The Tom & Lorenzo Archives: 2006 -2011
Our current site is here: www.tomandlorenzo.com

Gisele Bündchen by Sølve Sundsbø

It's Sexy Sunday, bitches!

We almost find it hard to believe that we've never featured Gisele Bündchen here before, since she's something of a patron saint around our house. It's a tragedy how watered down the term "supermodel," has become but not only is Gisele worthy of the title, she's really the last of the species. No one else has come along after her and unless the next genetically gifted teenager with just the right amount of attitude comes along, the ridiculously tall Brazilian with the slightly gawky face and the slammin'-est body on the runways has the term to herself for now (as far as we're concerned).

Sølve Sundsbø is a Norwegian fashion photographer living in London. He's received a lot of acclaim from major designers such as Tom Ford, Yves Saint Laurent, Dior, Gucci, Hermès, and Armani.

Grab a glass of icewater and a fan, girls.











[Photos: Sølve Sundsbø]

Post a comment
196 comments:

wow, those photos are fierce. can't tell if the guys are her slaves or if they're raping her. interesting race dialogue. the first photo is super sexy


Absolutely gorgeous. Good lighting, good contrast, and I'm loving the race contrast there...


Almost perfect and Gisele looked nice too!

TampaBay


First - thanks for the absolutely beautiful photos. Feel like I just went to a museum!
As for race - if the guys were white there would be no question of "slaves" or "rape." Part of what
makes those photos stunning is the contrast - not the race. I get no whiff of either slavery or rape. I see a woman being treated gently and I see mutual respect.


urgh, that shoot doesn't strike you as revoltingly racist and exploitative? Because, um, it does me. Beautiful photography doesn't excuse this Kong-Fay Wray racist, sexist narrative writ large.


Tui said...
urgh, that shoot doesn't strike you as revoltingly racist and exploitative? Because, um, it does me. Beautiful photography doesn't excuse this Kong-Fay Wray racist, sexist narrative writ large.

Wasn't the same thing said regarding race when Gisele posed for the cover of Vogue or was it Vanity Fair with the basketball star?

Everyone sees something different in a picture. That's why they call it art.

TampaBay


Absolutely STUNNING! Love her!!!

No offense, but only an American would see slavery/racism in these pictures. I see a beautiful contrast of black and white, probably what the photographer had in mind.


Exactly how is this racist?


Gisele would be a great judge on Make Me A Supermodel.


FIERCE!


Stunning, but I find myself drawn more to the gorgeous men than Gisele. She seems an afterthought in this layout.


I'm not a fan of hers - she's WAY overexposed here thanks to her marriage to Tom Brady (whom, despite being a huge Patriots fan, I am also tired of).

The men are totally hot, though!


How about playing into old sexual panic fears about white women, black men, and sexuality? There is a really really long association in Western literature of the black man and the white woman having a fraught sexual tension. Both are groups that have been depicted in literature as being unable to control their sexuality. White women were also seen as being helpless, vulnerable, and able to be seduced or raped by black men. (Please note that my recapitulation of these extremely common themes in western literature and art should not be taken as endorsement - the reverse in fact.)

These photos are transparently playing into this legacy - and for the record, I am not American. Frankly, the very first comment - "can't tell if the guys are her slaves or if they're raping her" - encapsulates what these photos are presenting.


I do think the photos are fierce, and that she looks gorgeous.

But I'm doing a double-take, here. Unless Sølve Sundsbø photoshopped out the little thong strings, all those guys are stark naked. Nekkid!

I'm not seeing rape here - she's a willing participant and even happily nibbling on one of the men's ears at one point. Nor do I see slavery. But we are intended to be riveted. It is specifically designed to startle, to capture our attention.

Whatever subconscious issues he's playing on, Sølve Sundsbø has DEFINITELY captured our attention. I could be wrong about this, but to me that's the hallmark of a successful fashion photograph.


"Tui said...
Frankly, the very first comment - "can't tell if the guys are her slaves or if they're raping her" - encapsulates what these photos are presenting."


Yes, because he's clearly in the majority here. Eyes rolling. And how old is Ross? 16?


" Tui said...

How about playing into old sexual panic fears about white women, black men, and sexuality? There is a really really long association in Western literature of the black man and the white woman having a fraught sexual tension. Both are groups that have been depicted in literature as being unable to control their sexuality. White women were also seen as being helpless, vulnerable, and able to be seduced or raped by black men. (Please note that my recapitulation of these extremely common themes in western literature and art should not be taken as endorsement - the reverse in fact.)

These photos are transparently playing into this legacy"

The only thing transparent here is your issues.


Bottom line is, people see what they want to see. Moving on...


WOW, these are GORGEOUS and the men are HOT! I. am. drooling. Lucky bitch.


In response to Tui, Anonymous said: "The only thing transparent here is your issues."

That's unkind. Tui wasn't being offensive, she was merely making a point about literary themes, not saying she believed the racism encapsulated by them. Many of us who are not the least bit racist have been exposed to racist crap all our lives (including, most pointedly, in Western Literature) and do have a subconscious "startle factor" because of it.

Tui was just making the point that these photos deliberately play off these historic literary themes, knowing that there still lurks a substantial "startle factor" in our culture. She was not endorsing the racism those literary themes depict.


"Martinique said...
Gisele would be a great judge on Make Me A Supermodel."


I agree. They had Naomi last season.


I just dribbled coffee down my top...

ummm, Isabella "No offense, but only an American would see slavery/racism in these pictures. "

Blacks were on the back of the bus as recently as the 60's and it was ILLEGAL for Blacks to marry Whites...so yes this would trigger us Americans. Besides if this were'nt stimulating our senses in many ways why bother with a racial contrast.

Dabbing at my coffee...


Hey, thanks, Mouse! :)


Ten bucks says that the Princess Leia-style swimsuit is NSFW (not safe for work).

Seemed to be more holes than suit!


"Ms Su said...
I just dribbled coffee down my top...

ummm, Isabella "No offense, but only an American would see slavery/racism in these pictures. "

Blacks were on the back of the bus as recently as the 60's and it was ILLEGAL for Blacks to marry Whites...so yes this would trigger us Americans. Besides if this were'nt stimulating our senses in many ways why bother with a racial contrast.

Dabbing at my coffee..."


I am not belittling any of the above, for your information, we had slaves in my country too.

My question is, would we be having these conversation if they were all black, all white or if the model was black and the men were all white?

And for the record, Gisele is Latin and not considered "white" according to the United States' definition of white.

People see what they want to see.

Have a great Sunday everyone!


From LeBron James to a whole lotta King Kongs! Somebody save her!


sike. The photos are incredible, and I want the names and numbers of a couple of those strapping young men.


Can't we just look at pretty pictures?


Anonymous said...
The only thing transparent here is your issues.

5/3/09 9:52 AM


No, the only thing transparent here is YOUR issues.

There is nothing wrong with disucssing that does emerge with the "subtle" context with the photo.

The problem arises when those who have issues think it best to sweep it under the rug or pretend that it dosen't/never existed.

I've seen and heard the comments a thousand times, and always know what the underlying truth behind such "attitude" really is.

Fact of the matter is, this spread is going to create some controversy. Remember Giselle with that big old MONSTER LeBron James?

Remember all of the King Kong/Fay Wray comparisons?


I swear, it wasn't until I glanced at the comments did "slavery," or "racism" pop into my head. The photographs are absolutely STUNNING. I am in agreement that Gisele is a bit overexposed on the left side of the pond, (thank you gossip blogs), but aside from that - they're just that...PHOTOS. To me, it feels like a celebration of their skin color, not a "I own you" feeling. Embracing, caressing, touching, etc. (And if they were "raping" her, I would assume she wouldn't be lifted up, sitting on their shoulders, or nibbling on his ear!)

