A Sincere Apology
In one of the most public apologies I will ever make, I want to express deep regrets for "sitting on" Paul de Luna's 'Sensuality Study' portraits of Taylor Bagley for almost three months. The images arrived right before our national women's rights protests on April 28th -- and I haven't looked back since.
I didn't want us to just post Paul's images with a line of editorial credits, when they deserve my best writing.
When you're trying to save (successfully) a woman from being stoned to death in Sudan while taking on the defeat of PA 16th House Representative Joe Pitts, author of the 'Let Women Die" bill, while launching a new jewelry collection Glam Tribale in support of Planned Parenthood and African girls, while fighting (successfully) the Catholic Church's takeover of yet another American hospital -- the days slip away.
Eyes That Tell the Whole Story
Paul's images of Taylor Bagley are open on my computer in his email, and I wish to say: "The eyes have it!"
I appreciate the artistry of the human body as much as anyone I know. The reason that I love 'Sensuality Study' is because the beauty and reverence expressed in this slice of Taylor's image communicates the complexity of the entire editorial.
What is perhaps only the interesting play of light and shadow in these images symboizes much more to me. Thousands of hears of religious and culture wars brand Taylor's magnificent femaleness. Is she Lilith? Frankly, she looks to be too pensive and tender to be Lilith, who was a hell-raiser like me. But Taylor is pre-Eve because she is not ashamed of her nakedness; nor is she guilty.
There is no sin in 'Sensuality Study', only respect and intelligence, artistic skill and positivism. Is Paul de Luna's unconscious at work here? Yes.
Paul's objective is not to "tell women's stories from fashion to flogging", which is my mission. But he is a soulmate in the journey to elevate the photography of female sexuality onto a higher plane.
This is not to suggest that only true beauty interests me -- although it is my personal preference, and I openly admit that I don't like submissive women editorials. It's much to complex a conflict with my political writing. (I speak not of sexual role play for fun, but of submisison and continued degradation.)
Women's bodies are so maligned in America. By religion; right-wing social conservatives and left-wing pornographers who make the pornography that right-wingers buy more than liberals. By an American political landscape that has more in common with Sudan that we ever want to acknowledge, when talking about women.
My personal and often stated mission is to elevate nakedness in America with a more European view of sensuality.
With that objective in mind, Paul de Luna's 'Sensuality Study' is a gift from the goddesses -- another set of precious images for my favorites portolio. It is food for my soul, ammunition to keep fighting, a reminder of my own beauty and integrity as a woman.
Not Guilty As Charged
Taylor Bagley symbolizes my own refusal and I am so glad that through Paul's images, she will not feel the sensual guilt that was dumped over and over me in life -- most recently by potential investors in a Catholic-church skincare company, for whom I am the scum of the earth.
It's always my goal to lend my name and reputation to work of this caliber. And I apologize again to Paul de Luna for taking so long to make the point that I love 'Sensuality Study' as a truly artistic statement about sensuality, beauty and body politics --both historically and at this critical moment in time for American women. ~ Anne
Credits: PH Paul de Luna www.pauldeluna.com, Makeup/Hair Ingeborg @ Opus Beauty, Model - Taylor Bagley @ One.1