Distorted perspectives

A spotlight on Bill Brandt.

“Without  the cellophane wrapping of conventional sight”. A spotlight on Bill Brandt, the multifaceted photographer and his series of remarkable graphic images of both interior and exterior nudes on the Sussex and Normandy coast.

The book published in 1961 “Perspective of nudes” is a collection of experiments that have as their subject the female body deformed by wide angle lens. The extreme close-ups in particular, take on a landscape character, precisely because they are stretched to disproportion. The bodies, exasperated in their forms, interact with the background as if they were sculptures lie in oppressive spaces, at other times these appear as smooth stones that are visually harmonious and in contrast with the harsh landscapes of the English coasts. The organic and sinuous forms of the body, delicately underlined by the black and white and the graininess of the film, are portrayed in a way never seen before. Brandt’s fascinating optical distortions create mysterious but delicate photos, full of psychoanalytic meaning similar to the women he portrays: distant, imperturbable and shrouded in darkness. An ancient and large wooden camera gave Brant a naive look without the limits of realism, which he discovered redefining the concept of the body. “I didn’t photograph what I saw, but what the camera saw. My gaze, my vision, intervened as little as possible, and I let the lens create images and shapes that my eyes had never observed”.

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