The first of December, personality and fine art photographer, Greg Gorman will release his first book in fifteen years of male portraiture and nudes celebrating the human figure. This book not only represents his first foray into color but a departure from his classically trained eye in sculpting the human form. Says Gorman, “ I really wanted a book that completely focused on the individual in terms of intimacy. Completing the sensual and often private communication between the subject and artist often presents a much more incisive and honest view of the person. Stepping outside the role of subject as model and increasing not only a level of awareness but a more accurate perception of the individual, gives a different interpretation than those of a more fixed portrait. I guess, in a sense, many of the pictures although often posed, seem to approach a bit more of an editorial stance-allowing the subjects to unfold in a relaxed and more personal state.”
Utilizing more locations-both interior and exterior/primarily natural light and a wider choice of lenses, Gorman steps outside his more predictable and carefully orchestrated portraits. This is not to say that the images lack Gorman’s uncanny ability for connecting with his subjects (his most imminent trademark), but a new and fresh direction in terms of image capture. Some of his subjects offer quick glimpses into their personality, while others Gorman has photographed over a longer time frame, reveal much more of who they are as individuals. It’s even interesting to note how some of his subjects even transition within their portfolio of images.
“As I got to know some of the young men who posed for me, I began to see someone different than the person they originally presented in front of my lens. This was the biggest challenge for me in determining which of the masks needed to be shed and which ones needed to be exposed. Again all of this boils down to interpretation and the importance of trust and confidence between both parties-a big part of what I learned early on in shooting personalities. It’s funny how all of this applies when you look at the big picture-‘just shedding your clothes in a different light so to speak,’ says Gorman.
The project comprises images from many of his workshops and assignments as well as personal relationships. Candidly, Gorman admits to enjoying shooting young men not only because of their vulnerability but their lack of awareness when being shot. Gorman says, when I find subjects that are inherently aware of their natural beauty, something is lost and the images cease to be stimulating for me. They appear jaded or too predictable. Many of these young men had never sat for a camera and some really did not want to be photographed. That was the challenge for me-to convince them otherwise and to share their beauty with them often for the first time. At this stage of my life I enjoy doing what I like: teaching, making wine and taking pictures for myself! Isn’t that what life’s about?
The regular edition of Greg Gorman Private Works 2000-2015 will be available at local Los Angeles bookstores and Mr. Gorman’s website. Both the regular edition and the deluxe case-bound limited edition with a signed print will be available through the Fahey Klein Gallery and through Mr. Gorman’s website: https://greggormanprivateworks.com.