'Give me my robe, put on my crown; I have Immortal longings in me.'
I began the month of March with a piece featuring MaleVisionS series of featuring the Tucson photographer's 'white towel' themed images. (Towel Rack) When collecting my favorite shots from the series, I also saved images of Dan Nelson's captures of models in, and sliding out of, their white robes.
Although many artists capture and incorporate elements of power and strength, vulnerability is a core theme within images of the naked male form. There is something almost intrinsic to the art form, maybe especially within studio shoots, about completely exposing oneself and passing the control of the visual outcome, to another. I think this is also the reason some are drawn to certain images, and certain artists. Though some artists play down the vulnerability piece, others find a way to beautifully use it within their work.
I can only imagine, that when posing completely naked, it could even be that much more of a challenge, for a model to stand in an empty space without any prop or piece of fashion to use as protection or a diversion. Even if the prop or fashion didn't cover, it could be helpful having it to touch or hold on to.
There is something incredibly erotic and sensuous about the way Dan used both vulnerablity, and the towel and robe within his images. Although for the model, the white robe might be comforting to touch, Dan beautifully uses the robe not as a curtain, closed to hide what's behind it. Instead, Dan opens the curtain, the robe, to help highlight, bringing what it is surrounding into a clearer focus and view. It also seems clear to me, that these white robes are not being picked up and put on. They are very seductively... being taken off.
In many of his images, the white robe acts almost like a picture frame. Surrounding the focus of the image, the bright white complimenting and interacting with, both light and skin. You can check out more of Dan's work, including his many images of models with and without their white robes on his website HERE: Also check out his print page which includes some of my favorite images HERE: