So there’s this guy named Danny Guthrie, and he is an associate professor at the California College of Arts and Craft. And he likes to take pictures.
And he likes to take them with his students.
And sometimes they are all naked!
And while my brain is trying to wrap itself around the fact that a professor is using his students as models, and the fact that many of the images are of female students in the nude, and the fact that he has been an authority figure for them at one point and is now asking them to get nekked for the camera, let’s just see what the hoopla is all about.
watch this. Because my joke won’t be as hilarious unless you experience the guys of Mystery Science Theatre 3000 explaining what a Robichet is.
(Ed Note: youtube has removed my clip of Robichet! You will have to take my word for it that this dude is King Robichet, robichet-ing all over the damn place) Ok, now that we know what a Robichet is, let’s take a look at the master oeuvre of skilled artisan Danny Guthrie:
Double Robichet. Bro-bichet.
Ok. So here we get into the issue of ‘nudity‘ versus ‘pornography‘. Honestly, unless someone is underage, or there is clear penetration, I lean on the ‘not porno’ side of things. Sure there is room for error there, but generally speaking those are my guidelines. This picture (because his shit is so bad I won’t even call it a ‘photograph’ – it sounds too good for this point and shoot garbage) is just of a limp naked lady with a flexible spine, and her professor Robicheting all over the place.
I mean look at this shit. It’s so bad. It’s like my Olin Mills childhood photos with the pull-down velvet backdrop, single spot, single bounce and camera on a tripod with settings on ‘auto’. There is nothing inherently artistic in this picture at all. It’s not even remotely interesting, other than the fact that the guy didn’t have time to press his pants before his big photoshoot. Priorities, brosef.
And then you have his apparent attempt at recreating famous paintings but with picture taking. Just like I did as a freshman in art school! Except at least I attempted to set the scene in my bathtub for my rendition of ‘The Death of Marat” so that I, you know, looked like the painting and not just like your creepy uncle who convinced some chicks to drink some Four Loco and come back to his studio for some sweet shots cuz baby you’re so beautiful I just gotta get that bone structure on film.
And even my final product sucked because my first-year photo friend took the pics and we shot it in my dorm bathroom. But even my 18yr old self could recognize how terrible that shit was – which is why I’m thankful Facebook didn’t exist so there isn’t evidence of that lapse in artistic judgement. What is this guys excuse for being so pedestrian? He’s a friggan photography professor! Perhaps this is a ‘those who can’t do’ situation, though I imagine based on his statement:
“many female artists have investigated the personal landscape of their sexuality, as a means to seize control of their own representation within a culture milieu whose imaging of women has a long track record of idealization and exploitation…my intent is to acknowledge these various traditions and debates, twisting and blurring the codes of classical aesthetics, contemporary rhetorically motivated art, and even erotica”.
“I want the viewer to know I am investigating a history and practice of representation where the roles of viewer and viewed, seducer and object of seduction, are examined and perturbed”.
He will be able to explain how the banality of his imagery is a direct comment on the societal representations and expectations of inexorably repressed, challenged and censored oeuvre of so many other greats…yadda.
But no amount of art-talk explanation will absolve him from this monstrosity. And people argue with me when I say shit isn’t art? Example A(nus)!
You want photographers that pushed the nudity envelope? Perhaps this guy should do some research on Mapplethorpe, Meisel,and LaChapelle. Just to start. That is seriously just a teensy taste of the hundreds of thrilling photographers that don’t even have massive Google searches-worth of shots to demonstrate their skills with nudes.
Also: Robichet. So much fucking Robichet.
Also Also: Stop asking your female students to get naked for you. It’s creepy, borderline manipulative and desperate. You work at an art school: there are dozens of professional nude models at your disposal. Use them and get less creepy!