Years ago, at an art school in Paris, Maja Forsslund spent much of her time in the life drawing studio, making quick sketches (croquis drawing ) of nude models. In the photobook, AKT, Forsslund returns to a studio, this time in Krakow, Poland, replacing her pencils and charcoal with a camera. The resulting photographs display a wonderful mix of sensibilities, a testament to her background as both an artist and a photographer.
Many of the book’s photographs are nude portraits, hearkening back directly to Forsslund’s days as an art student. These portraits are simple but beautiful, taken with the sensitivity and aesthetic of someone who sat in a similar studio for six years.
At the same time, Forsslund benefits from her experience of drawing and expands upon it with her camera. Freed from the constraints of focusing only on the model’s bodies and shapes, Forsslund is able to pick up on countless details in the surroundings: a model’s slippers, electric fans, a wrist watch removed but left within reach, a picture of the city from the studio’s window. Degas-like, she captures both the act itself and the precious moments before, after, in between.
In the end, AKT is a testament to how an artist’s experiences are cumulative. Through her seamless blending of two mediums, Forsslund pays homage to the human figure and the important collaboration between models and artists.
The book presents an inspiring series and is a work of art in itself.
AKT by Maja Forsslund
Publisher: Steidl, 2013
Hardcover: 80 pages