Friday, 12 March 2010

Madonna in the flesh.

I picked up a beautiful photography book from the local charity chop, for a mere £2.25, the book: Madonna Nudes 1979, by the photographer, Martin Hugo Maximilian Schreiber.

It immediately got my attention as I was on the look out for everything feminine and pretty, my eyes passed some very stunning, delicate silk scarves when I was presented with Madonna's voluptuous breasts. I had heard of a media controversy story over these specific images a while ago now, so I wanted to see what all the fuss was about.

The images were shot by photographer (see above, is name is huge!) in '79, Madonna then was trying to earn some cash and was a model for photographic students, teachers and hobbyists alike. The photographer Schreiber, was a teacher at New School/Parsons in New York City, teaching a course titled, “Photographing The Nude”. For this class the school supplied the models or sometimes the teachers were given a choice, Schreiber didn't choose Madonna. Although, when she was booked for his class, he loved having her to photograph as it was 'a welcome relief from the average, lumpy but sweet art-class model' the class was so used to studying. Over the years Schreiber came across Madonna whether it be on a train, or passing in the park in New York City and in the year 1985, Playboy magazine published four of his images he had shot of Madonna.


The book I picked up is ' a celebration of the human form, a dedication to an innocent, determined, young woman and to all figure models. It is a tribute to her...' The immediate references (the subject, the cropping choices) I saw whilst flicking through the images of Madonna seems to heavily evoke Man Ray's past images of nudes and the human form. The format of the photograph, being in a grey tone, also highlights Man Ray as an influence.

As for the controversy of the images, I don't understand what the problem is, at the beginning of the book we see the original (but photocopied) model release form, and Madonna being a strong minded, independent woman, and not forgetting her concert outfits and some style choices, she isn't one to shy away and show a little flesh.

Man Ray.

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