Water Nudes by Karin Rosenthal

I first encountered the work of Karin Rosenthal when I was preparing an entry for the Ultimate Eye Foundation nude show. Doing my homework, I looked through the earlier shows to get an idea of what the organizers were seeking.

Words can be very deceptive: one person’s novel and modern can be rooted in the 1950s and another person’s nude can be nothing more than a bare back. A lot like the ubiquitous celebrity nudes that have become the rage for magazines trying to get attention or clicks. Come to think of it, this is not a recent trend, look at those not-nude, nude supermodels from the Herb Ritts photo posted a few weeks ago.

Ultimate Eye was a good and truly nude show. I was sorry to see it end and also sorry that I can’t find any online reference for it. Even though I never won the prize, my photos were in the show for several years and it was always interesting.

Anyway that’s where I met Karin Rosenthal’s nude work. She shows a few detours into landscape, but most of her body of work is nudes and most of it is good. I guess everyone has to do a couple landscape photographs during their career!

Here’s a landscape (but not a detour):

As you may guess, I like her Water Nudes best. That’s why I have “Ripples” hanging on the Living Photographers Wall.

As she says, “I consider these images most successful when their ‘objective’ reality is countered with several levels of ambiguity and mystery, so that what they seem to be is stronger than what they are.” I think that’s a good thing, a photograph that is more than a recording of the subject. A photo that makes you look twice and maybe think a little.

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