Claire Mallett: Bodies and Shadows
More and more are women shooting nudes these days which is a refreshing perspective on an age old subject matter. I’m not sure how the interpretation of the female form differs when shot from a female perspective, but perhaps less sexual and more based on beauty. Los Angeles photographer, Claire Mallet has been exploring the female form for many years, and will open an exhibition of her work tonight at the Duncan Miller Projects Gallery in Los Angeles as part of the Verge Collective. Her work is inspired by classic Hollywood films, Dutch Master Paintings, and iconic photography.Claire was born and raised in the English countryside and fell in love in photography as a teenager after receiving an Olympus camera for Christmas. After completing a degree in Media, Journalism and Photography in Bristol, England she moved to Los Angeles. She has been pursuing her fine art images for a number of years and today I am sharing a sampling of several projects.
Shameless is a collection of photographs that pay homage to a golden time of movie making in Hollywood known as “Pre-code”. From the advent of talkies until July of 1934 when a strict list of rules came into effect that restricted ‘immoral’ behavior and attitudes in characters portrayed in film.
During the pre-code era females in particular were portrayed in a magnificent manner. They were strong, independent, freethinking women. They took no prisoners and had no holds barred. They ran companies, threw out cheating husbands and sometimes just behaved badly with no apologies. Given that this was the 1930’s and the 19th amendment allowing women to vote was passed a mere 10 years earlier, in 1920, I find these actresses choices incredibly bold and brave. Also considering that, these days, feminism is considered a dirty word, I look to these movie stars for inspiration and strength. When I photograph women naked or semi-nude it is a process of self-empowerment for my models. Today women’s self-image is constantly under attack from heavily distorted imagery in magazines and the media. And so I look to imagery and attitudes of the past to allow ladies feel good about themselves again.
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