People often ask me where the idea for my Bodyscapes® originated. I have to confess that it didn’t come from an interest in photographing nudes or from studio photography. Self taught as a photographer, I was originally trained as a social psychologist. Bodyscapes® evolved from my study of psychology.
I wanted to demonstrate in art the ideas that I was studying and teaching. The theme that occupied my thoughts was one of multiple realities. I had read many accounts of adventures in mystical consciousness and was certain that the most basic concept to understand and accept is that two realities can exist simultaneously. Both can be correct even though each is different. In 1975 I turned to photography as the medium to illustrate the coexistence of two realities.
I remember the moment that the idea for Bodyscapes® came to me. I was thinking that the shape and structure of the universe repeated itself at every level and suddenly I had the image in my mind of a skier going down a breast. This was it – the universe repeating its shapes – a body looking like a mountain. It was also an example of two realities coexisting. The picture could be seen as a landscape and it could also be seen as a body. Although they were different, both perceptions were right at the same time. I knew instantly that I had an entire series of images waiting to be captured on film.
I created these images by placing toys and miniatures on the body and shooting the picture as a single exposure. I knew it was possible to produce multiple exposure images such as photo montages, but felt that if it were to appear real to the viewer, it had to actually be real at some level…with the figure and the body together at the same time. Furthermore, I didn’t want to resort to camera or darkroom tricks as that would make the work less credible. Now with the advent of digital photography, most people assume that any unusual photograph is a product of photoshop. However, I still work the way I began. I set the toys and the model and make a single exposure. I do not construct the image in photoshop