SKIN: The Naked Body

By Leah Sinclair

For centuries, the body has been a source of inspiration in the art world. A form of expression to celebrate themes of gender, sex, politics, love and more, from the Ancient Greeks to the present day. Here at .Cent, we enjoy exploring different forms of art and photography, while unearthting some hidden gems which aren’t as celebrated as others.

Below is a list of some select underated photography books, which have explored the art of the naked body over time.

The Eternal Body


As one of the most significant photographers of the 20th century, Ruth Bernhard collection of images in The Eternal Body is considered a profound look at the human form. A masterpiece of the female body, Bernhard’s collection of images have inspired contemporaries, and is considered a pioneer in nude photography and the exploration of the body.

Fragments of the Body 


Created by Plymoth based freelance photographer Katie Minchin, This set of black and white images takes a look fragments of the body, and using different angles to create an abstract image using different body parts. This is a really literal way of using the body as art, as Katie Minchin uses the body and the space within it, to create conceptual photographs.

Shot by Kern 


This uber cool (and somewhat ironic) Americana photography book puts real girls in cool settings, photographed by Richard Kern. Launched by Vice, the series of images are set across Belgium, Brazil, Switzerland and more, and takes on the body in a ultra modern feel, fitting for the social media age. While somewhat bold and exposed, it has an authentic feel to the culture of now, showing skin in its most current form – exploitive, sex driven and bare.

 The Body: Photographs of the Human Form 


The Body: Photographs of the Human Form by William A. Ewing, focuses on the more intimate angles and aspects of the body. From the magnetic flash of the eye, to the intriguing structure of a scar, this photography book takes an exposed and even vulnerable look at the body, taking in every intriguing element that catches the visual eye.

Black Ladies

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Black Ladies by Uwe Ommer takes a look at the black female body, and concentrates on the unique beauty of black woman which lacks portrayal in mainstream media. Somewhat controversial, Ommer takes a look at the variations of the nude body not just in figures but race, with his equally successful photography book Asian ladies.  Educational and erotic, this book covers the different themes and basis on which the naked body has been explored on throughout history.


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