Nudes: David Lynch’s sensual new book on the female form
David Lynch's new photography book is a hotbed of curves and candid moments, honouring the 'infinite variety' of female sexuality, writes Ros Brennan
There are few vocations on this earth which are like a door straight into the psyche. You can't understand a mechanic's deepest desires by sticking your head under the bonnet, and you can't sense a dentist's emotional scars from the way they clean their patients' teeth. But looking at the work of a filmmaker is like accessing a vast emotional blueprint and a window to how they see the world. Their work carries traces of heartbreak, the seeds of new love and the way they look at life's big philosophical questions. Personal and fictional narratives are so intricately woven, they become one and the same.
This is certainly the case with David Lynch's surreal, spellbinding oeuvre. There are a number of recurring motifs in Lynch's work, from the dark underbelly of violent criminal activity to his use of dreamlike imagery to his portrayal of sex and femininity. From Isabella Rossellini standing naked in a front yard in order to portray her vulnerable mentality in the 1986 film, Blue Velvet, to that sex scene between Naomi Watts and Laura Harring in Mulholland Drive, women are at the centre of many of his films. He captures the frayed edges, the quiet moments and the nuanced, fractured nature of identity that often evade the one-dimensional Hollywood portrayal of beauty. He is quoted as saying, "Sex is a doorway to something so powerful and mystical, but movies usually depict it in a completely flat way... I like things that go into hidden, mysterious places, places I want to explore that are very disturbing. In that disturbing thing, there is sometimes tremendous poetry and truth."
His new book Nudes, published by Fondation Cartier pour l'art Contemporain, brings this mystical quality of feminine sexuality to the fore, with more than a hundred erotically-charged images showcasing the 'infinite variety' of the female figure. Ten years after the exhibition The Air Is on Fire, which unveiled David Lynch's photographic and painting work, Nudes showcases more than a hundred black-and-white and colour images of feminine nudes realised by the artist. These sensual photographs are close to abstraction, offering kaleidoscopic visions of the woman. They attest to David Lynch's fascination with the infinite variety of the human body, while being in line with his cinematographic work.
Click through the gallery to see the highlights of David Lynch's new book Nudes, or click here to order your copy.
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