Studio Nudes, 2008-2011
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For the three years from 2008 until 2011, photographer Scott Nichol rented and worked in a large studio space to create some of his most striking works of figure photography. This new space presented a larger canvas that allowed him to photograph the nude figure with a more ambitious approach and allowed perspectives that were nearly impossible outside this space. Working on this larger stage afforded the work a sense of presence, both physically and emotionally.
This collection of 61 photographs explores the contemporary nude through themes of introspection, vulnerability, and empowerment. The pieces selected for this collection were mostly shot with traditional medium and large format film cameras, old Polaroid cameras, along with modern digital cameras.
What's New in Version 1.1
Corrected a spelling mistake on one page.
This is an exquisite book. Jordan Street is Scott Nichol’s collection of fine art nude figure work shot in the same studio space over 3 years – some in natural light from what look to be large, industrial windows, and some in studio light. But the space is the issue only in so much as it orients us to a time in the artist’s life and a period of striking development of his craft. The backgrounds are almost universally plain in Jordan Street. We learn little about the space itself. Rather, the body and the light are the subject here. Nichol is a terrific technician and the range of tone, the detail, the strong graphic of most of the compositions are part of the reward. Larger, however, is the sense of stillness Nichol and his models manage to portray. The stillness isn’t distant or disconnected. Rather, it resonates with Nichol’s quote from Cartier-Bresson: “In a portrait, I’m looking for the silence in somebody.” Each image is a moment of that silence and it also lets us feel the intimacy between model and photographer; not sexual intimacy but something unexpectedly deeper. When so many nudes find their way only to glamour or titillation, Nichol’s work is a true gift. I’ve gone back to this book a number of times now and have been rewarded whenever I did.
A large, flexible working space is the dream of any figure photographer, and in this book Nichol shares with us not only his vision of the feminine physique, but also his masterful use of a studio and it's light. The space had a powerful effect on the artist's work, particularly visible in the "Natural Light" section and also in his gorgeous high-key nudes. Interlaced with quotes from the luminaries of photographic history, Scott's sensitive and creative photographs represent the modern nude at it's very best. This collaboration between artist and model, infused with the energy of a positive working space, has brought us a wonderful new book. Although the photographer has moved away from the space, I'm sure his travels will bring us new and exciting visions in the future!