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Sun, sand and sex

Henrik Purienne's sunkissed pictures of beach beauties "so real they are confused for art"

Following in that louche tradition of Mr Richardson and Mr Kern, South Africa’s Henrik Purienne is the latest photographer to specialise in sun-dappled shots of half-naked and ridiculously good-looking girls. His subject matter spans blonde to blonder and leggy to leggier, but what makes Purienne’s photography that bit more mouth watering is the sultry, 70s-poolside atmosphere that permeates his work. Were things just sexier back in those days? “Everything was so well designed, so timeless and cool. Including the girls,” suggests Purienne, whose first, eponymous book comes out this month. It was a crazy Italian art teacher who first opened his eyes to the world of photography, but it was not until recently that fashion photography came into the picture: “I started out making documentary films,” he says, explaining that the book is made up of holiday snaps and shots of friends and girlfriends that were piling up around the house. “The stuff I did with the girls got some attention. I think it was so simple and real it got confused for art.”