Changing body perception via Instagram, gender exploration through a lens, Tokyo’s unbridled sex scene and the female photographers who take better selfies than you
We got together five of our favourite photographers and digital artists – Molly Soda, Arvida Byström, Saerah Lee, Alexandra Marzella and Rupi Kaur – together to have a frank and intelligent conversation about body image and censorship in the age of Instagram.
Who’d have thought a world of self-portraiture existed before the selfie. Putting our narcissistic tendencies to shame – we rounded up the women who did it better before – Cindy Sherman, Vivian Maier and Petra Collins included.
Sex, drugs and rock and roll literally collide in this photo series by Gioia de Bruijn. Capturing the essence of what it is to be young and #dgaf, the photographer shot her friends as they tackled the weekend in the only way they knew how. de Bruijn told us: “I take pictures because they’re a moment that I want to remember. A lot of the time, art is, at that point, not the motivation for taking a photo. It didn't start as art – the art part came later.”
Who knew the Japanese were so kinky? And with good reason. When Polish-born photographer Pawel Jaszczuk entered the subversive, after-hours world of the city’s sex scene he encountered an open-mindedness to sex that is still absent in the west. He said: “Sex, erotic, pornography – all this is part of life, especially in art, a natural human need that is not subjected to moral evaluation in Japan. What someone is doing with his body is his private matter.”
A pink-hued photo series saw recent graduate Ruby Robinson share personal images of her experience growing up, with ice cream and bikini bottoms symbolising that fleeting simplicity of having the world at your feet.
“I fall in love with my subjects and through the lens I try to build this insecure connection with the delicate intimacy of a particular moment. No matter if it's a girl or a boy, I find a piece of myself in every character," Nadia Bedzhanova told us as she shared intimate portraits of New York’s youth.
From the Dazed’s Last Shot archive we shared this inspirational story from Rona Yefman. Documenting a 14-year journey as her brother Gil transitioned into a woman before making the journey back to living as a biological man, Yefman’s images are intimate, sensitive and pure beauty.
In what was aptly titled Concrete & Sex, photographer Sasha Kurmaz shared diptychs of nudes and Kiev’s brutalist architecture. A juxtaposition of angles, Kurmaz told us: “Every work of art has a political component and reflects an ideological stance towards or against an authoritative direction. Ukrainian society for the most part is very conservative. In this context, demonstration of the naked body and sexuality acquires political overtones and acts as a weapon against conservatism, conformism and religious fanaticism.”
Pornceptual is the Berlin-based publication queering porn through art; illustration, painting, photography. Their first issue, "Pornifesto" dropped this month and they gave us the preview. Revisit it below.
Acting as a fly on the wall, recent graduate Rosaline Shahnavaz captured portraits of her friends in an exploration of intimacy. She told us: “The photographs were raw and honest, and showed the intimacy of my relationships. I like to build strong relationships with whoever I’m photographing so their personality can come through.”