Simplicity is often regarded as the ultimate sophistication, and by this definition alone Malerie Marder's beautiful compositions are unbelievably compelling. Often set within stark, anonymous motel rooms, her photographic compositions feature her similarly bare sitters. Accessorised only with impassive expressions, they allow the viewer to play voyeur, but with a distinct feeling of having pre-arranged permission.
Art is always a personal thing. And when it features nudity, more so. But Los Angeles-based Marder's take on the subject reaches levels of intimacy some find unsettling. Nonetheless her images, which feature friends and family, often couples, undressed in various states of rest, repose and togetherness, have established her a strong reputation around the world among collectors and gallerists alike - as well as winning her numerous awards.
Carnal Knowledge is her first monograph, a milestone in the career of any artist, and it has been gorgeously produced by
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with a preface by Gregory Crewdson, texts by Charlotte Cotton and novelist James Ellroy, and short stories inspired by Marder's works by A. M. Homes, James Frey and Bruce Wagner. There is also a written and photographic correspondence between Marder and Philip-Lorca diCorcia.
Charting her rise and illustrated with more than 70 works, the book tells the story from her early seminal experience, when a family friend invited her to photograph her with her lover, to today.