Edited by Dian Hanson - formerly editor of Leg Show magazine, now Taschen's sexy books editor (however you wish to parenthesise those last three words) - and fetish photographer Eric Kroll, this is (as the title suggests) a showcase of erotic photography, with submissions from a few photographers familiar to me, and a great deal hitherto unknown ones. Far too many great photos to mention them all, but some of the highlights for me were:
- My two favourite Japanese photographers - Yasuji Watanabe's modern, contemporary work, and Ken-ichi Murata's gothic - and rather pervy - hand-tinted fairy tales;
- along with newer photographer Maki Miyashita, whose studies of women in their underwear I found interesting and witty
- The way that German photographer Markus Amon captures the smouldering eyes of his models (although the nylon and sheer underwear helps too)
- Susan Egan's very candid pictures of real couples having sex
- The deservedly popular Steve Diet Goedde being less fetishy than usual - the lovely Emily Marilyn doesn't have a stitch (not even latex) on her
- A few trademark-style motel-fetish, neo-noir pics from one favourite photographers, Chas Ray Krider
- Richard Kern's quirky, humourous, documentary-style shots of young, tomboy-ish (as he describes them) women; and Dave Naz's similarly stripped-down, natural girls
- In contrast, Florian Lohmann reminds me that there's still very much a place in my, er, heart? for ultra glam, styled shots (especially near-naked stewardesses and French maids)
- Nicola Ranaldi's very erotic close-ups of faces, with lustful looks and a finger slipped between lips
- And back to Japan for some pics from Joan Sinclair's Pink Box, a documentary book on Tokyo sex clubs - very enlightening, that I shall review sometime.
Although I appreciate and enjoy the work of all the photographers here, ideologically I'm with that last trio; there doesn't have to be a distinction. If there is one, though, I think Ms Hanson has nailed it in her introduction: 'First, toss out all the bodyscapes' ... 'More important, it must capture some genuine emotion on the model's face'. And, pre-empting balancing my focus here on the photographers, 'If it sounds like I think erotic photography is as much about the model as the photographer, I've made myself clear'.
Anyway, for all that prose, this is a great book of exciting, arousing, thought-provoking pictures, and is thoroughly recommended - a steal at about £15! You can see more pics through Taschen's video of the editors discussing the book.