ARGENTUM Desexualizes As It Embodies a Masterful Study of the Human Form (NSFW)

This article contains media that the editors have flagged as NSFW.

To view this content you need to create an account or log in.

Los Angeles-based Italian photographer Guido Argentini produced a series of work called, "ARGENTUM " (Latin for silver), that will be released as both a fine art book and as a film that looks into the making and thinking behind the photographs. Each model -- all of which are professional performers -- was completely painted in a metallic body paint. The effect results in an interesting study of the human form (and, specifically, of the female form) in a way that is not sexual, but perhaps quite objective.

As one pages through the series, it becomes evident that we are seeing something in a way in which we do not usually see it. Shadows and highlights reflecting off the skin become stronger -- a contrast that increases in accordance with the contrast between the metallic statuesque figures and the more sensual, soft skin we are used to seeing in photographic studies of the human body.

More so in this case than in any other, perhaps, this series is like sculpture. Argentini removes the possibility of our minds to perceive what sensuality we may otherwise have discovered as our eyes are freed to travel the course of his subjects' bodies as they would over a Rodin sculpture (an obvious reference, yet one that even Argentini even makes in his personal statement -- after the photos).

Meanwhile, juxtaposition with elemental, geometric shapes (circles, squares, and triangles) highlight the complexity of the human body in contrast to that of the shapes within which the bodies are framed.

If you're interested in more about the series, you can visit Argentini's website and/or order the ARGENTUM book.

 

All Images Used with Permission

Artist Statement:

I always felt that photography was too close to reality.

Painting and sculpture allow you to be more abstract when working with the human figure.

My love for dance and for sculpture inspired this series of photographs.

The watercolors of Rodin, sketches of dancers in very erotic and dynamic positions and the polished abstract bronzes of Brancusi were my strongest source of inspiration.

In the pictures in this book, the skin, covered with silver paint, becomes an even, shiny surface and the human figure becomes more abstract.

 

To each image I gave a title, the name of a god or a goddess from different cults and religions, such as Greek, Egyptian, Celtic, and many more.

This book is, once again, a tribute to women.

With the ascendancy of monotheistic religions, the important roles and power that women had in antique cults disappeared.

Goddesses, symbols of women, the creators of Life, have been banished completely from any current monotheistic religion. In attributing forgotten names of goddesses to the women in my photographs, I am, in a way, paying homage to their beauty as well as to their spirituality.

 

Society has recently begun to feel that it is time to restore the values of

THE SACRED FEMININE.

The world has been controlled by male values for a long time.

This has brought violence, war and the cult of materialism to humanity.

The only way to save ourselves is to restore peace and love and to create a new world where spirituality will become the real value.

 

I decided to include a few pages of quotes and excerpts from important writings from different ancient cultures.

The only thing that they have in common is TRUTH.

 

The TRUTH is always the same, no matter when it was written or where it

comes from.

We use words to express our thoughts.

In the same way that notes form music, words should convey what we think.

Unfortunately TRUTH cannot be expressed with words, it must be directly experienced.

TRUTH just is.

The moment you speak about TRUTH, it immediately becomes untrue.

 

As the Tao Te Ching says:

“The Tao that can be told is not the eternal Tao.

The name that can be named is not the eternal name”.

 

The quotes throughout this book do not pretend to teach anything, and, just as the koans of the Zen masters, they should just stimulate the reader.

Hopefully they can awaken something that has been silent before.

 

Awakening may not be possible for all or even for most people.

It seems to come in its own time into a mind that has been prepared

to receive it.

Hopefully the beauty of these images and the power of these texts will help people to wake up.

 

These texts were fundamental in my personal spiritual growth.

They all mentioned the power of the individual.

The power that we all forget to have.

Every time you distance yourself from any authority and from “the system”, you become an outsider.

Every time your thoughts are different from what is considered “normality”, you become an outcast.

 

As an individual you have access to an inner source of spiritual insight and do not need a church that tells you how and when to pray, you do not need a political structure to tell you how to behave in society.

 

Searching for truth is something you have to do alone while walking on a very solitary path.

We don’t need to learn, we just need to “remember”.

 

According to the Gospel of Thomas:

“If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you.

If you don’t bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you.”

 

Just as everything else, photography serves as a tool to discover the TRUTH, and it allowed me to find my own TRUTH.

Through displaying beautiful bodies in this book I suggest that we all try to go beyond the body and beyond matter.

The Hindu saint Sri Ramakrishna once said:

“One cannot obtain knowledge unless one gets rid of the feeling that one is the body”.

 

Our vision of the world considers the invisible and internal dimension of life, those that cannot be experienced through our senses, both subjective and unreal.

Science has follow spirituality proven that reality is not only what our senses perceive.

We were born wired to every other element in the universe, and growing up, we “learned” that we are separated from everything else, that we are alone and powerless.

Quantum physic shows that the observer influences and changes everything that he observes.

We are not just spectators in this universe but co-creators of reality.

 

I believe that taking pictures as well as creating any type of art is always a way of overcoming our own mortality.

Every true seeker wants to fight death.

Every real artist must be a seeker before anything else and thus

every artist must fight for immortality.

Log in or register to post comments

6 Comments

Stunning pictures and a great idea. Very nice Work.

This is an incredible concept. Love it. The human body is endlessly complex, but eternally beautiful.

Pure, classic, lasting photography. Lovely.

David Vaughn's picture

I was about to say, this isn't really a comprehensive look at the human form as much as it's a study of the female form. Incredibly beautiful photos.

I'm speechless!

Jonathon Harrington's picture

Great images. Check out this book http://www.iconimaging.ca/book