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It has been said of Karin Székessy’s nude photographs that she brings a woman’s eye to thesubject. This makes such an attempt at a fresh view all the more compelling – especiallyagainst the backdrop of a perception of the female body still essentially masculine and thecurrent reception and awareness of these attitudes. Székessy’s naked women seem lessdenuded and less voyeuristically charged. In the foreground of her nudes is a more selfconfidentwoman’s perception. These women seem free, modest and almost unremarkable – they thereby become more untouchable, though this does not mean that Eros is absent, as wasasserted at the time in the text accompanying her exhibition in Berlin’s Werner Kunze gallery.
Karin Székessy began taking photographs in 1954. She rapidly developed her owndistinctive, surreal style in staged, photographic images with an air of mystery. Perhaps it isher sculptor’s eye that lends these bodies their self-assured presence. Karin Székessy’sphotographs seem almost to have been carved by the camera. The play of light gives form tothe mostly unclothed women’s bodies – outlines become sculptural shapes and generate amagical, surreal atmosphere. Székessy herself says about this: “It is important that the modelsunderstand the absurdity of my work.” At the very first glance, symbolic elements intensifyenigmatic scenarios with masks and other cryptic props.
it has been said of Karin Székessy’s nude photographs that she brings a woman’s eye to the subject. This makes such an attempt at a fresh view all the more compelling — especially against the backdrop of a perception of the female body still essentially masculine ad the current reception and awareness of these attitudes
Staging is important to Karin Székessy. The artist has an eye for spatial composition and hasmastered the techniques of photography. The philosopher and author Max Bense has written:“We are not dealing here with the photographic immobilization of a pre-existing world, butwith the representation of a world intentionally fashioned, arranged like statuary, in whichnot even the lighted space is a natural phenomenon, but has its source in manipulation, in itsmalleability, in illumination.” With her distinctive compositions of surreal picture puzzles, inwhich pieces of furniture take on the appearance of sculptural objects, well-nigh theatricalscenes come into being, leading us into unsuspected worlds where shape and form melt intothe shadows and almost vanish. This moment of absence lends Székessy’s photographs amagical, even surreal, sensual feeling of hidden poetry.
She invents pictures and challengesus to think them out. Székessy’s pictorial metaphors are discreet and, in a distant, almostfleeting, yet highly personal way, evoke yearning and longings, but also ephemeral beauty They are for the most part tranquil works, in which the relationship of the photographer to hermodels can be sensed. They do not have perfect bodies, so that their beauty is all the morenatural. “I photograph women’s bodies and direct them so that they are beautiful,” says thephotographer, adding that she also mirrors herself in them. These staged pictures become aspecies of self-portrait.s.