Like TLo said, it's Sexy Sunday, Bitches... not, "Argue about race and rape Sunday, bitches." (Let me say before I get attacked too - there's nothing wrong with some healthy dialogue...I just think there's some getting a little heated over this one...) Bravo Solve Sundsbo - absolutely GORGEOUS.


Anonymous said...
Fact of the matter is, this spread is going to create some controversy.

Fact of the matter is that there is no such thing as bad publicity in the modeling world.

I present Kate Moss as Exhibit A.

TampaBay


I don't know about anyone else, but I've grown exhausted of the math that people derive from shoots like this.

Mainly, white female + black male = racism and stereotypes!

At least in the issue of the Vogue cover, there was something slightly more to add to it. Namely that Lebron happened to be making an intense face. Here, other than the color of the skin of the individuals involved, there's nothing.


Speaking of Sexy Sunday, Sølve Sundsbø craftily plays into another underlying theme with these pictures: pornography.

Now, don't get your hackles up, I'm just saying. Hasn't there always been a "porn vs art/porn AS art" debate? I get the feeling that this photographer, were he American, might have been tossed in the klink for those nude butts had these photos been made in the 1950's.

Apparently, however, we're pretty blase about that stuff these days on this side of the Pond.

Plus, not one of you saw reverse sexism in shamelessly displaying those guys nude as window-dressing or props while the woman was dressed.

No doubt too busy admiring those cute butts. Oh, excuse me, the "artistry" of those cute butts.

=D


Isabella
I am not belittling any of the above, for your information, we had slaves in my country too.

My question is, would we be having these conversation if they were all black, all white or if the model was black and the men were all white?

And for the record, Gisele is Latin and not considered "white" according to the United States' definition of white.

People see what they want to see.

Have a great Sunday everyone!
Isabella,
You bring up and interesting point. That slavery existed in South America and specifically in Brazil where Gisele is from.
I do think the pictures are intended to be provocative in a somewhat offensive manner. Certainly all the participants were aware of the connontations the pictures would invoke. The pictures are without a doubt very sexually charged and at one time they would have never been printed.
As to the US definition of white, how about we just say, of European origin? That is probably more accurate anyway.


As I said earlier:

The editorial photographs are near perfection and Gisele looks good too!!! LOL! LOL!

TampaBay


I don't think anyone is saying that Sølve and Giselle are trying to set back black people a hundred years. Some people just see the pictures as racially charged--I do, and I think they're beautiful and definitely not offensive.


Isabella: When you treat people based on their age and not their maturity, it just reveals your lack of the latter. And yes, my sixteenth birthday party was last night; it was wonderful!


Ross,

PWN!


I think seeing these pictures as racist is basically saying that pictures of white women and black men are intrinsically racist. A lot of fashion photos are sexy - these are no exception.

My shallow comment? It seems like Sandhurst is not the only one with Thunder Thighs in the industry!


TLo said:
We almost find it hard to believe that we've never featured Gisele Bündchen here before, since she's something of a patron saint around our house. It's a tragedy how watered down the term "supermodel," has become but not only is Gisele worthy of the title, she's really the last of the species. No one else has come along after her.

Could the demise of the supermodel be chalked up to John Casalanacas's retirement and the resulting free fall of Elite Model Management?

TampaBay


Ok, that's the second reference to the Kong-Fay Wray thing.

The photographer knew quite well that some folks would see these pictures as deliciously beautiful, and that others would see them as offensively sexist, racist, pornographic, evocative of slavery or rape, or any combination of the above.

If you're the professional photographer, however, the more ways you can create a buzz, the better. This photographer has combined extraordinary photographic skill with stunning marketplace acumen. To me, that means a professional photography job well done.

Regardless of whether you agree with the appropriateness of evoking such themes in these pics, people undoubtedly will be talking about these stunning pics for a long, long time.

Kudos to Sølve Sundsbø.


"My shallow comment? It seems like Sandhurst is not the only one with Thunder Thighs in the industry!"

LMAO! This is the win right here.

Anywhoo, the pics are hot. I think that's something we can all agree on...


Yeah, it's highly unlikely that

1) the photographer is unaware of the controversy behind this sexual/racial juxtaposition and
2) the photographer intends to be utterly offensive.

Yes, there is strength, sex and two different skin colors, and yes, the photographer is aware. I see a commentary by the photographer that the visual diversity of the world is sexy, and the time has come that we can remember the past, look at this and see how far we've come, all while admiring the hot bods and perhaps a hint of swimsuits.


Sure they're provocative. They're meant to be. On a purely aesthetic level, they wouldn't be as compelling if those young men were light skinned--we wouldn't get the contrast of the dark hardness and the light softness. If the shoot had been done with hard-body white boys and a black model, would it have been as upsetting? Or just in a different way?


She bores me in the same way Cindy Crawford bored me.


Great pics but I can't see the penises.


Gorgeous. These remind of some of Mapplethorpe's best work.


Well...
Considering that the photographer is Norwegian and the model is Brazilian... I doubt slavery and rape were the first thing in their minds.

Norway didn't get involved in expansionism like France, Britain, America, and a tad bit Germany did. Unless you count the Vikings! And then those slaves were white. Britain had slaves, but they were rarely seen on the island itself.

Brazil, while it did have slavery, did not have the Puritan form of slavery that is the root of our race problems. Actually, in Brazil, race is based on what you look like instead of your parentage. A person can change races in their lifetime.

It would be incredibly conceited to assume that the photographer has only American race issues in mind, especially since he is completely not American. Hate to say it, but we're only one culture in the face of so many others. Not everything is about American issues.


Hmmmpf....I'd rather see pictures of Heidi and Seal.


I don't know if anyone has mentioned this yet, but this calls to mind Shakespeare's "Othello". For Desdemona and Othello, there was no race, there was only love. Until Iago got involved...ahem.


Brazilian or not, she looks lily-white in those photos.

Call me when we have photos of a bunch of white female body-builders carrying Sandhurst around. ;-) That would be a lot more interesting than Gisele's feet not being allowed to touch the floor.


Laura Hopalong said: "Well... Considering that the photographer is Norwegian and the model is Brazilian... I doubt slavery and rape were the first thing in their minds. Norway didn't get involved in expansionism like France, Britain, America, and a tad bit Germany did. Unless you count the Vikings! And then those slaves were white. Britain had slaves, but they were rarely seen on the island itself. Brazil, while it did have slavery, did not have the Puritan form of slavery that is the root of our race problems. Actually, in Brazil, race is based on what you look like instead of your parentage. A person can change races in their lifetime." Laura, just because a country didn't have slavery itself doesn't mean its inhabitants aren't sensitive to the issue. OF COURSE the photographer and female model knew what the photographs would evoke in some viewers, unless they are clueless cretins with a pea-sized brains.

Also, the above statement about Brazil not having "Puritan" American-style slavery is incorrect. Brazil did, in fact, have substantial slavery, including the "Puritan" American style imported by the Confederados. These are the Confederates from the South who emigrated to Brazil after the Civil War to recreate their society down there. Their particular brand of slavery evidently petered out within a few decades, although the Confederados continue to exist today. The American-style slavery evidently just a tiny part of the slavery in Brazil. [See, Wikipedia "Slavery in Brazil" and "Confederados".]

In fact, a reporter from my town was down there researching the Confederados and the issue of American-style slavery when she got meningitis and died. Her article was finished by her mother and published posthumously in our local paper.


Very nice.

But, I have questions re Brazil. Have they ever had a black president? Would pix like these feature in Brazil Vogue?


This has been done before, and yes its all about propagating racial stereotypes.
There was nothing particularly different than Brazilian slavery that made it any better than the form of slavery that existed in the United States. In fact, Brazil's racial problems are probably worse than the United States for the simple fact that everyone denies that they exist. GO to any favela and the majority of faces you will see are black.


