The shredding of the vanities (1988, modified 2010, 2016)

The three photos that make up this artwork were taken by me of me on film in 1988, my first images with the more controversial subject matter of the erect penis. In 2010 I printed them, immediately shredding the prints as a symbol of rejection. I then photographed the result on a red background and published it on flickr with a somewhat vulgar title “Shredding the stiffies (1988 reprocessed 2010)” together with a five paragraph account of what was behind the image. It’s still there and public but you’ll need to be a member to see it; it was in colour and only shredded once so a broad mind and a sympathetic character helps too.

Today in 2016 I decided that that image was not sufficiently defaced to make the point I wanted to make, so I shredded the image again, this time in a different direction. Again I photographed the result and converted to monochrome and that is what you see here.

Three photos of an erect penis put through a shredder.

Those three photos were my first images attempting to deal with the problematical subject matter of the erect penis and render it in some way artfully. An alternative take is that it was my first attempt to address my insecurities head on.

When I photographed the original images, I know my intention and the way the light was used absolutely meant that I was trying to do something artistic. The shreddings years later are symbolic of the fact that that those original images did not really work as art, but nevertheless there was art in there somewhere. As in 2010 there is a desire to publish the images because they were so important in my personal development.

If my photostream were one of the new crop of art movies for general audiences that feature real sex then these images would be the ones that the director included because they were of vital relevance to the plot, but which tabloid film critics would tear to shreds. At the time they were taken these images were helpful in making me realise that perhaps the playing field was not as stacked against me as much as I had imagined.

While it’s always difficult subject matter, I can now look at a penis as just another thing which can be photographed beautifully in its own right. Equally it can be an important part of an emotional portrait of an individual. The dividing line from crude porn is however seldom straightforward and some will never see it.

Those words about the original image “trying to do something artistic” are important and as I state on my home page, I believe “there is nothing offensive about any aspect of the human body, especially when presented in a way that makes an artistic statement or conveys its beauty“.

Because the originals were an important development in my photography, I still regard them as art. Creating them was an erotic experience with artistic intent. The end result that you see here is I think a development of that original flawed art and I believe carries a rather more profound artistic statement.

But maybe, perhaps, it was the performance of shredding the photos that was the real art?

2006

My first nude self portraits date from 1986. Move twenty years on and this is what was going on in my mind and with my body in 2006. It was a relatively quiet year 🙂 But the usual mix of styles, not all to be taken too seriously…

I am pulling together images grouping them by year. Follow the tag Year by Year to collate them all. This is the first set and they will go up in no particular order.

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It’s a seagull

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Self portrait (1998)

Originally a crop of this was the first image I ever posted to flickr to introduce myself, and my art there. I’m surprised to find that not only did I not use it as my first image here, as far as I can see, I’ve not posted it at all. Rectified.

Naked out-takes and naked dogs at Ashdown Forest shoot

 

Out-takes at the shoot with Jess
Out-takes at the Ashdown Forest shoot with Jess
Out-takes at the shoot with Jess
Necer mind the sticks, where’s my dress?!
Out-takes at the shoot with Jess
Naked forest happiness
Out-takes at the shoot with Jess
The chance of barking to warn of approaching humans was zero
Out-takes at the shoot
Naked water divining?
Out-takes at the shoot
My look out was not sticking to her job!

Out-takes from Ashdown Forest shoot

Yes, we took Jess’s dogs along. In retrospect this was a mistake. When naked in a busy forest you might need to be able to reach for your clothes and get dressed quickly. As Jess discovered, not quite evident in the photos, this is not always possible if your dog has decided that it would be tidier if your dress was carried away somewhere else.

At one stage I did try a more conceptual shot using myself as a model. It didn’t really work that well….. Contrary to the perceptions that these images might give, I am wearing clothes almost all the time when shooting.

Jess’s dogs are called May and Stompy by the way. They have no problem with clothes.

Copyright Scott H. / Allablur. Reblogging is cool – please credit the source.

Birling Gap

Abandoned (2010)

Although it may not look it there were a fair few people around at Birling Gap.  In this part of the beach however they were mainly naturists so the only thing to be self concious about was the rather odd activity of moving around and dumping oneself in short lived and rather odd positions for sunbathing, all done in the name of art of course. I kept the camera itself relatively discrete behind a rock because let’s face it, clothed or unclothed, the process of being observed taking self portraits is just a little embarrassing!

In the face of grandeur – nude in the environment

nude self portrait beneath the white cliffs at Birling Gap
Birling Gap, environmental nude self portrait

In the face of grandeur (2010)

Despite some people being about, there was a chance to get close to the cliff face and get this image. But one frame only! Under the circumstances I’m really pleased with the outcome.

I will give you rest

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Promises, promises…..

This is a rare clothed self portrait to record the occasion of birthday number 54 today. Got an expresso machine & have overdosed on frothy capuccinos. Need to ground myself…. The pic was not taken today but Friday – which reminds me that I must stop fiddling with this computer & get out!

Leaving for a new home

Nude male closing curtainw
Nude self at window in Worcester Park (2010)

Closing Down (Nude – 2010) I returned to my place in London yesterday for the penultimate occasion to clear out the last bits and pieces. I took the opportunity to use the empty spaces.

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