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Ryan McGinley looks to Yoko Ono as inspiration for his latest show

Over the last two decades, Ryan McGinley has undeniably carved out his own spot as a major figure in the world of contemporary photography. Born in Ramsey, New Jersey in 1977, McGinley moved to New York City where he first picked up a camera in 1998. Five years later, aged just 25, he became one of …

Art

Luo Yang’s photos show women rebelling against classic Chinese femininity

Luo Yang’s photography was first exhibited in Europe as part of Ai Weiwei’s <i>FUCK OFF 2</i> – the sequel to the artist’s radical <i>FUCK OFF</i> (2000) – held at the Groninger Museum, Netherlands, in 2013.<p>Born in 1984 in northeast China, Luo studied Fine Arts and Graphic Design at the prestigious Lu Xun Academy …

The Arts

Touching and tender photographs of a woman’s first same-sex love

There are moments in life when we are cut free and begin to fall away from the structures and beliefs that have informed our identity until we finally let go. In that moment of total release, possibility opens across the vast expanse and the great unknown, a place where anything could happen – and …

This art show just wants you to love your body

Artist and curator Maya Fuhr wants to expand upon the dialogue that is currently whirling around about the female form – and she's using her new Toronto-based exhibition, <i>Body Talk</i>, to do so. By challenging the conventional ideals of beauty propagated by the mainstream press by providing alternative …

Uncover a lost moment of NYC’s queer history

Nostalgia for 1970s New York is nothing new. It seems we are forever looking back on those halcyon days of unbridled creativity stemming from the small community of artists, photographers and writers in the city during that time. With Andy Warhol’s Factory as the then-epicentre, the names of those …

This Israeli photographer does not care for cute

Travelling between Tel Aviv and New York city, Dafy Hagai is back in London promoting her new zine, <i>Golden Showers</i>, published by Perimeter Books.<p>Rich oranges, yellows and reds make the collection of photographs more distinct, as it follows on from the <i>Sunset, Summer</i> and <i>Tennis Court</i>’s, but goes far …

These photos celebrate being naked – and that’s it

Sheathed in a short black dress with plunging neckline, the French woman reclining on my screen says: “Maybe I give you a lap dance,” before exploding with mirth. This is not my Wednesday night treat but a Skype interview with the artist responsible for an eye-catching series of nude self-portraits.<p>…

Looking at photography’s fascination with prostitution

Highlighting intimacy, secrecy and raw emotions, the Daniel Cooney Fine Art gallery is exhibiting the relationship between photographers and prostitution. Titled <i>Scarlet Muse</i>, the exhibition takes a journey from the 19th century to present time, proving prostitution is a pivotal point of …

Your ultimate guide to Nobuyoshi Araki

Artist, pornographer, diarist – Nobuyoshi Araki has been called many things. Often lauded, sometimes reviled, the Tokyo-born photographic maestro is notorious from east to west. The prolific photographer’s oeuvre is monumental, ranging from his world famous, graphic and highly sexualised “Kinbaku …

This zine explores lust, narcissism and subculture

Photographer Sarah Piantadosi explores lust, narcissism and the four-thousand miles between the fleeting relationship of two people at the forefront of their city’s subcultures; New York-based performance artist Emil Bognar-Nasdor and London-based writer and publisher Reba Maybury, in her new zine</i> …

Subculture

These dreamy photos will make you forget the weather

It's officially the third day of summer and I've almost given up – in fact, I think I'm coming down with the flu. And while any weather report addict (like myself) will know that we are being promised sunny skies soon, equally any Londoner worth their salt will know not to get their hopes up. In …

Your ultimate guide to Helmut Newton

Nobody has made quite the lasting impression on fashion imagery as Helmut Newton. Hired by <i>French Vogue</i> in the 1950s before being propelled to fame in the 1970s, Newton came to be renowned for his controversial scenarios, hypersexualised imagery and striking compositions. With elements of his work …

The ten most-loved photo stories of last month

THESE PHOTOS CELEBRATE BEING NAKED – AND THAT'S IT<p>Last month, Magnum announced the 10 recipients of their Graduate Photography Award, and Emma Gruner was one of them. In our current climate of photography, you’d be forgiven for thinking that Gruner makes work about body positivity and feminism, but …

East London

These photographs explore new perspectives of female beauty

After finding himself increasingly disassociating with imagery depicting the female form and viewing anatomy as devoid of all meaning, reduced to a set of codes and combinations as opposed to the curves and flaws that make us human, Swiss photographer Roger Weiss became increasingly frustrated with …

Five erotic photo books to get you in the mood

Charing Cross Road’s legendary art, fashion and photography bookshop Claire de Rouen houses some of the best and rarest books around. Inspired by her friend Vickie Biggs’ Instagram feed, the shop’s owner Lucy Moore invited her to select her favourite erotic photo books for a special night …

