Monday, October 23, 2006

Howard Roffman: Loving Brian

In his photographic work, which exclusively shows representations of couples, Howard Roffmann has adopted a simple rule: Never put two strangers together and get a nice, but ultimately superficial picture. All the protagonists of his work which meanwhile fills more than a dozen photo books are linked by a deep emotional bond, thus helping to achieve an arcane and intimate effect by which Roffmann’s pictures stand out.

With his new photo book Roffmann carries on his artistic concept and approaches with his keen sense of intimacy the irresistibly cute and boyish Brian, already familiar to those who know Roffmann’s The Perfect Body. In contrast to Roffmann’s other stories of couples, the case is as follows: When Roffman first met Brian at the age of eighteen he had just left his mormon parents’ house and was about to make his first steps into the still unknown world of eroticism. Howard Roffmann has put on record Brians awaking sexuality by means of pictures which are more than just a series of fair nude photographs.

Roffmann has always stressed that a good photograph does not gain authenticity by the commitment of the photographer alone, but also by that of the portrayed. Only when both confide in each other pictures can emerge as those which Howard Roffmann achieved in his sessions with Brian. The ambiguity of the title makes it clear: This picture book is not exclusively about the discovery of the body as it is celebrated by Brian and his friends. It is also about a special aesthetic and human relationship between the photographer and his counterpart, thus ultimately dealing with a deeper dimension, the illustration of which Roffmann achieves in an irresistable and subtle manner.

Photobook, hardcover, 128 pages, 8.5 x 9 inch, 22 x 23 cm