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Archive for September, 2016

Lust & Passion & the Mind of Jan Saudek

Sunday, 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

Saturday, 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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About the Author

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

My name is Steven Clark and I live in the Derwent Valley in Southern Tasmania. I have an MBA (Specialisation) and a Bachelor of Computing from the University of Tasmania. I'm a mazer & a yeast farmer (making beer, fruit wine and mead as by-products of continuous improvement in my farming practices). I'm a photographer, although my film cameras are currently silent. I do not tolerate idiots. I do not tolerate bigotry. I do not tolerate excuses. Let's be clear, if you sit with my enemies you my are my enemy for life.

Blogger. Thinker. Brewer. Drinker. Life partner to the amazing and incredible Megan.

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