Monday, October 6, 2008

John Coplans (Nicole's Pick)

world war II vet, first abstract painter, then curator, Educator, and editor of artforum and other magazines, John Copelans began his career in photography at age sixty. His series of nude self portraits document his aging body. These pictures are the anti-classical portrayal of the human body and anatomy. Instead Coplans twists,distorts, and draws attention to the aging process by showing sagging, wrinkled, and rough skin.

John Coplans differs from photographers like Duane Michael (Sara’s pick) and Julie Blockmon (Janna’s pick) in intention. While Julie Blockmons images create a world in which one enters upon viewing the photographs, John Coplans’ images are studies of an aging male. He purposely does not shoot his face in order to depersonalize his images. This series is more about aging and the process of that as opposed to John Coplans experience with aging as it pertains to him.

Here I have posted a picture of a neoclassical idealized male torso which very much represents the standard classical canon of the human figure. I put up John Coplans “torso” in order to illustrate how one if about idealizing and celebrating this perfect form while the other is a realistic portrayal of what actually happens to our anatomy.


Sophie said...

I love these pictures! They are so different since it is not about the pretty,s skinny girl but about people with wrinkles and some belly. They tell stories, like old trees, of their lives! Great! Love it.

Eliza said...

I really enjoyed these photographs. While they are not the traditional depiction of the classical body, I think they still show a kind of beauty in the aging body. We as a society usually try to extend our youthful looks for as long as possible, and often fear the passage of time. I think these photos successfully show a subtle beauty in the aging body. The lighting in each work is also very appealing.