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Cult of Boys Hardcover – September 15, 2011

3.8 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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$24.16 FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Only 13 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"[Cult of Boys] poetically captures the fragility of the youth." ~kinki Magazine

"A sexy illustrated book" ~Cosmopolitan
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 200 pages
  • Publisher: teNeues (September 15, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 3832795316
  • ISBN-13: 978-3832795313
  • Product Dimensions: 11.6 x 10.2 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #276,526 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I love art, especially photography. My passion has resulted in a vast collection of/addiction to coffee table books. However, in this digital age, I often wonder if collecting photography books is even worth it, since so many images are readily available on the internet. Then along comes an extraordinary book like Cult of Boys that captivates not only because of its images, but because the entire book itself is like a work of art--a true source of beauty and inspiration.

For those not familiar with Toyin Ibidapo's photography, her work celebrates the beauty and innocence of youth, and has been featured in several magazines such as Dazed & Confused and ads for Alexander McQueen. She has also photographed up-and-coming celebrities such as Ben Whishaw (from Bright Star), Dominic Cooper (from An Education), etc. This book sharing her predilection for young andro-Adonises (young long-haired waif-like androgynous males and a handful of andro-girls in there too) has been a long time coming.

The subject matter of Cult of Boys is not necessarily new. However, the entire layout of the book makes it unique and worth flipping through. Unlike most photography books, it doesn't just showcase "clean" final images probably already featured in magazines and other printed matter. Instead, this book actually showcases her personal work like an art journal. It's an intimate diary about youthful beauty.

Several pages look like Polaroid transfers collaged with actual prints and adorned with a lacey overlay of writing. Some are just collages of photos (both in color and in B&W).
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Format: Hardcover
CULT OF BOYS is an art book. Though the title may suggest to some that this is a book of nude young boys meant to titillate, nothing could be further form the truth. Toyin Ibidapo is a young British photographer and film maker who is London based and has gained acclaim for her work with celebrities: some of her 'models' include Ben Wishaw (Brideshead Revisited, The Hour TV series, Julie Taymor's The Tempest, Bright Star, I'm Not There, etc), Jamie Campbell Bower (Camelot for TV, Sweeney Todd, Harry Potter, Anonymous, etc), Dominic Cooper (Captain America, The History Boys, An Education, The Duchess, etc), Michael Pitt (Boardwalk Empire for TV, The Dreamers, Funny Games, The Heart is Deceitful above all Things, etc), and Tom Hughes (Silk, Cemetery Junction, Sex, Drugs, & Rock and Roll, etc) as well as capturing the work of Alexander McQueen's now infamous fashions.

But this book is not limited to her penchant for capturing celebrities in non-traditional imagery. According to the artist, what appeals to her artistic sense is 'What lies beneath - not just a pretty face. Raw, honest to a point, and maybe a slight hint of voyeurism and untapped sexuality, it's all in the eyes.' For the past 10 years she has invited young boys into her home and has taken hundreds of images, all gentle, unposed, not desanitized, and treated these lads as her friends.
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Format: Hardcover
Fashion photographer Toyin Ibidapo originally set out to photograph 100 boys. Her project lasted over 15 years and the number rose to over 250 young men and a girl or two. She shot most of the subjects in her own home without all the advantages of having a studio. The results are worth the wait.

First and foremost, there is absolutely nothing lewd or suggestive about these captivating photographs. Although most of the boys are shirtless, they project an innocence that cannot be faked. Many of them have long hair--the photographer reminds us in her introduction that she was a student during the grunge era--too many of them are smoking, and some of them must be prettier than their sisters. To a person, these boys are skinny. They have never picked up a barbell in anybody's gym.

Ms. Ibidapo singles out eight boys from the collection that make her "Odes to the Boys list at the end of this book, one of whom is Dominic Brider, a real looker, who is also on the dust jacket. She reminds us that "you're only young once and youth is fleeting." And it was George Bernard Shaw who said that "youth is wasted on the young."

As I looked at these photographs again and again--they grow on you--I could see a young Robert Mapplethorpe as a subject of Ms. Ibidapo. And I wondered what these boys will look like in five or ten years when their features coarsen and they become other people. I also wanted to tell them all that there is an AIDS virus out to be careful of and that they may live to regret smoking. On the other hand, for all their innocence, at least in these United States, some of them were old enough when Ms. Ibidapo photographed them to lose their lives as soldiers in a foreign land.

A beautiful book.
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