What a shock. Know-it-all Laura Hopalong gets called out and suddenly once again she's nowhere to be found. Why do you always pretentiously sound off on shit when you never know what you're talking about?


desertwind said: But, I have questions re Brazil. Have they ever had a black president? Would pix like these feature in Brazil Vogue?Well, as to a black president, evidently not yet.

http://www.mg.co.za/article/2008-11-18-obamas-rise-forces-brazil-to-look-at-racial-divide


Oh my. I didn't realize that I was known to be a know-it all.

I'm not saying Brazilian slavery was any better or worse than the kind that existed in America, just that it had different roots. The system exported from Portugal and Spain was different from the system set up by the Puritans when they settled in what is New England now.

I didn't know that Confederates had brought their styles to South America, thanks for saying so. I learned something new!


and now we know for sure that Sølve will succeed as a photographer


You know, it's possible to depict racial subjugation without referencing American slavery specifically. To me, the indicator of racial subjugation in these photos is the combined effect of a bunch of nude guys of one (historically oppressed) race with their gaze averted, carrying around a woman apparently of a different (historically oppressor) race who is adorned in finery. That's obvious, and I doubt anybody involved in the project missed it, regardless of their nationality-- give them some credit. They probably thought that makes it edgy, but I find it boring and tired. That's why I suggested flipping things around.


You guys should read the Wikipedia article "Slavery in Brazil." Geez, what an eye-opener -- recent estimates are that some 25,000 to 50,000 slaves may still exist, evidently mostly associated with sugar cane production.


Here's a snippet: "In 2008, the Brazilian government freed 4,634 slaves in 133 separate criminal cases at 255 different locations. Freed slaves received a total compensation of £2.4 million."


The only one I really like is the first one--pale white face enclosed within dark hands--because that one's the only one that says "art" to me. The rest...not so much.


Ross said...

wow, those photos are fierce. can't tell if the guys are her slaves or if they're raping her. interesting race dialogue. the first photo is super sexy.


I am sorry but this comment does show your age and lack of maturity. Using "interesting" and "Sexy" in the same context as "rape" and "slavery" speaks to both


Fresca said:

"Call me when we have photos of a bunch of white female body-builders carrying Sandhurst around. ;-) That would be a lot more interesting than Gisele's feet not being allowed to touch the floor."You think so? I always thought hideously over-muscled female bodybuilders looked freakish, not sexy. Certainly they don't look soft and feminine. Muscular men, on the other hand, ARE the stereotype.

As to this black men/white women stereotype being overdone and boring, perhaps so.

But THESE pictures certainly aren't boring!

I couldn't crack a yawn at them if somebody was willing to pay me a million bucks!


Wow, Antonieta, you must have a very boring fantasy life.


" MouseAnony said...
You guys should read the Wikipedia article "Slavery in Brazil." Geez, what an eye-opener -- recent estimates are that some 25,000 to 50,000 slaves may still exist, evidently mostly associated with sugar cane production."


My dear, slavery still exists in the entire world. I don't remember the exact percentage right now but most of the chocolate (cocoa) produced in the world is harvested by workers who are kept as slaves (mostly children).


" Antonieta said...

Ross said...

wow, those photos are fierce. can't tell if the guys are her slaves or if they're raping her. interesting race dialogue. the first photo is super sexy.


I am sorry but this comment does show your age and lack of maturity. Using "interesting" and "Sexy" in the same context as "rape" and "slavery" speaks to both"


Precisely my point.

Off again.


PhantomMinuet said...
The only one I really like is the first one--pale white face enclosed within dark hands--because that one's the only one that says "art" to me. The rest...not so much.Actually, I agree. It's the least sexual and the hands look very friendly and gentle. You wonder what she's thinking, and you know she's not at all fearful. It's kind of magical.


Antonieta said...
I am sorry but this comment does show your age and lack of maturity. Using "interesting" and "Sexy" in the same context as "rape" and "slavery" speaks to both

so wait, art pieces that deal with slavery and rape aren't allowed to be interesting?
sorry, my bad, guess I'll shut up now


KlausK said, somewhat patronizingly: "My dear, slavery still exists in the entire world. I don't remember the exact percentage right now but most of the chocolate (cocoa) produced in the world is harvested by workers who are kept as slaves (mostly children)."

Then why not Google it?

This article, for example, details the child trafficking in Africa, and notes that 66% of the children working on cocoa farms are under the age of 14.


http://www.globalexchange.org/campaigns/
fairtrade/cocoa/background.html


What I see is a play on positive/negative composition, meaning how space is explored using shapes differentiated by the tones of black and white. The models became those shapes. It's good, solid art and composition.

Perhaps it's too mature for some people to see if literary and history content has to get attached to it for others to 'get it'. There's no example of such things in these images, and just saying because those men are black and Gisele is white isn't enough evidence for me to accept those kinds of explanation. There doesn't always have to be meaning in good art, sometimes it just art just simply IS good.


It's fashion. It's fashion. Lighten up, it's just fashion.


Ross said...

Antonieta said...
"I am sorry but this comment does show your age and lack of maturity. Using "interesting" and "Sexy" in the same context as "rape" and "slavery" speaks to both"

[Ross' reply:] "so wait, art pieces that deal with slavery and rape aren't allowed to be interesting?
sorry, my bad, guess I'll shut up now"

It seems to me that Antonieta is a bit of a hard-liner and Ross is right.

Antonieta seems to be saying that if the subject matter is offensive, the pictures by definition are not allowed to be "interesting," and that anybody who thinks so is juvenile, insensitive, etc.

Even the most offensive things can be interesting, as in engaging the interest of an observer. Why do people go to the Holocaust Museum and come out stunned, with changed perceptions? Because the exhibits, which deal with offensive crimes against humanity, were interesting enough to teach!

These photos are interesting enough to grab our attention. That's what they were meant to do. And they ARE interesting. We've never seen anything quite like them before. Also, they're well-shot and use light and dark to great dramatic effect, both as to lighting and as to contrasting skin tones.

Get a grip, people. Just because the photographer shot it doesn't mean he's advocating whatever violence or prejudice we might read into it.

Particularly here, when we're dealing with commercial art, if anything, any "motive" or "meaning" we should be reading into it is the intent to publicize and sell stuff in a maximally "in your face" way.

Sometimes art is just art.


Speaking of "art," did anybody notice that huge gold ring on the hand caressing Giselle's forehead?

Interesting that it is centered above her forehead. To me, it echoes a huge gem in a royal turban. It lends to the impression of kindness and reverence in the way her face is being stroked.

It's really an incredible photograph.


mrs. manners

So much controversy ...

My first reaction in viewing these photos was that they were a joyous celebration of the beauty of the human form.

The End.


Word. The End. This racial dialogue is ridiculous.


honesty,not.pc

Wow...uh...um....

:fanning herself furiously:

Those are nice ;)


Word. The End. This racial dialogue is ridiculous.Well, thinking's not for everyone. ;-)


mrs. manners

Anonymous 4:35:

Your kind of thinking is not for everyone either. ;-)

Peace.


"Well, thinking's not for everyone. ;-)"

But passive-aggressiveness is! JK LOL :)


my impression was not of slavery or rape. i saw love or maybe worship and a contrast of skin color that has many layers--artistically and socially.

i guess everyone interprets art through their own unique lens.


Incredibly beautiful photos.


Oh, lighten up. You people are reading too much into it.


Amazing photos!!!


How about it's just beautiful... they are beautiful, she is beautiful, the contrast between colors is gorgeous... why do people choose to read unpleasantness into beauty?


Love. her. She's such an unusual look, especially for a mainstream model.


She really has an absolutely amazing body and she definately knows how to use it.


"Piobaire said...
Love. her. She's such an unusual look, especially for a mainstream model."


She isn't the most gorgeous model like Linda or Christie but she has an amazing body and looks great on camera.


Fantastic!


@Anonymous 5:33

Hmm, maybe because art is more than just pictures of pretty people?


" Laura said...
Absolutely gorgeous. Good lighting, good contrast, and I'm loving the race contrast there..."

Same here. That's the first thing I noticed.

The. End.


