He, She, It.
Photographs by Edward Weston & Harry Callahan.
La Fábrica/Fundación Banco Santande,
120 pp., illustrated throughout, 9x11".
This book compares the portrait photographs of two American masters, Harry Callahan (1912–1999) and Edward Weston (1886–1958), examining how their images combine desire and affection. While many of their well-known works have been understood as straightforward nudes or landscapes, this book looks beyond the limitations of these categories to suggest a more complex notion of their erotic photography. He, She, It looks at Callahan and Weston’s images through an examination of the relationship of the body and nature, but also, that of photography and affection. Unlike the majority of erotic photography that seeks to represent desire, in both Callahan and Weston we find the rare instance of desire wholly transformed into an image-an image where the subject is clearly not just displayed but the affection of the photographers toward the subject is clearly evident. For this to occur, there must be complicity between the photographer and his model. It’s clear that these are not anonymous and interchangeable models in these images but women whose bodies are evidently loved by the photographers: Tina and Charis in the case of Weston, and Eleanor in the case of Callahan. This emphasis makes this selection of photographs all the more intimate, and all the more deeply erotic.