The beauty of the naked body has intrigued since time immemorial. Just think of the famous Venus van Willendorf , probably already made some 30 thousand years ago by an unknown artist. But also in photography, the oldest of the new media, the nude regularly pops up. Ever since the pioneering days in 1839, the bared female body has been a popular subject. The combination of exhibitionism and voyeurism - with sometimes realistic, sometimes staged work - continues to fascinate to this day, for both the spectator, the maker and the subject. The three photographers in the Nudes exhibition in Berlin are among the most sensitive, experimental and formative nude photographers of the twentieth century.
A similar visual atmosphere can be found in the work of David Lynch (1946). Although best known as a film director, the American also regularly dives behind the camera. In his abstract work, details often fill the framework. Only after further investigation can these be associated with a body. Lynch opts for unexpected perspectives and presents his work in large format, which means that most of his female models are larger than in real life. As in his films, his photography is often surreal, with here and there sexual allusions.
The combination of exhibitionism and voyeurism continues to fascinate to this day.
Sometimes subtle, sometimes explicit, but always just as puzzling. The extreme close-ups enable the ravishing director to achieve a sense of intimacy, or the illusion thereof. They evoke a feeling of almost tangible physicality, even if only a bare thigh or arm is visible. Alienating and recognizable at the same time. The third photographer whose work is shown is Helmut Newton (1920–2004). According to many, he is the king of erotic photography. He started in the 1970s by photographing nudes that pop up in his fashion series and free work.