"Anonymous said...
@Anonymous 5:33

Hmm, maybe because art is more than just pictures of pretty people?"


Oh, please.


Black and white pictures are racist. I'm terribly offended. Pictures should be in color.


Oh, please.

Now you're just trolling for an argument.


I wonder how many frames Gisele got to get these great pictures? I love to know!

Ms. Banks, aka Black Mama, is always complaining about the ratio of good pictures/frames shot.

TampaBay


That's not Tyra Banks. That's Pam Grier, who played Black Mama in the film "Black Mama, White Mama".

But yes, you're right. Tyra Banks, the host of the tv show America's Next Top Model, does sometimes complain about wasting a lot of frames in order to get a good shot.


Wow. This board has been issue laden today. You've all had a busy Sunday!

Some thoughts--

1. Using such muscular male models almost renders them sculptural. I'm always conscious of the men in these photo shoots being reduced to background props. (See the Tilda Swinton spread a few weeks ago.)

2. Gisele is skinny! I mean, there's not an ounce of body fat on her, but the contrast with the muscular male models makes her seem emaciated...and a bit sickly.

3. Do you know what a face looks like upside down? After 30, facial features start to droop. And when the droop upside down, things don't look too pretty. Gisele looks amazing.

4. Those suits are not impressive at all. It's a shame that with the gorgeous composition, we didn't have better suits too look at.


Great photos! I had never heard of this photographer.


No wonder she is the highest paid model out. She can do anything.


It's only racist if you want it to be. I see beautiful photos celebrating body language.


My mind went in a different direction ...

The way the men are positioned and relating to Gisele doesn't suggest rape or slavery, the vibe is more protective.

I think the photography is meant to invoke the desire many modern women struggle with, I love the independence of my life but there are times when I (shamefully) want a man to be my protector.

Gisele looks like she is in control, yet she is still being held by men. The photographs are beyond fashion, they are saying something about modern womenhood.

Or ...

I need to get laid, by a beautiful, black man.


What a nice surprise to see Solve Sundsbo'w work here. He's an amazing photographer. He's the one who shot the famous YSL parfum pour homme ad with the naked model that caused quite a stir in Europe. I love his work.


"lkay09er said...

I need to get laid, by a beautiful, black man."


As RuPaul would say, "Can I get an "AMEN!" here?


*snicker*

AMEN!

Finally, somebody who's just horny.


lkay09er said...
"My mind went in a different direction ...

The way the men are positioned and relating to Gisele doesn't suggest rape or slavery, the vibe is more protective.

I think the photography is meant to invoke the desire many modern women struggle with, I love the independence of my life but there are times when I (shamefully) want a man to be my protector.

Gisele looks like she is in control, yet she is still being held by men. The photographs are beyond fashion, they are saying something about modern womenhood."

Wow, beautifully put. You've gotten to the core of why these pictures strike so many of us as beautiful - the aura of protectiveness. It surrounds and highlights Giselle's beauty.

Bravo!


suzq said...


"1. Using such muscular male models almost renders them sculptural. I'm always conscious of the men in these photo shoots being reduced to background props. (See the Tilda Swinton spread a few weeks ago.)"


Yes, you're absolutely right. Now that you mention it, the heavily muscled thighs look like Rodin sculptures.


I agree with others, it's more about contrast and form than a race issue. Sort of an architecture of the body ie. classical Greek sculpture.


She leaves me so cold, most pictures I see her in, she looks so skanky!! These are nice of her, but supermodel?? I just don't get it. OK face, not gorgeous, nice body, but just skanky looking in my humble view.

Now, Drew, I love, Swinton is interesting, Paulina, she is still astounding looking. I loved Lauren from ANTM a few years ago, but Gisele - I don't even think she has a beautiful face. Blech.


suzq said:

"4. Those suits are not impressive at all. It's a shame that with the gorgeous composition, we didn't have better suits too look at."

Ya know, she's right. These seem to be so-so swimsuits. Perhaps they look better in color.

Here's something that just occurred to me. Does anybody see any parallels between these pictures and the ones of Drew under water? Does Giselle look like she's "floating" or semi-weightless (as she would be in water) in any of them, do you think?

I'm not seeing it. But, oddly, the second picture reminds me of that Marine Corps War Memorial sculpture of the soldiers raising the American flag at Iwo Jima.


"MouseAnony said...
... the second picture reminds me of that Marine Corps War Memorial sculpture of the soldiers raising the American flag at Iwo Jima."


WOW, I can totally see that now. How cool!


Jeez. All these people are seeing racism or rape or slavery, and all I could think while viewing them was "these are incredible shots, but those dudes have passed the thin line between "sexy muscled" and "grotesque muscled" ew."


After reading the comments, and looking at the pics again, I cannot believe anyone doesn't see that whole "dangerous black man stealing white guys girl" stereotype, and the playing into that ridiculous paradigm. C'mon, it is not hip, not cool, for multiple black men to be depicted carrying a white woman off. And it is definitely inflammatory for a naked black man to be taking off with the aforementioned white (OK, Brazilian) woman.

Such stereotypes. Sad that this is considered art in 2009.


Nancy Lee,

You wouldn't object if the men were in top hats and tails and were doing a dance number with Liza Minelli.

This is just a little more "stripped down." (no pun intended)


And some more thoughts on Nancy Lee's comments:

"Such stereotypes. Sad that this is considered art in 2009."

My response: Such art! Sad that these are considered to be stereotypes in 2009.


Nancy said:
"And it is definitely inflammatory for a naked black man to be taking off with the aforementioned white (OK, Brazilian) woman."

Even if she enjoys it?

Just saying, evoking stereotypes doesn't mean you're doing something wrong.


What I found disturbing is the suit in the second one doesn't fit her well.

That bothered me.

The third and sixth frames are gorgous. Interesting and fresh poses.


T. Lo, I'm disappointed. I have, and always will, think Gisele Bundchen is totally overrated.


"Nancy Lee said...
After reading the comments, and looking at the pics again, I cannot believe anyone doesn't see that whole "dangerous black man stealing white guys girl" stereotype, and the playing into that ridiculous paradigm. C'mon, it is not hip, not cool, for multiple black men to be depicted carrying a white woman off. And it is definitely inflammatory for a naked black man to be taking off with the aforementioned white (OK, Brazilian) woman.

Such stereotypes. Sad that this is considered art in 2009."


'"dangerous black man stealing white guys girl" stereotype, and the playing into that ridiculous paradigm.'


You can't be serious, Nancy.


To me, what's sad is to see someone thinking like you in 2009.


"Like TLo said, it's Sexy Sunday, Bitches... not, "Argue about race and rape Sunday, bitches.""

Amen, Maryanne.


Meh.

Some wanted to go there, others chose to engage.

Nothing wrong with a little healthy and insightful discussion.


BlueJay:

I think your objection to Nancy Lee is misplaced. Nancy Lee sees another typical stereotype here that the rest of us didn't pick up on. She's permitted to describe it as she sees it.

But where she, like others, goes wrong is to then rant about the stereotype, essentially trashing the photographer for intentionally doing what SHE thinks he clearly intended, as well as scornfully castigate the rest of us for not seeing such an "obvious" offensive stereotype.

Everybody sees something different in these, from the offensive to the beautiful.

And Lord knows what the photographer really intended to subtly communicate with these shots.

Maybe the devil in him just wanted everyone to argue about what it meant.


Personally, I don't see anything racist with this group of photos, at all. In fact, I think the sixth image is very sweet...and the rest, at the very least, are fun and gorgeous (yeah, where *are* the penises?)

Yes, I'm from the US and understand how destructive racism, slavery, and the associated issues they cause can be. That being said, and with no intended slight to anyone who has posted here..it seems to me that each got their start by people simply "being offended" by nontraditional relationships. It's been almost 150 years since the end of the Civil War, and almost 50 since the start of the Civil Rights Movement. Let's just get over ourselves and move on. Just saying!

I like the photos. Shoot me.


