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Lust & Passion & the Mind of Jan Saudek

Published on September 25th, 2016

I’ve long been enamoured by the beautiful photography of Jan Saudek; his voluptuous and debaucherous nudes; the sensitivity to sexuality and sensual play; the impressive use of colour, madness, theatre & passion. His style. However, there was something special about watching a movie about him, Fotograf (2015), starring Karel Roden and Marie Málková.

I had always entertained an idea that these photographs were more staged and contrived than they were portrayed in the movie. My mind’s eye imagined controlled studio sessions with employed actors/models under pre-conceived direction.

The reality was more spontaneous. Saudek photographed these people as a part of his ongoing hedonistic lifestyle. These were women who he lusted after and fucked. Participants behind and in front of the camera. A charismatic man, irresponsible, open to life in all the facets of pleasure – a lover, a drinker… an “imagineer” (if I can play with language) at the wheel of the camera.

The only contrivance or staged nature of the Saudek photographs were the convenience of participants to his vision. Their willingness to exist in his sphere. The lovers, the ladies; the whirlpool of personality that is Saudek. Artist. Maestro.

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The Homoerotic Photography of Tamotsu Yato

Published on September 3rd, 2016

The beautiful photography of the Japanese homoerotic photographer Tamotsu Yato (originally Tamotsu Takada) includes three distinct bodies of work created across the span of less than a decade. These works were published in three books – “Young Samurai”, “Naked Festival” and “Otoko” – between 1966 and 1972.

The photobooks of Tamotsu Yato received limited attention at the time. However, the influence this troubled photographer had on the nude male genre, particularly inside Japan, was profound. He pushed the boundaries of how Japanese men perceived their bodies and sexuality in a Japan that had no gay publications. Censorship laws forbade mentioning the genitals in print or photography.

Tracing out the life of Tamotsu Yato is both interesting and tragic. Suicidal and with family conflict, friends say that his first visit to a gay bar in Osaka was in 1956. That night he met the publisher (promoter) Meredith Weatherby. Ten years senior to Tamotsu Yato, Meredith became lover, benefactor, mentor and promoter in an open relationship as they co-existed with filmmaker Donald Ritchie. It was in this early period where Weatherby encouraged Tamotsu Yato to make photographs.

At this time Weatherby was translating the books of Yukio Mishima and their home with Ritchie became a focal centre for artists and intellectuals. Yukio Mishima and Tamotsu Yato became good friends, as evidenced in the introductions and several photographs from the first two photobooks.

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The Amateur Erotic Voyeurism of Monsieur X

Published on July 18th, 2016

The intriguing Frenchman who has come to be known as Monsieur X captures a romantic ideal of the amateur photographer. Monsieur X spent a decade creating his private collection of erotic pictures for personal pleasure and for the pure love of the captured images. His motivations were obviously voyeuristic. His interests erotic. His subjects were among prostitutes at 75 Rue Jean Baptiste Pigalle.

The story of Monsieur X really begins in 1975 when an old man presented his archive of private images to a Paris book seller. At the end of one’s life there are choices – he might destroy such a body of erotic work; he might sell that body of work and increase his personal means; he might seek discovery as a photographer among photographers; or, he could sell the entire archive of his work on the provision that a name will be withheld to save family embarrassment.

The last choice, if you’re curious, was the one for Monsieur X – the work became public and his identity remained private.

The book seller contacted a collector named Alexandre Dupouy, owner of a shop named Tears of Eros, and the works have been attributed to this Monsieur X ever since. Dupouy has kept the secret, as promised.

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More Articles on StevenClark.com.au

  1. The Homoerotic Photography of Tamotsu Yato
  2. The Amateur Erotic Voyeurism of Monsieur X
  3. Alexander Pearce was not a Tasmanian
  4. Discussing the Ethics of Driverless Cars
  5. Prisons are full of Naughty People

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About the Author

Steven Clark Steven Clark - the stand up guy on this site

My name is Steven Clark (aka nortypig) and I live in Southern Tasmania. I have an MBA (Specialisation) and a Bachelor of Computing from the University of Tasmania. I'm a photographer making pictures with film. A web developer for money. A business consultant for fun. A journalist on paper. Dreams of owning the World. Idea champion. Paradox. Life partner to Megan.

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