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OVER A QUARTER CENTURY OF DEDICATION TO PROTECTING, PRESERVING AND PROMOTING EROTIC ART.
July 6 - 29, 2007
Helsinki, Finland

Helsinki City Art Museum - Kluuvi Gallery
presents:
Up Close and Personal

Exhibition of Edward Lucie-Smith's photography

Lovers, New Orleans, 1988
Photo copyright by Edward Lucie-Smith

The 36 photographic works in the exhibition are predominantly close-up candid shots
of nude male subjects evoking the compositions of the Old Masters.

Helsinki City Art Museum presents photographs by the Jamaican-born Edward Lucie-Smith (b. 1933. Currently living in London, Lucie-Smith has a reputation as the most-renowned author on art history in the world. The exhibition in the Kluuvi Gallery presents less familiar works by Lucie-Smith: bold erotic photographs.

Edward Lucie-Smith has published more than a hundred books during his career, more than sixty books about art and is generally regarded as both the most prolific and the most widely published writer on art in the world. He is not only internationally known as an art critic and historian, but is also a published poet and anthologist. A number of his art books are used as standard texts throughout the world. In the 1960s, he also began photographing.

During the last ten years Lucie-Smith has increased his practise as a photographer and has exhibited worldwide. Nowadays the artist uses a digital camera and produces his own prints.

The 36 photographic works in the exhibition are predominantly close-up candid shots of nude male subjects evoking the compositions of the Old Masters, in particular Baroque traditions in painting and sculpture. The moods of Lucie-Smith’s photographs are sometimes erotic, sometimes sensual, sometimes humorous, or sometimes even voyeuristic. He does not play with light, whether working with black-and-white or colour. Instead, he lets natural light and lighting create their own character as he moves with his camera around his subjects.

Lucie-Smith develops a recognisable empathy towards his subjects; on the one level through the radical cropping or intimate compositions of his subjects, and on the other in the titles of the works, since more often than not the models are acknowledged by their first name. Locations are also important in the titles, illustrating time and place, further exemplifying the artist’s receptiveness to new people, places and situations. In this exhibition alone there are photos made on location in London, New Orleans, Amsterdam, New Mexico, Venice, Albuquerque, Los Angeles, and also Helsinki.

In the words of Lucie-Smith, "How do I want these pictures to be seen? I want them to be mysterious, ambiguous, perhaps troubling, maybe occasionally shocking. Memorable, I hope – but how can one know what will stick in people’s minds? I want them to encourage people to look again the way in which they see and interpret the world".

For a more detailed CV and information on the artist’s publications visit the artist's website.

Helsinki City Art Museum - Kluuvi Gallery
Gallery Hours: Tuesday - Saturday 11 AM – 5 PM, Sunday 12 AM – 4 PM, Closed Monday.

Unioninkatu 28 B 4th floor), 00100 Helsinki, Finland +358 9 310 87039
Helsinki City Art Museum Website

Edward Lucie-Smith Website

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NAKED MEN
“I almost never draw a completely naked man. He has to have at least a pair of boots or something on. To me, a fully dressed man is more erotic than a naked one. A naked man is, of course beautiful, but dress him in black leather or a uniform — ah, then he is more than beautiful, then he is sexy!”
— Tom of Finland