I truly don't understand the inflammatory nature of the dialogue about race going on here. I don't understand how saying that these pictures are racially charged (which they are - interracial relationships are still fraught with problems because of society) and the interesting thing about the pictures is how they are beautiful and yet still bring up these ideas about race relations, and old stereotypes, which are indeed ugly things, but they make the art MORE interesting. Yes, the pictures are beautiful and sculptural and show the beauty of the human form in all its colors, but YES, there is still racism in the world, Giselle is white and the men are black (I'm not going to dignify any of this crap about how in the United States, she's not white - the census recognizes that there are white Latin Americans and black Latin Americans and so on; as a white Latin American myself, I find these arguments annoying). If we're going to talk about it in the context of Latin America, it's even more true, with literary works like Sab, Iracema, and the Hour of the Star showing how race and poverty and denigration have become intrinsically tied over the course of years. Sometimes art addresses horrifying things, and yet it can still be interesting and beautiful and, yes, kind of sexy. Look at Kara Walker's work (granted, she's controversial too). To ignore that these controversies exist is worse than to say that you see them, because it prevents progress - we stagnate with the same issues because no one wants to talk about it. Someday these images will be totally uncontroversial. But we haven't reached that day yet - sorry. Africa is still deep in the throes of poverty, slavery still exists, there's still an achievement gap for many descendants of former slaves, and we can't just ignore the context of these things.

I actually think that recognizing that past is less offensive than not doing so. Ignoring it in favor of just saying, "it's sculptural" just makes it about objectification, which seems to me more related to oppression than recognition of past oppression. Everyone who's getting so upset about the recognition of racial tension needs to go and read some Frantz Fanon, and Sab, and realize that history has legacies.

Whoever said that if they were all white men, no one would see the issues of race and rape: well, the former, of course not, because there would be no issue of race, obviously, but the latter would still be problematic: having multiple naked men basically groping a nigh naked women and holding her up and so one - clearly displays of strength and dominance - would still have overtures of rape and the problem of the male gaze.

My little rant there aside, I find these images incredibly beautiful, showing a tenderness between those involved that does make them seem somewhat transcendent while at the same time firmly rooted in issues of race and sexuality. It would be interesting to place them side by side with Kara Walker images (I can't help mentioning her again - I find her work seductively interesting, and every time I see something by her I can't stop thinking about it) for the contrast of the gentleness and violence, with the modernity of the photo and the antiquity of the silhouette, the soft gradient of skin and the starkness of black and white...

I'm babbling. I can't help it - I'm a Visual Art major.


Phew, girl! You've packed a lot of value into that comment.

You've contributed several insights that none of us blathering all day here has come up with -- first, that the stereotypes, while ugly, make these pictures MORE interesting.

You could knock me over with a feather, here. Absolutely true!

And, second, you're right - even if you eliminate race by making the setup race-neutral, there would still be other stereotypes/issues with these portraits. As you so succinctly put it, "having multiple naked men basically groping a nigh naked women and holding her up and so on - clearly displays of strength and dominance - would still have overtures of rape and the problem of the male gaze. "

Third, you've also pointed out that accepting that these issues exist and airing them is healthier than trying to squelch discussion, because squelching opposing viewpoints can lead to a one-sided view of these photographs rather than a more in-depth understanding.

"I actually think that recognizing that past is less offensive than not doing so. Ignoring it in favor of just saying, "it's sculptural" just makes it about objectification, which seems to me more related to oppression than recognition of past oppression."

Lastly, you sum up the blended opinions of everybody here so beautifully:

"I find these images incredibly beautiful, showing a tenderness between those involved that does make them seem somewhat transcendent while at the same time firmly rooted in issues of race and sexuality."

I am SO in awe of what a Visual Art major can see in these photographs. Kudos on a beautiful analysis.

And, by all means, babble all you want! Yours is a uniquely thoughtful and insightful voice, and a wonderful contribution here.


I see gentleness in the contrast of great physical power. Her face seems serene. The color of their skin illuminates her skin in ways lighting alone could not accomplish. The racial overtones are subjective to the viewer. Only one problem....

I find the Kong/Wray reference racist in what you are inferring about these men. They are beautiful.


Gorgeous series!

The masculine against the feminine, the dark against light, the chiseled muscle against the softer and smoother flesh -- it's beautifully done.


TampaBay said "I wonder how many frames Gisele got to get these great pictures? I love to know!

Ms. Banks, aka Black Mama, is always complaining about the ratio of good pictures/frames shot."

I don't know how many Gisele used for this shoot, but for the Louis Vuitton campaign a couple of years ago the photoshoot took 20 minutes, so I'm guessing Gisele's ratio is better than Tyra's...


In my experience, everyone who's said that something to the lines of "we don't notice that kind of race stuff in so-and-so country" has usually been white.

Yes, these pictures are racist. Just because some of you want to shut your ears and look at the pretty pictures, doesn't mean it's not there.


clara said...

I don't know how many Gisele used for this shoot, but for the Louis Vuitton campaign a couple of years ago the photoshoot took 20 minutes, so I'm guessing Gisele's ratio is better than Tyra's...

Having done some low level modeling on my younger days and worked on sets as a stand in, I do not see how a photoshoot can only take 20 minutes. Clara, I believe all that you say 100% but would think any photo shoot would be at least one hour.

my guess on the frames for Gisele would bw 200-300 as this appears to be an artistic editorial and photographers love to shoot artsy pictures.

TampaBay


Giselle is the last supermodel?

What about Adriana Lima?


MouseAnthony: Iwo Jima... Brilliant!


Angel H. said...
"In my experience, everyone who's said that something to the lines of "we don't notice that kind of race stuff in so-and-so country" has usually been white.

Yes, these pictures are racist. Just because some of you want to shut your ears and look at the pretty pictures, doesn't mean it's not there."

Ok, at the risk of getting trashed by everybody in sight, I'm going to address this statement head-on.

Angel, your thumbnail shows you to be a woman of color. Isn't some of what you're feeling here partly derived from anger at what you perceive as having these stereotypes constantly reinforced in the minds of whites by pictures such as these, thereby perpetuating racism?

Have you not been picking up on the real message here?

Those who see racism in these pictures attribute it to the photographer and think he's an offensive jerk for doing it. Not one single poster here is approving of racism if they interpret it as being in these photographs. Quite the opposite.

Those who do see racism in these pictures have clearly stated here that they are disgusted and offended by the perceived racism. Not a single one of them has approved of the negative stereotype they "see." Not a single one has said black men are scary and will rape at will or has trashed black men in any way. They have trashed the STEREOTYPE.

In fact, a good deal of the discussion so far has been "how dare he" versus "hey, it's just art and he's allowed to make art - these are beautiful photographs of beautiful bodies."

Strikingly, many posters just see the beauty of white and black together, and commend the artistry in making such gentle, striking photographs. Why is this so offensive to you? Don't we all want to see the day when we just see beautiful photographs and racism just wouldn't occur to anybody? Isn't that where you want to be headed?

Because if whites are discarding racism as fast as they can, and blacks continue to be angry because they can't imagine a day when it's dead, you're putting yourself in toxic chains of your own making.

Your position here seems to be that whites are blind to the racism they perpetuate by approving of such displays. You don't seem to be able to grasp that whites might not see racism here because they're not personally racist. They don't want to automatically attribute
racism to artists and photographers trying to make a social statement or tap into complex emotions, either. Why is it that you think whites can't give the photographer the benefit of the doubt? Why can't you do the same?

I can understand if these photographs upset you because of your own personal experiences and set of perceptions. But at some point, you have to be able to get to a place where you can look at photos like these and not be threatened, and be free enough to say "it's just art," too. Because the stereotypes have to be dropped by BOTH sides for photographs such as these to be finally de-linked from the pain, belittlement, and de-humanization that they have embodied and inflamed in the past.

