Chuck Samuels: Before the Camera


"After Gibson" © Chuck Samuels, courtesy of ClampArt, New York.

You see now this is how to pay homage to the Greats in my opinion: in marvelously good taste, and with a statement to make about gender (especially in comparison to the hideously awful Sandro Miller/John Malkovich repellent bunch of knock-offs which is still pissing me off).


"After Mapplethorpe"

"For this early body of work being presented at ClampArt, Samuels created twelve astonishingly faithful reconstructions of portraits of nude women from the history of photography by such modern masters as Paul Outerbridge, Man Ray, Edward Weston, and Richard Avedon, among others. However, in place of the female subjects, Samuels has staged himself "before the camera."


"After Belloq"

Between seeing these in person, and the superb press release (nice work, Brian Clamp) I am over-excited! Samuels prints and presents the photographs in the same size and style as they were originally displayed.


"After Newton"


"After Weston"

"...Samuels caps his deconstructive statement by asking women to click the shutter release on the camera, finalizing his gender inversion. While everyone is aware of the ubiquity and violence of female objectification in Western culture, by parodying these iconic art historical images with his own body, Samuels establishes himself as an erotic object, confusing a typically implicit male gaze. As Deborah Bright writes in her groundbreaking book "The Passionate Camera": "Samuels' photographs expose the consistent heterosexist underpinnings of elite culture and taste as he vamps and camps through official photo history. Even better, he overtly homosexualizes those master photographers whose signature styles remain carefully preserved."


"After Man Ray"


"After Avedon"


"After Outerbridge"
All images © Chuck Samuels, courtesy of ClampArt, New York.

"Chuck Samuels: Behind the Camera" is on view through March 28, 2015, at ClampArt, 531 West 25th Street, NYC.

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