Friday, April 04, 2008

Clayton James

Over at Kitsune Noir yesterday, I discovered the Tumblr blog of Clayton James Cubitt, a well-known fashion/fine art photographer. The blog is called "The Constant Siege." His blog is fairly simple - a place to put things. Words, thoughts, images, all his own. He calls it his "working notebook."

I had seen Cubitt's series "Damaged Doll," photographs of a porn star, but didn't know his name. Today I looked through the rest of the galleries section of his website called "Art" (he also has a complete other gallery of what he calls "work," which is primarily fashion-related photography) on his site. I have to say, his work is startling and immediate. I found it impossible to go through any single photo series without some kind of physical and/or emotional reaction. His portrayals of genitalia and sex acts oscillate between viscerally sexual and inquisitively disembodied. He manages to explore the female vagina with the kind of painstaking completeness of an eager, but diligent, lover, and considers no sexual interest or endeavor to be taboo or not worthy of inquisition.

His portraits are equally stark, purported purveyors of truth and meaning. Shy is clearly a foreign word to Cubitt, his camera, and the subjects that they examine together.

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