At some point, you, too, have to be willing to accept photographs that celebrate the beauty of the human form regardless of color. The sky will not fall down if we let go of those fears that just making or seeing such photographs will somehow automatically perpetuate racism.

As this discussion has evidenced, many of us realize that we are being poked to raise the ghost of attitudes we have never agreed with or have long since abandoned as stupid and offensive. We think the photographer has blatantly done that to startle us, make us think, and to create a buzz.

As our fearless leader President Obama has repeatedly indicated, "nothing to see here folks, move along now."

We're not shutting our ears to it. We're just getting off that train. This whole discussion has been a wonderful revelation of that seismic cultural shift that has been quietly occurring.

You're missing an awful lot of hugs, here, Angel. Don't be the last one off that train.


Anonymous said...

Giselle is the last supermodel?

What about Adriana Lima?
Um, LOL. Adriana Lima is a lingerie/swimsuit model. What high fashion shows or editorials have you seen her in lately (or ever)? None.


MouseAnony, oh please stop blathering on and on and on. Angel didn't rip into the people who saw the stereotypes, she criticized the ones who insisted that the photographer just wanted muscular models, a high-contrast positive/negative space, etc. In other words, kinda what Gabu was saying - ignoring what's obviously there is stupid. Obsessed with this issue much? Maybe you can rant about my comment for 20 paragraphs, too.


Anonymous
5/4/09 10:04 AM Anonymous said...

Giselle is the last supermodel?

What about Adriana Lima?Um, LOL. Adriana Lima is a lingerie/swimsuit model. What high fashion shows or editorials have you seen her in lately (or ever)? None.


Oooh, sorry Sensitive Sally! I didn't know that I wasn't allowed to ask a question!


I'm not sensitive, I was just answering. Looks like YOU'RE the touchy one, lol.


I should point out that there is one signal, unspoken issue in this whole dialog.

It's that these photographs were taken by a white guy, not a black guy.

I think many people would have more difficulty saying "it's just art" if a black guy took these photographs. I believe that there would be a huge uproar raised by those getting themselves into a frenzy analyzing whether the photographer was working out his own rape fantasies or some other such offensive garbage. And the sky might actually fall down, at least temporarily, in that scenario. For the record, however, it's my personal opinion anybody who would go THERE, IS a f*cking racist or grew up absorbing powerful vibes of it from others.

THAT is the real underlying issue, IMO - that we're only halfway there. We are comfortable seeing these photographs as "art", not racism, because of who took them. Could we honestly say we'd be as comfortable if a black guy had taken them? Whites, too, would have to let go of racist stereotypes of the deepest, darkest, sneakiest, and most insidious type - those they honestly don't believe or realize they have. And blacks would have to be at ease that a black guy could produce photographs like these without raining down an avalanche of racist hatred. At some point, "it's just art" has to be accepted by everybody.

THAT'S the seismic change I hope to see in my lifetime, what's left of it.


And for those of you revving up a stinging reply, let me apologize.

I should have used the more dignified "white man" and "black man" reference throughout.

After all, this theme is ALL about dignity.


Lol, yes MouseAnony, I would be equally as comfortable if a black man took them, because they are still just PICTURES ON MY COMPUTER SCREEN. Regardless of how much you would to analyze every tiny racial implication of these photos, it's not as if the message is earth-shattering or eye-opening. There are problems with race in the world?! I didn't need these to figure that out. Thanks Gisele!

PS The amount of seemingly emotional energy you are wasting on what ultimately comes down to commerical fashion editorial pics (I hesitate to say 'art,' no matter how pretty they are) is a little desperate. What are you trying to prove? That you think about race relations so much more intensely than everybody else? Cool dude.


And to the hostile Anonymous who just ripped me twice, you've been spoiling for a fight throughout just to perpetuate these discussions on a highly immature level.

I refuse to engage you.


Ladies and Gentlemen,

Can we back to REALLY REALLY important things in life..........Frocks, Handbags, Shoes, Hats, Gloves and Jewelry?

LOL! LOL!

TampaBay


I'm a little late to this party, but all I'm saying is: 3rd pic, it totally looks like the the shadow on the male model's thigh is from his huge wang, doesn't it? Obviously it's not or the dude wouldn't be able to fit into a single pair of pants, but still, it's kind of funny.


That would be the shadow from Giselle's foot.


bitchybitchybitchy

Love these photos-just gorgeous, and for me Gisele does have that extra something that puts her in the supermodel category

Love the male eye candy in these photos, too....


"Nancy Lee said...
After reading the comments, and looking at the pics again, I cannot believe anyone doesn't see that whole "dangerous black man stealing white guys girl" stereotype, and the playing into that ridiculous paradigm. C'mon, it is not hip, not cool, for multiple black men to be depicted carrying a white woman off. And it is definitely inflammatory for a naked black man to be taking off with the aforementioned white (OK, Brazilian) woman.

Such stereotypes. Sad that this is considered art in 2009."


'"dangerous black man stealing white guys girl" stereotype, and the playing into that ridiculous paradigm.'


You can't be serious, Nancy.


To me, what's sad is to see someone thinking like you in 2009.

5/3/09 11:29 PM
You need to read more carefully - I said that the dangerous black man running off with a white woman was a ridiculous paradigm, not that I believed in it. I find it offensive. I teach English, however, and we do a unit before "To Kill A Mockingbird," in which we teach the students about the young black boys who were murdered in the south in the 50s and 60s for whistling at, or even speaking to, a white woman. Think about it: killed for talking to a white woman. 40 or 50 years ago. In the United States.

White racist society has tried to portray the "dangerous black man" for years, and this, IN MY HUMBLE OPINION, plays right into that. I think it is pretty revolting.


MouseAnony said...
Ok, at the risk of getting trashed by everybody in sight, I'm going to address this statement head-on.

Angel, your thumbnail shows you to be a woman of color. Isn't some of what you're feeling here partly derived from anger at what you perceive as having these stereotypes constantly reinforced in the minds of whites by pictures such as these, thereby perpetuating racism?


Oh, here we go...

Just because the girl was trying to state her case, she must be "angry"?

You have taken offense at being construed as being emotional in the face of this discourse. Why use the same tactics against someone else?


If they had swapped Gisele out for a, I don't know, fair-skinned Asian model, I wonder if people would react the same way? I'm not a huge Gisele fan by any stretch of the imagination but I think this photoshoot is stunning for it's contrasts of tones (hence my question about switching the ethnicity of the model), body shapes, etc. Like most interpretations, I can see where people are coming from with this racial dialogue, but that being said, I think it might be a bit of overthinking. The ones of Gisele being carried about might conjure such an idea, but as a person of mixed-race descent I'm disinclined to express horror over interracial sexuality. Just a thought.


I've read all comments and given a good few critical looks to these images and I do not see rape anywhere.

You're all drama queens.


Eeewww.
I hope he washed his hands before he put his finger in her mouth.

Yuk. This may be Art, posed by professionals, but they are still all people with germs.


Mouse, who do you think is better equipped to judge whether these photos are promoting racism? You and me - white people? (You seem to imply that you're white, apologies if you're not) Or Angel - a person of colour? As white people, you and me get to move through our lives and have racism be more or less invisible to us. Yeah, we'll notice when someone starts jumping up and shouting the n word, and then we can feel really superior and carry on our way without noticing the hundreds of invisible ways our society privileges us for being white. Angel doesn't have those privileges. Angel doesn't get to pretend that racism isn't out there - because she's a woman of colour. it is vastly, vastly offensive that you would suggest that you are better equipped to recognise racism because, you know, you're *white*, so you're *rational* about this issue. That is pretty damn ridiculous.

Isn't some of what you're feeling here partly derived from anger at what you perceive as having these stereotypes constantly reinforced in the minds of whites by pictures such as these, thereby perpetuating racism?Hang on, wait. Racist stereotypes ARE perpetuated in photos like these - all the time. Is Angel not supposed to be angry about that? EVERYONE should be angry about that. I'm a white person and I'm angry about that! That's part of being anti-racist. Angel wasn't angry in what she wrote. She was pointing out a fact which you have obviously been really upset by. She didn't make an ad hominem attack on you or anyone in this conversation. She spoke from her own experience.

