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Art / Photography / Male Studies
9 x 13.5 inches
160 pages including 4 multipage gatefolds
115 duotone photographs
Winner of the American Art Directors Club Merit Award 2002, For a Complete Book
Best Photography Book 2002: Photo District News; Photo-Eye; The Village Voice
For thirty-three years, John Coplans has photographed his body nude. He made his first picture of his back and hands in 1978 when he was fifty-eight and the last in 2001, at the age of eighty-one. Mythic in scope and unflinching in its examination of one person’s humanness and mortality, Coplans transcends, in this sequence of 115 images, the boundaries of photography as an art. A painter by training and a self-taught photographer by choice, Coplans uses his own headless body as his subject matter and as his medium to investigate every inch and idea about his maleness. Epic, grotesque, bittersweet, sensual, provocative, poignant, funny, and even—at times—absurd, Coplans achieves a visual meditation on the compelling relationship between sensuality, aging, and death that is unparalleled in the history of the medium.
While Coplans has published abbreviated versions of his nude portraits in catalogs and small format books, A Body is the first publication to present the full emotional impact of this important work in an oversized monograph that takes the viewer on a protean voyage through, inside, around, and all over the human body.