It is quite common to find, among photographers of the female nude, a deep love for women and their beauty. But in the case of Guido Argentini, this love extends to sacredness. By photographing their bodies, this internationally known erotic photographer seeks to blend with a vision of early civilizations. Pantheons were then populated with goddesses. The nude was a tribute and a way of giving thanks. The woman was the origin of the world.
It is thus not for nothing that Guido Argentini's first works associated women with nature. By placing them in immense landscapes, we look to the origins of human history. The woman finds her natural origins where grace can express itself. Guido does not undo her sexuality, he eliminates the taboo that surrounds it. Guido Argentini restores the original meaning of nudity.
The photographer believed, in those days, only in black and white and in the majestic effect which it gives to his photographs. He even went one step further by covering his models in silver to stress the curves and reliefs. Painted, the woman is turned into sculpture and Guido Argentini's photos venerate. His references are explicit: Rodin, Brancusi, ...
Then from nature, the artist slides towards abstract. The models become motionless dancers. The space evolves towards geometry. The essence of the female form takes shape in the silver. This collection is called Silvereye. It was published in 2003.
It is necessary to go even deeper to understand Guido Argentini's photography. You cannont become a master of eroticism from just one or two pictures.
Guido was born in Florence in 1966. At 17, Guido Argentini was taking photos of his girlfriends. Some would be published years later, after he had chosen between fashion and medicine. He worked for the biggest magazines: Vogue, Marie-Claire, Playboy...... There was a lot of traveling back and forth between Italy and the United States where Guido finally would live.
It was maybe during these numerous journeys that the idea of Private Rooms, his second work, was born. The artist chose to take us, this time, from the universality to the intimacy of the body. No more does he tell us the big story, but a sum of small narratives through hotels world wide. Everything is good for Guido because the palaces, like the luxury hotels have stories to tell. They speak about secret love, about adultery, lust... Each room illustrates a story that Guido likes to reveal. The model also wrote a chapter. But it is rare that she reveals the outcome. She suggests. She is anonymous.
Guido Argentini did not want familiar faces in this work. Far from top models he normally works with, these women were friends and models with different ages and different nationalities. The spectator is a voyeur to whom all the possibilities of imagination are given: half-opened doors, half undressed bodies, posed in tension... But Guido Argentini is a player who enjoys sliding a self-portrait in his playlets, just to remind anyone watching that he evolves in the fantasies of others. Guido is not selfish.
It is possible as well, that this is a way to look at himself. Because the mirror, which in the beginning was an instrument to multiply the visual possibilities, today becomes an element of spirituality. Guido began by noticing that women spent a long time to look at themselves in the mirror. It was a first step, this information and multiple experiences.
Out of these experiences were born questions. Where Narcissus had drowned, Guido found a way to rise. The principle is simple. I am neither my body, nor my consciousness, nor my soul. I am. In the mirror I have to be strong and curious enough to not see my envelope or what education and society have made of me, but the whole of me. So, the Reflections of Guido are so many photos of women looking for their I. The result is more sensual than the basic principle. The result is a very beautiful book. The effect is disturbing. The image hesitates between vanity and spirituality; the image of the whole of Guido Argentini's work.