To be honest, everything that you're saying in that comment about people who "see racism" and people who don't "see racism" in these photos is totally failing to address Angel's point - which is that *failing* to see the racism that these photographs are using is demonstrating an ignorance of *the way racism works*.


This comment has been removed by the author.

Has anyone considered that as a fashion spread, the idea was to SEE Gisele. In a black and white photograph, she would need the dramatic contrast of that dark skin color or she wouldn't even stand out. If she was in those same pictures with men who had the same or only slightly darker skin tones, we wouldn't even notice her.

Sure they may be trying to take a swipe at stereotypes, but let's face it--they're really trying to sell bathing suits--and most of those ugly bathing suits need all the help Gisele and those beautiful men could give them! These are beautifully composed and dramatically lighted--they are stunning!


Someone was holding a gun to their head and forcing them to shoot a black and white photo with a white background? That's OK then!

But seriously though, there are plenty of ways to take black and white photos of white people without *using black people as a background.* Which is its own kind of exploitation.


I won't comment on the political/racial issues here, but I had the most deliciuos dreams last night, after checking out those photos. Thank you Sølve.


Tui said: "As white people, you and me get to move through our lives and have racism be more or less invisible to us.
I am white, but it isn't invisible to me. I am aware of the crap, the constant large and amall slights, the unknowing unkindnesses, the deliberate and often cruel insults and put-downs, the barriers, the frustrations, and the corrosive effect of pent-up anger. I live in a mixed neighborhood where we talk through stuff all the time.


It is vastly, vastly offensive that you would suggest that you are better equipped to recognise racism because, you know, you're *white*, so you're *rational* about this issue. That is pretty damn ridiculous.
Please don't put words in my mouth or attribute motives to me that I don't have - I did not suggest that I'm more equipped to recognize racism because I'm more *rational* about it. I'm privileged to live in a neighborhood where everybody is thankfully rational and non-prickly enough to discuss this stuff calmly. The insights we all share can be pretty amazing, and often totally unexpected on both sides.

Racist stereotypes ARE perpetuated in photos like these - all the time. Is Angel not supposed to be angry about that? EVERYONE should be angry about that. I'm a white person and I'm angry about that! That's part of being anti-racist. Angel wasn't angry in what she wrote. She was pointing out a fact which you have obviously been really upset by. She didn't make an ad hominem attack on you or anyone in this conversation. She spoke from her own experience."
First, I disagree that these photos MUST be defined as perpetuating racism, and that you demand that I be MUST angry about them. Certainly they play off it, but we can't just censor everything that has uncomfortable connotations. Am I angry about these photos? No. Am I angry about the continual daily dissing and crap people of color take that makes THEM react angrily to these photos rather than seeing them as provocative "art"? Yes, of course. Hugely. I'd rather focus on THAT reaction and understand where it comes from, and work on the circumstances that produces it, so that some day pictures like this no longer provoke such pain and are "just pictures."

Of course Angel didn't attack me. Nor did I attack her. But I do want to understand why she had such a strong, immediate reaction, hence all my questions and my probing for what might really be going on underneath.

To be honest, everything that you're saying in that comment about people who "see racism" and people who don't "see racism" in these photos is totally failing to address Angel's point - which is that *failing* to see the racism that these photographs are using is demonstrating an ignorance of *the way racism works*.



Now there is the problem in a nutshell. You're saying that if I can't see racism here, I don't understand it. If everybody takes a "you'll never understand, you stinkin' whitey" attitude, then racism will never dissipate. Dialog is everything.

I personally don't see racism in those photographs, although to me they certainly come right up to the line. But I understand that others will and do. And I want to know exactly why they do, and why they think that conclusion is justified, and so inevitable that everything else is wiped out. I really want to understand the kernel of what makes these things so painful that they can't just be brushed off as deliberately provocative "art." And I want to know why some people continue to see insults and prejudice in situations where none was intended .

We can argue the whole day long about whether a) these pictures depict racism, and b) if so, whether that was intentional. That wasn't my point. My point had to do with why they are received as racist - what beliefs and underlying assumptions cause somebody to see it in a particular circumstance?

I do think we can get so tied up in seeing racism where it wasn't meant that we inflict pain on ourselves unnecessarily.

I'll give one example of the kind of dialog I mean. I had the privilege of campaigning for Obama in Pennsylvania paired with a remarkable black woman who was the president of her own, very successful company. Over lunch, the topic of Joe Biden having referred to Obama as "clean" came up. She said that she and a lot of blacks had found that very disturbing and that it continued to upset her. I replied that Joe Biden was just a walking gaffe machine, and that he clearly meant to say "cleancut." She looked startled, saying that had never occurred to her, and was I sure? I told her I was absolutely sure that he was trying to be very complimentary about a younger man and that he was reaching for the word but misspoke because he just couldn't pull it out of his brain in time, and that he was just trying to say the equivalent of the Jewish phrase "he's such a nice boy" while trying mightily to avoid the word "boy." "You really believe that?" "Absolutely. Joe Biden wasn't trying to insult Barack - Joe is a decent guy who doesn't have a mean bone in his body." She stared at me for a long moment and then broke into a huge grin. "I never even thought about that! You may be right about him [Biden]. I feel so much better hearing this from you. I'm glad, because that has really bothered me for a long time."

Dialog takes time. And it's tough when, in a limited format like this, people are slinging viewpoints and stereotypes back and forth without entirely listening to each other. "It's racist." "No, it's not." "Is." "Is not." "IS." "IS NOT." Sorry I got into it here, but I have a hard time letting stereotypes stand, on either side. I also do not agree that any one side has a lock on understanding racism.

In the future, I'll try to restrain myself.


I know that people who are not American are not bound by "Political Correctness".

I think the photographer was just playing with images and the commenters are getting much more out of the photoshoot than is there or was intended.


What if it were Naomi Campbell instead of Gisele?


Ahem Boys, I'm a wee bit disappointed. Where are each of the model's names that you always so helpfully provide with the other posts of the female...and...(more often than not) white....models?? Why that's frankly racist and sexist!

So, so, so kidding and I apologize in advance for offending anyone. I do realize that there has been some serious discussion, but seriously, names please, TLo.

Gisele: at times I look at her and can only think that it's so, so unfair that someone has hit the genetic jackpot in that major of a way. Forget Tom Brady and whatever it means to sleep with him - no one should have legs that long AND also have good boobs AND THAT HAIR! I am more of a Christy Turlington and Kate Moss fan, but Gisele is pretty rocking.

PaperPusher


He is an artist and artists tell stories. He is very minimal but contrasts a variety of things like, as people have mentioned, different shapes and lines of the body, lighting and the clever use of shadows, body adornment/natural state, AND a racial narrative (which people have also mentioned too). These photos wouldn't have the same impact without ALL of these elements. These are all part of the story that he is trying to tell (which he knew very well), which also begs the question, what is that story? What is he trying to tell using these different elements that he purposefully chose (key word) and skillfully captured? And the eternal question, WHY.

What was the purpose of using only black men and why did they all have to be dark? Why couldn't they have been of varying skin tones and races? Black men aren't the only ones who can get all ripped and oily.

Why did they all have to look away from her and act like her playthings? She is obviously in control of the situation from her body language, her eye contact, the fact that she has expensive jewelry and clothes on, couldn't they all wear clothes and not carry her around like she was in a position of power?

Because if he didn't, then it wouldn't have the same context because he is purposefully using race as an aspect of this shoot.

Which means we can discuss it. And that's what makes art really good art: discussion, critique and analysis.

I love art, but you also have to be responsible and accountable for your choices and actions.


Oh to be be a fly on the wall at that photoshoot. Giselle looks stunning and those men defy words. Just glorious!

