Luis Durante has reached a powerful milestone here. Private Passion is without question an amazing body of work, and it will almost certainly take the viewers breath away as he or she peruses through it. But I can envision unprepared latte-drinkers, in bookstores all over the world, suddenly spilling their drinks in total surprise as they leaf through this intensely sexual dreamscape. It's shocking!
But it's beautiful too. Unbelievably beautiful. Durante's style is revolutionary. His photographs are explosions of color, style, and composition. And his exclusive partnership with longtime muse, Idoia makes for a dynamic experience that is completely and utterly uninhibited. She does everything for Luis and she is the sole subject of this work.
Private Passion is an artistic vision of jagged incongruities. But that's it's strength. Page after page we are ensconced in Idoia's angelic, doll-like beauty. But Durante melds this rapturous schoolgirl aura with brazen, sexual exhibitionism. Idoia exposes, props-up, and postures her sex in almost every shot. The images of her fisting herself and playing with a variety of oversized sex toys is countered by shots of her frolicking like a delirious, carefree maiden in the woods. So beautiful, so innocent, and at the same time, so unabashedly sexual, Idoia is a schoolgirl Cleopatra whom we cannot stop looking at. She's hypnotic.
There are certain images in this book that are absolutely rapturous, where every element comes together for one powerful, glorious moment. The closeup of Idoia sliding a cola can into herself is one such image. The color, the texture, the impossibility of it all perfectly document Durante's genius. This is not a book of art photography that all will enjoy - it's undoubtedly too provocative for some. But for those who can withstand the heat, this is an electrifying work of art.