There is a quiet little revolution brewing in the world of art photography: People are starting to make photos—imaginative, artful, complex, perceptive photos—of sex. Unlike other photos that have long been part of the art photography world, these are not photos where sex tiptoes around the edges or makes its presence known only by hint and innuendo. These are photos with sex as their central and unapologetic subject matter—photos that invite and even compel us to acknowledge and think about sex outside our customary attitude of mixed horror and titillation. These are photos that represent sex as the subtle, paradoxical, ironic, profound, humorous, often mystical phenomenon that it really is.
"We are selling sex darling." —Suze Randall
Times Square, circa today. You are walking down the street and the Statue of Liberty waves to you. Then he solicits you to take a picture because what is entertainment if not a means to an end. Perhaps it is a little bit disconcerting, but it is art. Living sculpture has become the new wave amongst performance artists. These living statues have the capacity to scare the artist out of you if you aren’t expecting them to start moving. Technically, living sculpture is any sculpture made of something that requires oxygen; plants in the shapes of animals, humans painted to look like mannequins. And while topiaries, the plant sculptures, are very nice to look at, a human form of art is so much more intense. Since art is so subjective, you never know what the creative mind will come up with.
Since the beginning of time, or at least the dawn of the daguerreotype, one subject has captivated artists of all mediums and movements alike with its beauty, intrigue, and mystique. It is the female form, and for many, there is nothing more beautiful than a naked woman. Erotic photography has captivated artists, theoreticians, and consumers for over 150 years. Prior to 1839, nude renderings were namely produced via drawings, paintings, and engravings, all of which lacked the detail and veracity of the photograph. Thus, there was something inherently more illicit about an erotic photograph than a painting of the same subject, for they were considered closer to real life. Kid Richards is inspired by the same subject matter and his photographs are unique in not only their genre, but also by the film he uses, which has an underlying tone of romance. Much like Bob Guccione and the other masters that came before him, Kid Richards embraces the beauty of the female form.
The following text is an excerpt from David Steinberg’s This Thing We Call Sex: A Radically Sensible Look At Sex in America.