“I have always been drawn to images that have a dark undertone to them, particularly when combined with a sensual or sexual element.”
—David Booker in conversation with LensCulture Contributing Editor, Joanne Carter.
While seemingly unbearably intimate, David Booker’s images of his wife, Eve, allow us to share the couple’s emotional, elusive connection in an almost voyeuristic way. Visceral, stimulating and eerily linked with one another, Booker’s photographs engage us from the first moment and elicit strong emotions long after the initial glance.
The majority of Booker’s images are nudes of his new wife but they don’t feel like nudes; they feel like experiments in the art of photography. Each frame spills over with emotion—with Eve as a prop. But here in lies the irony: Booker photographs almost every area of Eve’s body within his art but is he revealing more of himself than of her?
As a contrast, look at the self-portraiture work by Francesca Woodman (whom Booker deeply admires). In her photographs, revelations about Woodman do not come to the fore. In Woodman’s work, despite revealing so much of her physical self, she simultaneously shared so little. Woodman was explicitly self-involved but her oeuvre is not viewed as autobiographical.
“Am I in the picture? Am I getting in or out of it? I could be a ghost, an animal or a dead body, not just this girl standing on the corner…?”
Booker’s photographs, on the other hand, are so intimate that it feels as though we are viewing self-portraiture. He mixes elements of theatre and mysterious performances that play on the instability of identity. His desire to explore the possibilities of transformation is what drives his art. The concepts are inspired by an emotion or a mood and are thus executed with erotico-mystical heat.
“I was inventing a Language for people to see…” (Francesca Woodman’s last journal entry, January 19, 1981)
Mainly working in black-and-white, Booker’s palette reaches from a rich black to a brilliant white and plays with well more than 50 shades of grey. Stripping away the pretentiousness of high-end digital photography gear, Booker prefers to shoot exclusively with his new iPhones.
Passionate about his photography, Booker desires recognition and his art deserves it.
“I feel like I am floating in plasma I need a teacher or a lover I need someone to risk being involved with me. I am so vain and I am so masochistic. How can they coexist?”