Tom Bianchi is different form most photographers. While his many monographs of photography of the nude male have become best sellers it is not so much because of his studio techniques: in his early works, including his brilliant charcoal drawings, he proved that he can be a master of composition and formal symmetry. His latest books, especially in this book FINA ART SEX he dispenses with photo sessions with hired models and instead explores the myriad aspects of physicality of the human body in peak form enjoying the pleasures of touch, embrace, and passion. Yet his images, though raw in concept, maintain a sense of beauty, of freedom of exploration of desire, and a complete survey of the moment of desire to the completion of that response. The balance between intimacy, warrior like energy, and explosive forces of nature released make these private moments captured here on the richly colored pages of this book unique works of art.
Bianchi writes and always finds a way to enter information about where he has been and where his current state of expression in his work has brought him. There is a beautiful tribute to his lover not only in words but also in accompanying photographs. And he extends that degree of comfort to all of his subjects: 'I tell the men I shoot that I will look at them with the eyes of a man who is their lover.' He adds words to the sections of his book: Seeing/Being, Found Art, Time, Art Sex ('an intellectual response to what I celebrate is appreciated. A visceral response elevates the compliment'), Friend/Lovers, Resonate, Game On...these are but a few of the words that accompany his images that are produced by underwater photography as well as in his home photography. Very often the focal point is on the trunk alone, with men expressing their desire and completion with seeming complete relaxation.
If Bianchi places himself in the photographs, both in the mirror reflections with his camera or in shots that are looking down or up at his own participation, many viewers will feel this is self-indulgent, as though we must see the artist acting out the action he elects to photograph. But peruse this book repeatedly and likely the fact that the artist partakes in the action drives home the mission of his art. He explains the personal aspects of his view of art in words: he underlines those aspects with including his own body in the action. After all, this is the trademark of a very successful artist, an aspect that makes his concept of Fine Art Sex apparent. Remarkably uninhibited Bianchi! Grady Harp, June 11
There was nothing fine art about this. For the images that weren't either desktop screen shots, of taken on an iPhone I must say were very standard, and unimaginative. I'm starting a homoerotic photography project and bought this book under the hopes of getting inspired but it. The front cover looks great, but as that age old saying goes - never judge a book by its cover. After flicking through the drab mindless unvaried selection of images I felt like I wanted to return the book. It wasn't expensive, and I'm glad because I feel like from the small amount I spent I have been conned.
No doubt the creator of this catalogue of paper sewage would argue "what is art?" and its a fair argument, but I think it's pretty brazen for someone to make this book with bare minimal effort and imagination and call it "Fine Art".
I would be lying if I said I wasn't inspired by this, because I have been. No matter how bad I think my photography is I can find comfort in the fact this crap is making money.