Diet Goedde
image sourced here.
The Beauty of Fetish (1998) - Steve Diet Goedde [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]
The Beauty of Fetish II (2001) - Steve Diet Goedde [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]
Soft (2004) - Richard Kern
Soft (2004) - Richard Kern [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]
Richard Kern is smarter than the average pornographer. What other shutterbug for Penthouse and Juggs also makes videos for Sonic Youth and Marilyn Manson and exhibits his shots of naked friends in high-toned galleries? But these artfully artless photos mark a new breakthrough for Kern. Best known for very hard-edged pictures and films--his DVD retrospective is entitled The Hard Core Collection--he now shows us a far softer side, which turns out to be even more unsettlingly transgressive than his violent stuff. The Soft photos are like a collaboration between himself and his punky young subjects, flirtily flaunting themselves in various states of come-hither undress. It's an art that conceals art: his skill in lighting, framing and staging his scenes coyly hides behind an unretouched do-it-yourself look, making the steamy scenes resemble what might happen if the amateur goth exhibitionists of the Suicidegirls website had all gone to art school. The girls loll and puff bong smoke into the ripe O of each others' mouths, blankly display nosebleeds, "accidentally" flash their panties, mockingly parody archetypes from Cindy Sherman, soft-core porn, and notorious candid tabloid "gotcha" snaps of celebrities: Catherine Zeta-Jones pregnant and smoking, Uma Thurman caught topless emerging from the surf. They play their parts with gleeful aplomb, in a fun, smutty (but not too smutty) conversation with the photographer. Institute of Contemporary Art curator Matthew Higgs supplies Artforum-style insights in his scholarly essay, but this is one book most folks won't read for the articles. --Tim Appelo
Beyond traditional portraiture, Richard Kern's new works manifest a strong eroticism while incorporating the cinematic power of his earlier "Transgression" theme. His recent photographs with saturated color and stark, atmospheric lighting accentuate his pretty-but-not-perfect young nudes. Inspired, unique, and "real," his approach is as daring as ever in Soft. Still sticking with the "no airbrush" motto, Kern's unpretentious, honest photos draw the viewer in close. Kern's longstanding relationship with the "No-wave" scene, which incorporated music, performance, feminist art, and the punk lifestyle, is reflected and distilled in these photographs. --via Amazon.com
see also: Richard Kern
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