Will Santillo is simply one of the world’s elite erotic photographers – we featured his work in the Skin Two Fetish Yearbook 2009, including the stunning cover shot.
Now, the much anticipated La Petite Mort by Santillo has been released by Taschen and is available through major booksellers. This is something unique; a series of photographs of women masturbating – but these are not porno images by any means. The images capture the private erotic moment of real women, not posing models. They are really orgasming for the camera, not faking it.
Says the book’s editor, Dian Hanson…
“The title means “the little death,” a euphemism for orgasm, but the women who exuberantly masturbate for Toronto photographer Will Santillo in this book are as lively a bunch as you’ll ever meet.
Santillo conceived the project eight years ago to include a thorough cross section of women: young to old, slim to thick, perfect beauties to those not considered beautiful until seen through his lens. The one constant would be that each would decide and direct how she masturbated to climax while he captured the moment. From previous projects with amateur subjects, Santillo had come to believe that masturbation is a far more personal act than most sex play because it is conducted almost exclusively in private. He set out to reveal the diversity and creativity with which women approach self-stimulation, and to portray the beauty of ordinary women in the throes of orgasm—a beauty far richer than the male oriented depictions seen in pornography. Santillo says he seeks to uncover the hidden face of his subjects, and indeed, it’s the faces that best show the intensity of response in these artfully explicit photos.”
Alongside the photographs, Dian Hanson interviewed 37 of the women, and their candid insights on overcoming inhibition, giving in to exhibitionism, and achieving orgasm in front of a stranger with a camera provide a framework for the lush, sepia-toned photos.
Speaking to the artistic intent of the photographs, Santillo states that the picture must, “evoke deeper resonance within the viewer, and that was a personal challenge to me with this series. You look at them one day and they give you a sexual charge. You look at them another day and notice the play of shapes in light is interesting. Then you stop seeing them as sexual images altogether and experience the images as emotions.”
In exhibitions and shows, art prints from this series are printed 5 to 6 feet in size in order to transpose even further the intimate nature of the subject matter to a more painterly quality, while at the same time, forcing the viewer to engage in the sharing of a most private moment.
Santillo studied photography at M.I.T. under Minor White and has worked in the fields of fashion, corporate, architectural, and intimate photography. His photos appear in the Mammoth Book of Erotic Photography, Taschen’s New Erotic Photography, and in the monograph Flagrante Delicto.
Order direct from Taschen here
The photographs in this series are also available as larger than life art prints directly through the artist.
See Will Santillo’s website here www.santillophotography.com