Under the enigmatic and surrealistic name “Body Vase”, and with the help of his hi-end publisher Damiani, Torkil Gudnason has assembled a work of art and love. Merging two of his passions - female form and flowers - he creates an artful harmony of curve, straight line, skin, and color. Shocking for some, erotic for most, the aesthetic quest is all mastery and mystery.
Using a camera, light, and angles like a sculptor would with clay, Gudnason is unstoppably questioning posture and framing, adding a third dimension to many of his nudes. "I like distortion as a sculptural effect" he says, referencing to Brancusi or, even more so, to Henry Moore.
For a trilingual man with 3 hometowns - New York, Paris, and Copenhagen -, culture knows no boundaries. His affinity for Asian aesthetics is certainly noticeable within this body of work. He is always referencing other artistic talent including his wife's, Jessica Tan Gudnason, whose portraits of western and eastern opera singers may influence the drama with which he composes his images.
Shot over a period of nine months, exclusively in daylight, and hardly retouched, "Body Vase" is incredibly intimate. It is purely about the model and the photographer. Only the flower, the artist, and his muse - or should we say muses? Although it overall feels like a sole body excessive exploration, there are twelve different women in this book.
To the jealous Caucasian who wonders why these women are all Asian, Torkil Gudnason responds, the eyes sparkling with audacity: “I don’t know. It seems like they are more at ease with their body... Or maybe it is me…”
“THE PHYSICAL BODY IS NOTHING BUT THE FRUIT OF THE FANCY OF THE MIND”
Torkil Gudnason first came into the arts as a commercial photographer. Wondrously graphic, refined, and innovative in still-life as well as fashion photography, the Danish-born is one of few photographers of reference in the beauty world.
A perfect and smart listener who can transcend a briefing to make his images both graceful and powerful, Torkil is known for being gentle, precise, and quick-witted. His extremely loyal clients include L'Oreal, Guerlain, Mac, and Nivea. Many say that once you work with this yoga-adept, fun-loving photographer, it is difficult to accept the rigidity and/or poor taste of many of his commercial peers.
Upon visiting his studio, located in the hip Brooklyn neighborhood of Williamsburg, it is clear that his creative talent also yield personally. Pinned on the studio are working prints of vibrant flowers and other botanic studies in rich sepia. Juxtaposed with that is skin, a lot of skin. Much of Torkil's work is an ode to the human body and he does so with capturing wild gestures, implementing unique framing, and ultimately cherishing the nude form. Beauty is a calling as well as a never-ending source of inspiration and exploration. The renowned commercial photographer also happens to be a fine artist, with published books, work exhibited all over the world, and an authentic talent for controversy.
TORKIL GUDNASON STUDIO
209 North 8th Street
Brooklyn, NY 11211
ANGELA DE BONA
2 Rue Beethoven
+33 1 53 53 91 91
Store Kannikestræde 10
+45 3332 3330