Thomas Ruff

Thomas Ruff Nudes
by Michel Houellebecq
Publisher's Description
Ruff is another graduate of the Becher's master class at the Dusseldorf Academy of Art, having graduated in the mid-80s. His first highly acclaimed photographs were large format color portraits of friends, followed by Stars At Night. Since then he has been working on a group of images appropriated from internet porn sites. Ruff blurs the photographs, changes their color, and greatly enlarges them-by altering them in these various ways, he completely recontextualizes the imagery and pushes to the foreground the isolation inherent in all pornography. Of related interest is EXIT magazine, a Spanish photography journal. The theme of issue 8 is Censored, and gathers together the work of numerous photographers who have pushed the boundaries of acceptability. Ruff's new work is featured prominently. Review
Girls, girls, girls. And well-endowed boys. They're the subjects of Thomas Ruff Nudes, a book of photographs by a well-known German artist best known for his searching images of faces, night skies and architecture. The new photographs were pulled off Internet porn sites and enlarged, colored and blurred by the artist. The fascinating thing about these nudes is the way the indistinct tumble of imagery replicates the physical sensation of sex. Everything is hazy, incomplete, replete with longing--a giddy carnival of orifices and sex organs. Skin is suffused with the blush of sexual arousal. Women offer themselves to unseen men and to one another. Some might say that Ruff is "making a statement" about the easy availability of pornography. Nonsense. He is documenting, in his painterly way, the elemental human urges that attract us to each other’s flesh. The most interesting images in the book are the most abstract, revealing sexual appetite as the eternal pursuit of another body’s knobs and holes. Accompanying the photographs is an earthy, supposedly fictional, fragment by the controversial French novelist Michel Houellebecq. The narrator reminisces about the years when he and his wife visited sex clubs on the Riviera. He writes of "dark rooms where people make love without choosing partners, submerged in the flux of tactile sensation." This is the world of Ruff's most successful photographs, a place where the staginess of pornography is transformed into the realm of pure desire. --Cathy Curtis
ISBN: 0810945819
Publisher: Harry N. Abrams
Hardcover : 160 pages
Language: English
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