The artist said to have influenced Mapplethorpe the most

Think of homoerotic nude photographs from the 70s and 80s and one name is likely to stand out over any other – Robert Mapplethorpe. While Mapplethorpe was indeed the first to hang his erotically-charged photographs on a gallery wall as a wave of gay liberation and sexual revolution surged over the …

Richard Kern shares unreleased Polaroids from 80s and 90s

No stranger to the underground, self-confessed voyeur Richard Kern has shone a light on New York’s underbelly since he first gained notoriety in the city’s thriving East Village art scene in the 1980s.<p>His photo and film work are often earmarked with keywords like sex, violence and perversion – …

Intimate nudes taken by a blind photographer

Hands outstretched, connecting himself to his subject, late photographer Gerardo Nigenda would bring his camera into focus, his fingers often making their way into the camera’s line of sight to appear in shot.<p>Born in Mexico City in 1967, Nigenda lost his sight at the age of 25, becoming a caretaker …

Stunning portraits of New York’s trans community

For many of us non-New Yorkers, Christopher Street is synonymous with the image of voguers congregating on its pier in Jennie Livingston’s documentary <i>Paris is Burning.</i> For those living in the city, its importance transcends the silver screen and for years the West Village street has been a central …

Late actor Anton Yelchin’s photography goes on display in LA

Earlier this year, news came that actor Anton Yelchin had been tragically killed by his car when it rolled back on him in his driveway. Celebrated for his work in films such as 2009s <i>Star Trek</i> reboot and its sequels, Yelchin was lesser known for his photography talent. However, Other, a showroom and …

Why do women go gay for pay?

Lesbians, or more correctly women acting as lesbians, have always had an enduring appeal for masculine heteronormative culture; the idea that females fuck, lick and pleasure each other is often treated as a fleeting sexual orientation that can be disrupted by a penis in the room. Faux lesbian sex …

Teen girl takes on Trump with powerful nude photo series

Donald Trump has inspired a lot of body-based art over the last year. We’ve seen grotesque nude sculptures, menstrual blood paintings, and meat-based models – all constructed in honour of the new US president-elect.<p>The latest example comes from an 18-year-old college student called Aria Watson. Her …

Sandy Kim shares her most intimate work to date

Since Ryan McGinley marked her as one of his favourite rising photographers in 2010, Sandy Kim has steadily gained notoriety for her candid and often NSFW photos of friends and models, taken in New York and San Francisco. “Intimate” is one way to describe her work – she’s shared pictures of her own …

Your ultimate guide to Wolfgang Tillmans

Born in 1968 in Remscheid, Germany, Wolfgang Tillmans held his first exhibition – a series of large distorted photocopies – in a café in Hamburg while undertaking community service. After moving to London in 1990, he became infamous for his candid portraits of LGBT youth, club culture, friends, …

What Page 3 could look like if women made it

Having made a name for herself by producing dreamy images of women to channel her insecurities and pay homage to those who inspire and surround her, Chloe Sheppard has released a new zine called <i>Lust for Life.</i><p>Inspired by Page 3, something that made her feel insecure while growing up, Sheppard …

Chinese photographer Ren Hang has reportedly died

Chinese photographer and provocateur Ren Hang has reportedly died at the age of 29.<p>The news was first broken by friends of the artist, who began paying tribute on social media today. According to them, Ren passed away this morning in Berlin.<p>“My friend Ren Hang left us this morning in Berlin,” wrote …

The photos Instagram doesn’t want you to see

Ever wondered what happened to all the images removed from Instagram for violating its Community Guidelines? After putting out an open call asking avid Instagrammers to submit their deleted photos, Arvida Byström and Molly Soda have produced a new book <i>Pics or It Didn't Happen: Images Banned From</i> …

Ai Weiwei pays tribute to Ren Hang’s photography

Ai Weiwei has shared his thoughts on Ren Hang following his tragic death last month – calling the late photographer’s work “poetic” and full of “sadness”.<p>The artist – who, like Hang, had run-ins with Chinese authorities over his controversial work – made the comments to <i>TIME</i> yesterday. "(Ren Hang’s) …

The only photos you need to see from the last month

IS THIS WHAT REAL LOVE LOOKS LIKE?<p>From the lead up to Christmas until Valentine’s Day, we are force fed images of unrealistically happy couples that feel completely detached from the majority of our own experiences with love and lust. In order to dismantle this, and in honour of Saint Valentine – …

Erotic images where women turn their lens on women

This Saturday, Soho’s Claire de Rouen hosts <i>Dark Summer</i>, a series of erotic image nights described as a fun but serious exploration of our contemporary relationship to sexuality, the body and gender. Its third instalment will focus on the female gaze and some of the photographers who have famously …