Thanks for making my night boys!


Gisele is amazing. She IS a supermodel.


These pics are definetely fierce!!!

I wonder what her husband may be thinking though... hahaha


roldy aguero ftw!


Roldy's got it right, unless you think great photography doesn't "mean" anything. Racial and gender 'contrast' is everything here.


I love how although Gisele is being carried around like a doll in a lot of these pictures, it seems pretty clear that she's the one in control. Absolutely stunning.


Call me insensitive if you will, but I (as an american) first thought about he brilliance of the tonal contrast created between the men and Gisele. Granted I could be biased because I shoot chieflt black adn white film, but you must admit that the effect would be no where near the same if these images had been shout in color. If they had been shot in color then perhaps we could validly raise a host of cultural issues and undertones etc. The fact that this was shot in black in white, combined with the beautiful lighting - all I see is a very clear and commendable artistic vision. Give the artistic eye where credit is due and stop quibbling about what you are projecting. Art is something differnet to each person, but sometimes art is simply art for arts sake. That is what I think this is, something beautiful that shoudl be appreciated for the vision itself.


Diego! said...
I wonder what her husband may be thinking though... hahaha

5/5/09 8:52 AM


If it isn't Randy Moss carrying her off for a touchdown, he couldn't care less.





(Transl.- Randy Moss is a wide receiver for the New England Patriots. Get your minds out of the gutter!)


Co-signing with Tui, Angel H. Both I (a woman of color) and my White anti-racist snugglebunny agree that these images, while beautiful, definitely play into some very specific historical imagery. (Kudos for the Jim Crow Museum link, Angel H.!) The photos themselves are exquisite, and while I don't read a rape narrative here, there's definitely a hyper-masculine, hyper-sexualized theme going for the men. C'mon, folks - remember Mapplethorpe's Black Book? Yeah. Same idea: Black-skin-as-fetish, Black-sex-as-taboo/desirable.

Non-malicious racism is still harmful.


The photos are beautiful. The Black men are gorgeous! I wish I was Giselle being carried by those hunks!!


Just chiming in to call Ross an asshole. I don't care to read any of the other comments.


BLACK PEOPLE BEING SEXUALLY OBJECTIFIED. racist western society has been turning black bodies into sexual oddities FOR CENTURIES. this is SO original. if you can't understand why these photos are racist refer to the first comment furnished by bubblehead ross. it perfectly proves my point. upon first look at a photo with many black men and a lone white woman, western society indoctrinates people into AUTOMATICALLLY thinking they should either be her SLAVES or RAPISTS.


In these photos I see a lot of beautiful people, and honestly I didn't see anything sexual about it, mainly because it looks like the men aren't looking at her, and she isn't looking at the men, but the viewer. Even where she is nibbling on the one guys ear, he appears to have no interest. It kind of reminds me of The Birth of Venus by Botticelli - where beauty is being brought into a world and presented by otherworldly beings, (because seriously, those guys are gorgeous). It appears to me that they don't really care what she looks like, either because they are surrounded by beauty all the time, or they are looking away out of respect or maybe they are just conveying boredom. Um, I just didn't catch the whole black/white thing in a sexual way, but more of an ethereal way. There is no passion or sex in any of these photos, or I can't feel that was apparent.


just some thoughts

I'd be very curious to know the ages and backgrounds of the people who have commented on this photo exploiting racial stereotypes.

I understand why people interpret it that way after reading the comments, but that's honestly not what I saw upon first seeing them. Upon first glance, I was incredibly impressed by the composition of the photos (and also by how amazingly attractive the men were -- yum).

I'm a 22 year old black female and I grew up in a very racially diverse area. Growing up, my two best friends were Arab and white, and I've been surrounded by interracial relationships my whole life (including several of my own). Seeing such sexual imagery with black men and Giselle did not strike me as provocative until I read the comments.

This dialogue reminds me of an article in the Times from last year before the election about the difference between black leaders who lived through the Civil Rights Movement versus those who don't remember much of it/weren't alive during it. Compare the work of, say, Al Sharpton to Barack Obama's speech on race last February after the Rev. Wright controversy. The generational divide is incredibly large in the black community; young(er) people view the fight against racism as a challenge to less overt prejudice than in the past.

I discussed this article with friends of all races, and they noticed this divide. The most curious part, however, is that it was somewhat apparent in non-racist people who weren't black. There are older white people, for example, who view America's racial problems through a lens much more similar to that of our nation's trailblazers during the Movement than mine.

I wonder if there is a similarity here. People who strongly feel this piece serves as either simply striking art or the epitome of racial tension and stereotyping, how old are you? What race are you? Where did you grow up? My curiosity is piqued.


Thanks for the absolutely gorgeous pictures. Brazilian supermodel Gisele Bundchen is the highest-earning model in the world, according to a list compiled by Forbes.com. The model has topped the list for the third year running.


Although I also see a reference to racism/slavery in these photos, I don't see the rape issue. Gisele just looks too calm and in control - there is nothing in her face that signifies horror or submission.

Frankly I get more of an "Egyptian queen and her slaves" vibe from the photos. These incredibly muscular men are handling the physically more vulnerable woman with care, gentleness, and respect. The photos are sexual and sensual, but I get the feeling the woman is a willing participant, the way a queen might take a lover, but remain emotionaly uninvolved.

When I first saw the pictures, I thought, "Here is another European making their comments on American race and slavery issues." But the photos lack the tension that would be requisite to convey them.

I do like the photos: they are striking in their contrasts in shape and shades of color (both the difference in skin color and the black-and-white prints).


These photos are absolutely gorgeous in every way. That is one lucky woman! These photos show their grace, strength, power, dependency and pure lust!

Living in this era taught me to look past stupidness and ignorance and see the beauty in front of me. Thats where our attention should be.


trehtrfjjhgm


This is the perfect article for me in order to find more and new information I'd like to get my knowledge wider.


http://tamazula.com/music/usher-raymond-vs-raymond-cover-art.html http://tamazula.com/music/eminem-recovery-download-zip-mediafire.html http://tamazula.com/music/eminem-recovery-kanye-diss.html


For men who want bigger, harder, longer-lasting erections, there's now VigRX Plus™, a fresh twist on the already popular VigRX™, but designed to further enhance men's sexual functioning with the addition of three exciting new ingredients: Damiana, Tribulus, and Bioperin. Doctor endorsed and rated #1 for results by clients of penis enlargement consumers. rated two penis pills is vimax. if you find about male enhancement this products is the best and proven to work, there products have money-back guarantee in effectiveness and result.


thanks !! very helpful post!


This is a nice post shared here. Pictures are good.Nice work.


wow great i have read many articles about this topic and everytime i learn something new i dont think it will ever stop always new info , Thanks for all of your hard work!
turbulence training program


viagra for sale - http://viagraonlinerx.net/ - :) - cialis online http://viagraonlinerx.net/ south africa - :)
http://ozonlinepharmacy.com online pharmacy australia


Hi,

I begin on internet with a directory


I'm really Glad i found this website.Added projectrungay.blogspot.com to my bookmark!


This is something different which i have seen. Great post shared.


Indeed a very interesting blog. Read a pleasure. Cognitive information that is very good.


Thank you for sharing photos..great photography.
generic viagra


Explore your options for healthy aging. Find research and information on the health benefits of resveratrol, the miracle polyphenol found in red wine and its miraculous antiaging benefits. Resveratrol research suggests it has antiaging, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, anti-oxidant, and cardiovascular benefits.Buy synthroid online


I am very happy to have found cheap lasix- a genuine seller who can be trusted. I purchased lasix 40mg a generic product which has had excellent results. I will be back for more. Thanks.


Thank You a ton for writing such a wonderful piece of information. Keep sharing such ideas in the future as well. This was actually what I was looking for, and I am glad to came here! Thanks for sharing the such information with us.Generic Darvocet N





BALMAIN for women

Blog Archive

Search This Blog

Loading...

Project Runway