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We've read that the title of Olivier Zahm's exhibit The Secret of Photographing Women is something of a misnomer: "?there really is no secret. It’s that all women are a secret that we try to understand.” And if you're Zahm, your cause is helped by your fame (or infamy), the fact that you're surrounded by beautiful women all the time and, that, despite your reputation as being one of fashion's preeminent pervs, women, girls, really, line up wanting you to give them access, wanting to give you access to them.
This second condition seems to be dominant motif of the show -- which is 90% black and white, a few shots of skulls, flowers, architectural details, and things other than women. There's kind of a lot of nudity and compromising positions (surprise). It's not fashion: these photos seem sort of posed and vaguely orchestrated, but at the same time, it feels like Zahm is unearthing something in his subjects they don't necessarily want to reveal. There are a few that are tough to look at. Because of Zahm's oversized personality and notoriety, there's a temptation to look at the photos and try to imagine what happened right before, or what's going to happen next. If you can put that on hold, and look at the photos, there's a lot to enjoy -- Zahm is unquestionably a gifted photographer and image-maker.
The show runs through June 12 at LeadApron. Monday - Friday 10am to 7pm; Saturday noon to 5pm.
· Lead Apron [Official Site]
· Olivier Zahm Shares the Secret of Photographing Women [Style.com]