LAURENT BENAIM


LAURENT BENAIM

EDITED BY DIAN HANSON    Book Number: 86054    Product format: Hardback

"I've always been fascinated by sex, the diversity of practices, the will and perseverance of people to realize their fantasies," says Paris photographer Laurent Benaïm. "These moments of pleasure captivate me in all their forms: the beautiful, the ugly. I have no criteria for aesthetic selection, only the expression of human desire interests me." That said, Monsieur Benaïm seldom photographs simple desire or simple sex acts. Mass orgies follow. Group sex, bondage, golden showers, rampant hands, foot fetish, black on white, girl on girl, dominance and delight. Very close up detail. He shoots only amateurs, people whose lives range from button-down white collar to transient to circus sideshow. They are young and old, straight, gay and transgender, able bodied, ample bodied and oddly bodied. They have been coming to Benaïm's large commercial studio in the Parisian suburb of Montreuil since 1999, first a trickle, then a flood, as word spread that their quirks and obsessions would not just be embraced, but transformed into art, through a painstaking 19th century print technique little used in the last 100 years. Benaïm earned his photographic degree in 1982. He set up shop as a conventional photographer, but at heart was a pictorialist, always searching for ways to defeat photographic realism. In 1991 he saw an antique photo with just the look he sought, and through trial and much error taught himself the gum dichromate process. It's tedious, smelly, and probably poisonous, but Benaïm has used it exclusively since 1996, giving his startling sex photos the look of oversized French postcards, printed, perhaps, in the damp cellar of a Belle Epoque whorehouse. The technique softens the extremity of his subject, leading to gallery shows in Paris, Berlin, Milan, Luxembourg, Zurich and, fittingly, at the Kinsey Institute for sexual research in Bloomington, Indiana. Laurent Benaïm presents 300 of the photographer's 1,000 plus images. 8¾ x 12", 216 pages. New from Taschen.
Bibliophile price: £40.00


Additional product information

ISBN 9783836568357
Browse these categories as well: Erotica, Through the Keyhole, Art & Architecture, Taschen new publications: Art and Photography

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