Friday, 23 May 2008

Fantastic Voyage: The Photographs of Arthur Tress

My mother tends to have a look around posh charity charity shops and every now and then she finds something interesting. The other day she gave me a book by Arthur Tress that she had picked up.

I'd never heard of Arthur Tress before, but his photographic projects are works of pure genius. The book had one of those lengthy florid introductions that... well lets just say it could have given psueds corner in the Private Eye about a year's worth of material. But the photographs were brilliant and imaginative.

The thing I loved most was the way that he would pick a theme and produce a full coherent set of work from it. The dreams of children, the dreams of adults and Shadow. Shadow in particular impressed me. It was a large collection of black and white photographs representing a mystical quest for enlightenment, that reminded me a great deal of Paulo Coelho's novel the Alchemist. In each photograph Arthur has encorporated his own shadow into the picture to tell the story.

Now if you have managed to get hold of this book I must warn you to be careful if you are reading it on the bus. I turned the page to be confronted by a decrepid manequin felating a young man. Tress' male nudes are rather interesting, but you don't really want the person sitting next to you on the 168 getting an eyefull. Or maybe you do...

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