Sex Sells: Women in Photography and Film
What is one thing the print media, stage, and screen have in common?
They all have, and still do, used sexual suggestion and the nude or scantily clad female body to sell their products.
From the birth of photography, the camera and other media have been used to capture the essence of men’s sexual fantasies. Women indecently dressed have been a constant source of fascination for men from the beginning of time, as witnessed by the wall paintings of Pompeii or in the Egyptian tombs. In capturing these images in relatively modern times, many interesting techniques have been used, from the bizarre to the elegant. Many of the early portraits have a sweet kind of innocence to them, despite the fact that the photographers and the models were blatantly breaking the law. Legendary photographers created works that are now considered masterpieces of the art but which were considered scandalous in their time.
In addition, many richly bawdy and fascinating characters have been displayed on film and stage in various stages of dress or undress. This book is about those images and those characters, and the people who created them.
You will not find descriptions or depictions of the actual sexual act in this book; it is the use of the body and sexual suggestion that I am interested in documenting,
and not the necessarily straight-forward, no-nonsense reality of the act itself.
- Rhetta Akamatsu, July 2011
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