Argentum: Body Art Photography

In our culture we tend to sexualize almost all nudity, especially that of women. Yet, Los Angeles-based Italian photographer Guido Argentini has found a way to move beyond mere sexuality and elevate the human form in ways more reminiscent of Greek sculpture:

For this series (the culmination of over 20 years of work), Argentini used professional gymnasts, dancers, aerialists and other professional performers to combine the solidity of sculpture and the vivid energy of dance.  Each model was completely painted in a metallic body paint and then shot on a simple white background, often using only one light. With the paint, the shadows and the highlights of the skin are intensified, creating the illusion of liquid motion frozen into a still photograph. In many of the photos, the face is obscured or not shown, erasing the individual identity of the model and inviting the viewer to focus on the universal aspect of the human body.

argentum body art

Inspired by the abstract bronzes of Brancusi, the watercolors of Rodin, and the verve of Degas’ ballet sketches, Argentini has developed his own unique aesthetic of the human form—one which transcends the concepts of individualism and sexuality, inspiring instead an impersonal celebration of finesse and beauty. In a world that seems to be more and more sex focused, it’s inspiring to see body art that takes a different tact.

Argentum body art book

Although Argentum also includes male models, Argentini says,

“This book is, once again, a tribute to women.”

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