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Laurent Benaïm

Hardcover, 8.5 x 11.8 in., 2.67 lb, 216 pages
US$ 50
Dian Hanson curates the most startling images from photographer Laurent Benaïm and his ongoing investigation of extreme and alternative sexuality. Featuring amateur models in acts of transgressive, uninhibited passion, Benaïm’s pictures are produced through the vintage gum dichromate print process, lending each image the forbidden feel of a Belle Époque postcard.

Customer reviews (8)

Faire l’amour

Laurent Benaïm’s transgressive sex photography
“I’ve always been fascinated by sex, the diversity of practices, the will and perseverance of people to realize their fantasies,” says Paris photographer Laurent Benaïm. “These moments of pleasure captivate me in all their forms: the beautiful, the ugly. I have no criteria for aesthetic selection, only the expression of human desire interests me.”

That said, Monsieur Benaïm seldom photographs simple desire or simple sex acts. His models, he insists, run the show, bringing their uncommon interests to his studio; he acts only as witness and documentarian, offering his creative encouragement and nonjudgmental camera. He shoots only amateurs, people whose lives range from button-down white collar to transient to circus sideshow. They are young and old, straight, gay and transgender, able bodied, ample bodied and oddly bodied. They have been coming to Benaïm’s large commercial studio in the Parisian suburb of Montreuil since 1999, first a trickle, then a flood, as word spread that their quirks and obsessions would not just be embraced, but transformed into art, through a painstaking 19th-century print technique little used in the last 100 years.

Benaïm earned his photographic degree in 1982. He set up shop as a conventional photographer, but at heart was a pictorialist, always searching for ways to defeat photographic realism. In 1991 he saw an antique photo with just the look he sought, and through trial and much error taught himself the gum dichromate process. It’s tedious, smelly, and probably poisonous, but Benaïm has used it exclusively since 1996, giving his startling sex photos the look of oversized French postcards, printed, perhaps, in the damp cellar of a Belle Époque whorehouse. The technique softens the extremity of his subject, leading to gallery shows in Paris, Berlin, Milan, Luxembourg, Zurich and, fittingly, at the Kinsey Institute for sexual research in Bloomington, Indiana.

Laurent Benaïm presents 300 of the photographer’s 1,000+ images in what will be among TASCHEN’s most transgressive—and talked about—titles, with an introduction by editor Dian Hanson.
The photographer

Parisian photographer Laurent Benaïm (born 1965) specializes in the depiction of edgy and unusual sexuality. Shooting only real couples and amateur models, and working with the Victorian gum bichromate print process, he has garnered an international following, both online and in more daring galleries.

The editor

Dian Hanson produced a variety of men’s magazines from 1976 to 2001, including Juggs, Outlaw Biker, and Leg Show, before becoming TASCHEN’s Sexy Book Editor. Her titles include the “body part” series, The Art of Pin-up, Psychedelic Sex, and Ren Hang.

Laurent Benaïm
Hardcover, 8.5 x 11.8 in., 2.67 lb, 216 pages

Customer reviews (8)

Innovative and Beautiful

Diego, November 04, 2021
A wonderful collection of erotic pictures capturing an alluring sensualization of the human form. Thought-provoking and arousing at the same time.

Great overview of Benaïm's work

Dale, November 02, 2021
Great overview of Benaïm's work. Very-well done. The paper compliments the photos amazingly.

Laurent Benaïm

Arnoldas, October 30, 2021
Impressive collection, impressive technique. So far away from the dominant aesthetics representing sexuality.

Tip top

Nicolas, October 27, 2021
Quelle beauté. Une super œuvre. Un super livre. Une super maison d’édition et c’est pour ça que ça marche. Bravo !

Donner mon avis

Patrick Berthou, November 12, 2021
Malgré ses photos autour de sexualités non conventionnelles, Laurent Benaïm ne s’identifie pas comme un militant, mais recherchant plutôt à susciter des réactions.
Il dit ne pas juger les fantaisies de ses clients ; "mes modèles sont représentatifs de femmes et d’hommes qui en parallèle d'une vie active et sociale bien remplie s’équilibre du fait par exemple de revêtir un costume associé à une séance de soumission"
Libre à chacun d’interpréter ce qui démontre selon moi une forme de liberté...

Geniale Technik

J-G., October 29, 2021
Beeindruckende Technik, die zu einmaligen „Fotografien“ führt.

Fotografare l'attimo

Andrea, October 27, 2021
Un fotografico che affronta un tema facilmente abusato che qui è puro protagonista, il sesso e la sua libera pratica. La tecnica fotografica è qui seconda all'attimo del piacere.

Danke für die Mühe

Inna, October 27, 2021
Obwohl, das Buch ausverkauft schien, habe ich auf Nachfrage das Buch doch bekommen. Nochmal vielen Dank.
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