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No Face (German) Hardcover – 31 Jul 2002
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Fine art erotic photography
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
There are many abstract shots, fairly graphic pictues and some of them have a dark quality perhaps even bordering on an S&M type feel. In many cases, there are close-up, but artfully done photos of small areas of the body including the mouth, genitals, etc.
I can't say that this art inspired me in any way, but I can't argue that it wasn't creative, expressive or carefully thought out. One of the best elements was the lighting. Something I did not like was all the tattoed models. This could be a plus or minus depending upon your tastes.
There is a tough, urban or underground feel to many of the photos. If you like this, you will probably enjoy the photos. There is also a strong bias in the direction of capturing the animalistic elements of human sexuality. However, there is much more to it as well.
I wasn't offended by any of the images, but I lean more toward a fine art, sculpture, full body type of photography in nature. Cygny is my favorite photographer of nudes and I appreciate art that captures a more elevated type of beauty, paradox or some gesture or facial expression that resonates with me in an uplifting way. This book is more raw and too the bone. The images are all powerful, but not in ways that move me.
You can see I gave the book a rather high rating. This is because I am judging the book on its genre, how well it is targeted to a particular audience, etc. My personal tastes are quite beside the point.
The most basic of these photos present models singly (p.99) or in pairs (p.75,123), celebrating the female figure plain and simple. Somewhat more intense images also display the figure, whole (p.63) or in intimate part (p.41), decorated with tatoos and/or piercings (p.39). Appreciating these often requires a real fondness for the details of a woman's body - something I share, but that may be too intimate for many viewers. The next level of intensity presents openly sexual imagery(p.31,108,97). Although passionate, Kempen never loses his sense of a woman's elegance. His affection and respect for his models really separate this from the impersonal crudity that defines pornography.
The erotic sense is unique to each individual, so it's no surprise that Kempen's sense sometimes eludes me. I don't object to them, but his fetish elements just don't do much for me. Also, I find myself baffled by the series based on fishnet tights of different patterns - I see the look he tries for, but I just don't see any improvement over the unclad form.
"No Face" is a worthy tribute to female beauty and sexual presence. The large format gives plenty to appreciate in each black and white image, but I found the slipcase to be a bit much. I recommend this book to anyone passionate about figure and in love with the woman behind the figure.