Photographs by Gian Paolo Barbieri.
Rizzoli Publishers, New York, 2014. 112 pp., 56 duotone illustrations, 12x15¾".
Sculptural nudes immortalized through black and white pictures by a great contemporary photographer. Barbieri's approach to nude photography has been a lengthy one, slow and carefully planned. He first explored the subject in his book trilogy, Tropici. These experiments, however, did not quite satisfy him: his fear of vulgarity, his yearning to illustrate the world according to his own personal vision, whereby even the crudest scenes must be ennobled, and his search for a suitable technique were issues that absorbed his mind for years.
Barbieri's nudes appear natural, direct, life like, rich, joyous, and marked by dazzling expressive purity and simplicity. These photographs bring together the prehistoric approach to the human body, the aesthetic pursuit of classical Greek beauty, and the Renaissance rediscovery of freedom. All this is expressed through an outstanding studio technique. This book represents an homage to natural exuberance in all of its forms. Without any contrived prudishness or fear of the banal, and with a child like happiness and innocence, it plays upon the thin red line that has never clearly divided so-called pure art from polluted art, poetry from vulgarity, the sacred from the profane. A must-have for anyone interested in fine photography, fashion, and the beauty of the nude form.