|Notes on NUDES||view bio|
The photographs in this portfolio represent a small fraction of the black-and-white nudes in George Holz' oeuvre. Holz began photographing everyday women liberated of their everyday costumes some thirty years ago, shortly before he launched a career in fashion and celebrity photography. All along, the nudes have been closest to his heartóthe pictures he takes to teach and challenge himself.
While he cultivates beauty in all his work, Holz doesn't necessarily seek professional models for these portraits. Instead, he primarily shoots fellow artists, friends, and women who approach him to be photographed. There are no casting calls or auditions, just meetings over coffee wherein Holz gages his potential subject's sense of adventure and studies her face. What is he looking for? "Something striking or odd," he says. "Beauty is okay too, but it's not my first priority." If model and photographer decide to collaborate, they may do so for a single afternoon or many.
Jill, who first modeled for Holz in 1992 and works with him several times a year, has gripped icicles, waded through marshes and cartwheeled through muddy pastures for the photographer, becoming a favorite muse. "She's not afraid to be awkward," says Holz, "and with her I always feel I'm discovering something new." For the viewer, who is meeting these women for the first time via their silver-gelatin likenesses, that sense of discovery is grippingly apparent here. It is the emotional layer that makes a "nude" a complex portrait.