Anyone who’s ever seen a nude photo of Emily Ratajkowski knows immediately that they are in the presence of art, assuming your definition of art is something that is both aesthetically pleasing as well as serving a social cause.
The 26-year-old’s supermodel’s body defies our previous notions of the capabilities of female proportions, and each of her nudes make a feminist statement that is particularly potent in today’s social climate.
“In the wake of the Harvey fallout and women coming forward with incredible amounts of sexual harassment cases, I have been so disappointed to hear women talk about ‘modesty’ and ‘our responsibility,’ as if we need to, yet again, adjust to make it ‘easier’ for the rest of the world,” Emily Ratajkowski told The New York Times, in defense of her decision to expose her body online. “I’m tired of having to consider how I might be perceived by men if I wear the short skirt, or post a sexy Instagram. I want to do what I want to do.”
Given their artistic nature, it was only a matter of time until someone put some of her photos together girthy text that can grace your coffee table. Last year, photographer Jonathan Leder teamed up with Imperial Publishing to produce a tome of 71 superhumanly sexy polaroids of the brunette beauty that were taken in upstate New York back in 2012.
The book sold out, unsurprisingly.
Now that a new edition of 32 never-before-seen images of the model, shot by the same photographer at the same time and the same location, has been released by the same publishing house. With a weight of 130 pounds, as well as a gold leaf cover and spine, Unseen Ratajkowski is on sale for $95.
The original Polaroids will also be on display at the Volta Art Fair, Pier 90, in NYC, from March 7-11, 2018.
Beauty is Love
“The only reaction appropriate to beauty is erōs—love, the desire to possess it,” Susan Rothschild wrote in the introduction, quoting the Greek philosopher Alexander Nehamas, who in turn was paraphrasing Plato.
“Art reminds us of states of animal vigour; it is at once an excess and overflow of blooming corporeality, into the world of images and desires, on the other; an excitation of the animal functions through the images and desires of intensified life.”
State of Grace
“Since human contact is essential to the success of these photographs,” she continued. “The state of grace is clearly recorded in the faces of the women portrayed, who are often smiling and relaxed, full at ease.”
“My first impression of Emily was not particularly memorable,” Leder wrote. “She was well dressed and attractive, perhaps a bit more petite than your average model. She was very well spoken pleasant, and polite. She seemed well-educated and well mannered.”
A Lovely Shoot
“It was a very lovely shoot. She was very, shall we say, comfortable with her body…”
Her Surprise Breakout
Ratajkowski wasn’t famous at the time. A year and a half later, Leder found out she was Esquire‘s Woman of the Year. “If you had asked me in June 2012, of all the hundreds of models I had worked with, who I thought would become the most famous, I don’t think Ratajkowski would have been high up on that list. In retrospect, I suppose it makes perfect sense.”
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