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I just got Fine Art Sex, and maybe it will grow on me, but my initial reaction is that this is not Tom Bianchi's finest work...not by a long shot.
I'm a fan of Bianchi. I love that his erotic photography is so unscripted, that he just lets his models enjoy themselves on camera. It's so much sexier when the handsome male subjects are having actual fun, rather than standing stiffly around with blank sneers. I recognize what Bianchi has done for the field of gay photography and gay culture in general. That said, Fine Art Sex feels a tad too experimental and more than a tad pretentious.
There's certainly no shortage of beautiful men on display, beginning with the cover model, who stands bathed in sensual lighting as water laps at his thighs. Nice tease! However, the book begins with a lot of words rather than images as Bianchi describes his moods, his style, his philosophies, his background, and how the "beauty of this reality stops time in my mind." Weird...he's starting to sound like he should be wearing a beret and a black turtleneck. I've always gotten the sense that his art defies "artness," that its power and eroticism likes in its up-close, personal portrayal of its models, without any murky "symbolism" or "technique." Surely it needs no analysis. And the first batches of photos in the book are kind of uninspired. The biggest misfire is a series of screenshots taken via iPhone and Skype. Look, I'm aware that the digital world is a huge factor in modern-day erotica, especially for budding amateurs. But Bianchi is no amateur, and when I buy a book of his, I would prefer to see quality photography, not grainy, blurry, oversaturated screencaps. I don't think a book entitled "Fine Art Sex" is a place for experimenting or being ironic.Read more ›
Tom Bianchi is different form most photographers. While his many monographs of photography of the nude male have become best sellers it is not so much because of his studio techniques: in his early works, including his brilliant charcoal drawings, he proved that he can be a master of composition and formal symmetry. His latest books, especially in this book FINA ART SEX he dispenses with photo sessions with hired models and instead explores the myriad aspects of physicality of the human body in peak form enjoying the pleasures of touch, embrace, and passion. Yet his images, though raw in concept, maintain a sense of beauty, of freedom of exploration of desire, and a complete survey of the moment of desire to the completion of that response. The balance between intimacy, warrior like energy, and explosive forces of nature released make these private moments captured here on the richly colored pages of this book unique works of art.
Bianchi writes and always finds a way to enter information about where he has been and where his current state of expression in his work has brought him. There is a beautiful tribute to his lover not only in words but also in accompanying photographs. And he extends that degree of comfort to all of his subjects: 'I tell the men I shoot that I will look at them with the eyes of a man who is their lover.' He adds words to the sections of his book: Seeing/Being, Found Art, Time, Art Sex ('an intellectual response to what I celebrate is appreciated. A visceral response elevates the compliment'), Friend/Lovers, Resonate, Game On...these are but a few of the words that accompany his images that are produced by underwater photography as well as in his home photography.Read more ›
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I have bought each of Tom's male erotic photography books. As with the others, this one does not disappoint. The men are sensous, masculine, and beautiful. Tom captures the male physique incredibly well. Each photo is not just of a naked man, it is artistic.
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Quite nice photos, but Tom Bianchi seems to need to be in many of the pics.....cool, but he is aging. Seems like a last ditched effort to see himself as one with his models....good luck to him....but the fact is, we are looking for younger masculine guys, or at least a mixture of older...not just Tom, himself. All good but a bit self indulgent. Can ruin a good fantasy.
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Tom Bianchi is one of the most published visual artists and writers in the world.
His nineteen books of photographs, poems, and essays primarily cover the gay male experience in a variety of contexts - from aesthetic philosophy - IN DEFENSE OF BEAUTY - to poetry to erotic photography. He is currently working on an album and stage presentation of some poems being set to song from his book MEN I'VE LOVED.
Tom was born and raised in the suburbs of Chicago. He got a law degree at Northwestern and practiced corporate law for ten years. At thirty -four he left his position as Senior Counsel at Columbia Pictures, tore up his law degree, pasted it into a painting and had his first one man show with Betty Parsons and Carol Dreyfuss in New York. Shortly thereafter, Tom had his first major museum retrospective at the Spoleto Festival in 1984.
In 1990, St. Martins Press published OUT OF THE STUDIO, Tom's groundbreaking book of male nudes, frankly gay and affectionally connected. That book opened a door for more honest visions of gay men and a better understanding of their intimate lives. Thereafter, nineteen of Tom's books have been published, three documentary films about Tom's work have been distributed, and Tom's work has been published in more than thirty anthologies on the male nude. His ON THE COUCH series, DEEP SEX and EROTIC TRIGGERS deal with the expression of conscious sexual energy. This body of work has earned Tom respect as one of the most important artists dealing with erotic imagery and imagination. His body of work is the largest record ever made by a single artist of a culture's intimate life.
Tom also co-founded a biotech company, CytoDyn, developing a new therapy for treatment of HIV / AIDS.
TOMBIANCHI.com is Tom's website that includes detailed information on Tom and his work. Tom writes a blog which is a showcase for new work and the world as he sees it. The posts are fun, witty and sexy. And for people who want to go behind the scenes there is a huge archive of over 20,000 images with weekly updates in the Members Area.
Facebook: TOMBIANCHIFANPAGE - Here you will find updates on Tom's work and includes photo galleries from shoots as well as Tom's travels around the world.
Twitter: Follow Tom @tombianchi
You can reach Tom directly through all the places above if you are interested in being a subject of his books and films or are interested in collecting Tom's work.