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IntenseReview - Intense
by Mario Schmolka
daab, 2005
Review by Christian Perring, Ph.D.
Dec 5th 2006 (Volume 10, Issue 49)

This collection of color photographs of women is distinctive and striking.  The women are beautiful fashion models, and they appear nude or topless, so the book is in the genre of classy glamour photography.  By the standards of this genre, it one of the more creative projects. Mario Schmolka's images have a strongly artificial feel to them, taken in studios in cold lights.  As Tyra Banks likes to say on America's Top Model, the subjects look fierce, and often they have lots of heavy eye makeup.  Many of the pictures are a little bizarre or disturbing.  Some use double exposures, have added post-production distortions, are so dark as to be hard to see clearly, have wooden-looking models, or have models in awkward poses.  Often they are in studios with blank backgrounds, sitting on a table or on the floor, or in some sequences, the model is posed against an industrial background.  They generally wear stereotypically feminine clothing, but subvert or distort the gentleness that is generally associated with it.  One model has brown dirt smeared on her face and chest, and wears a woolly hat tied under her chin.  Another wears a ribbed skirt, but stands with her legs crossed, her hands angrily on her hips, and her eyes in darkness.  One very skinny model wears just a necklace, with slicked back wet hair, and deep red lipstick.  She looks childlike, but also uncooperative with her shoulders hunched forwards, and her eyes suspicious.  The clothing, hairstyles, and gestures are unusual throughout the book, and this makes it much more interesting than most such photography.  Schmolka plays with ideas of voyeurism, objectification, femininity, and even beauty.  While there's nothing particularly political or politically subversive about these images, they are at least aesthetically adventurous and memorable. 

 

 

Link: http://www.marioschmolka.com/

 

 

© 2006 Christian Perring. All rights reserved.

Christian Perring, Ph.D., is Academic Chair of the Arts & Humanities Division and Chair of the Philosophy Department at Dowling College, Long Island. He is also editor of Metapsychology Online Reviews.  His main research is on philosophical issues in medicine, psychiatry and psychology.


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