Histoires

The project

In my career as a photographer, I have met several women dedicating their life trying to please men that, most part, do not care about them at all.
Selfish significant others that have a conception of a relationship so far from the romantic idea we all dream about in a Love relationship.
These kind of situations always touch me deep down. Every time I get back home atfer meeting one of these women I feel sad and moved in the bottom of my heart: I simply cannot conceive a one-way relationship like these, between two human beings.
I accidentally discovered “Histoire d’O” thanks to a comic book created by Guido Crepax, an Italian artist I liked since I was a young man. After creating the images with G, the ones presented here, I realized that by reading the book I could have a better vision of the story. And by reading the book I discovered much more about the psychological aspect of the story.
For the love of her partner O (the main character of the story that, by the way, is a fashion photographer in Paris) agreed to be closed in a castle for an indefinite amount of time, ready to make herself available to any kind of experiences she was presented to.
During her stay she was whipped, abused in any possible way and, at then end, she was even branded with an hot iron on her butt: just like a cow in a farm.
O might be superficially seen as a “slave”. From my point of view I think that she is actually a winner. By reading the book it is clear that she, nonetheless physically suffering from the abuses, actually enjoys to suffer that way.
O’s body and soul live in two opposite dimensions: pain and pleasure – a representation of black & white, the way I like to see it in my work.
This is a choice she made, not something that “just happened” in her life.
O lives in a kind of seesaw between pain and pleasure. Her pleasure is both mental and physical, even when she is whipped – it is interesting that, by throwing herself to this experience just to please her beloved, she ended up in discovering a side of herself that she didn’t knew beforehand: a side that she likes.
After reading this book I started making myself questions about love and the rules society imposes on us.
Is love selfish or unselfish?
Do we own the ones we love?
Do we love if we ask our beloved to place themselves in some uncomfortable situations for our pleasure? Or love is to renounce asking something like that as a form of respect – even knowing that this experience might make us somehow grow?
Should we unconditionally accept the desires of our loved one?
I have no answers to these questions, I just hope to be able to inspire you and that I am able to offer something to think to become a better human.

Written by French author Pauline Réage (1907-1998), alias Dominique Aury, to demonstrate her editor that even a woman can write a successful erotic novel, Histoire d’O was published in 1954 and won the “Prix des Deux Magots” the year after.

Histoire de G

I met G on a social platform during the first lockdown. We stayed in touch for months and eventually set up the session: a full day of work!
G’s is the first story I’m telling, I have some more ready in my drawer that maybe one day will be published.
Usually, before a session to create images for this project, I prefer to organize a test shooting to get to know each other. G and I decided to skip that and directly work on this project, although she is not a professional model and we never worked together.
She amazed me because, unlike other women who didn’t feel like collaborating on this project – even though they had already created nude art with me in the past – G understood the meaning of the project and had no problem getting in front of my camera.
We organized the session at her house and at the end, she even offered me a cocktail and a generous dish of pasta asciutta!
Her sensitivity made me understand, once again, that I must always dare to ask as there are people free from prejudice, ready to collaborate with a rookie photographer like me who is only trying to test himself in order to grow: thank you G!

About 
the Collector Boxes

How I got here

At the beginning of 2023 I received an email from Amazon stating that my books were violating their content guidelines. After almost two years I was using their service they decided that my material became inappropriate and offensive!
This was just another challenge for me as I was forced to find a new way to publish my work.
I must say that, at the beginning of my publisher history, the main goal of my publications was to promote the diffusion of images on paper.
Everything started with the nudeartzine.com project, where I was publishing images created by other artists I discovered on the Internet.
Being forced to find a new way to produce prints made me see everything from a different perspective – to create quality artistic nude imagery requires a lot of energies, efforts and skills. The resulting work deserves to be printed on fine art paper using quality inks rather than by a print-on-demand service, no matter what the content is.
Luckily I’m now able to produce prints without having to depend on anyone else, controlling the entire process and the quality of the final product. It took another year from that annoying email but the whole situation made me grow and I love to grow!
The Collector Boxes are the first way I thought about how to present prints. I have more ideas in the pipeline so, if you like my work, be sure to subscribe my Collectors Newsletter. From now on, all my publications will be produced in an artisanal way: this make me somehow feel like photographers of the past, when using analog cameras they had to print to be able to see their work.
It took time and energy but I’m proud to be finally releasing the first publication entirely produced in my studio!

Limited editions

Each Collector Box is produced in a limited edition: every time an edition is sold, the price goes up and, once all editions are gone, there will be no way to get another one.

The opaline

The opaline paper used to separate each print has different purposes.
First of all it is needed to slow down the fruition: we live in a world that travels too fast and the images presented here demand the observer to focus, concentrate and find a meaning – this is not Instagram!
Then, by printing a detail of the underlining image, when you open each image you get a kind of 3D experience, enhancing overall the fruiting of the image itself.
Finally the opaline paper protects each print.

Gloves

I was initially considering to include a pair of gloves in each box but it was a great complication as we all have different sizes. Moreover good quality gloves are not cheap, making the overall price of the box much higher.
Prints are sensitive to the oils always present on the skin.
After you remove the opaline paper from an image, you should take extreme care to avoid touching the printed area: I suggest you carefully wash your hands before handling the prints. You might use also use disposable gloves as the ones used in hospitals, these can offer a better grip than low quality cotton gloves.

Passepartout

One of my dreams is to have my prints hung on the walls of houses all over the world. If you like to frame one of the prints included in this box, you will find a passepartout that perfectly fits an A4 (21x29,7 cm.) frame.
If an Instax print is included, it is also mounted on a thick paper that can be used to frame it in an A4 frame.
Images in this box were created to inspire and to be alive: I suggest you to buy at least one frame and, every now and then, change the image.
Alternatively, you can get more frames and create an area on one of your walls with your own sequence and choice of images: by doing this, you will extend my artistic process and give it your own perspective making my work truly alive!
I usually mount my images on IKEA frames as they are designed by professional designers and have a good value for their price. I do not use the supplied “glass” as it add reflections to the image, totally changing the emotion of prints printed on matte paper.
You should know that IKEA changes their catalog every few months so, when you find a frame that you like, I suggest to buy some extra ones: there will always be an opportunity to use it in the future – www.ikea.com

Certificate of authenticity

Each box is supplied with a dry stamped certificate of authenticity that includes information about the edition, print date, etc.
Each print is signed on the back using a special green ink.
Instax prints, if included, are signed with a pencil on the front below the image.

About the Histoires series

The Collector Box series starts with “Histoire de G” but it will not be only about the “Histoires” project.
I’m planning to continue publishing the work of other artists – more info at nudeartzine.com – as well as other series I produced.
Each of the publications in this “Histoires” series comes with an original Instax print. This makes each edition even more unique.

Visual index of contents

(images speak by themselves :-)

References

About Guido Crepax

About the Histoire d’O book

Inspired by the some work by Günter Blum