Intimacy: The Sensual Essence of Flowers by Joyce Tenneson (Barnes & Noble)
Rating: 6 / 10Intimacy: The Sensual Essence of Flowers is Joyce Tenneson's second book dedicated exclusively to flowers. Tenneson brings her subjects to life, showcasing her ability to put a new spin on a subject matter that has been photographed so extensively by so many different photographers.
Following the enormous success of Flower Portraits, Joyce Tenneson has recently completed her second book dedicated to flowers, this time her exquisite blooming subjects unfurl across the pages in vibrant colors, accentuated in front of a dark, velvety background. Tenneson offers a very personal and intimate approach to her chosen subject matter by studiously exploring the fine texture of petals, following the natural curves of stems and revealing secrets by delving deep into the hearts of blossoms and blooms.
Considering that flowers are often dismissed as ordinary and common objects one feels astounded and awed looking at the ethereal beauty which has been brought to light in these images. Striking a fine balance between macro-botanic imagery and art, both scientific curiosity and aesthetic sensibility are aroused when browsing through this extensive collection of the weird and wonderful.
Tennesons photographic compositions are refreshingly playful and evocative as the petals and flowers curl and float disembodied across double spreads, their tranquil beauty occasionally accentuated by an ancient proverb or a short text of poetry by such luminaries as Rainer Maria Rilke, Albert Einstein and Emily Dickinson.
Joyce Tenneson has once again demonstrated her photographic skills in revitalizing a subject matter that has been photographed to exhaustion by presenting it in her own style revealing an intimacy and delicacy in flowers that is refreshingly new and sincere.
From soft and velvety to spiky and exotic, the range of flowers extends from roses to lilies and poppies to orchids, each portrayed differently by illuminating its specific characteristics, drawing our attention to a delicately hairy stem, a protruding spiky leaf or the tenderly veined surface texture of a petal.
Owing to the superb lighting technique as well as outstanding printing quality of the book none of the minute detail is lost and the flowers seem to grow from the depth of the page towards the viewer as if they could be touched. Aside from having published nine other books, amongst them Wise Women, Light Warriors and Amazing Men, Joyce Tennessons renowned photographs have appeared on the covers of many prominent magazines. The New York based photographer was awarded numerous photography awards and her recognizable style has earned her many exhibitions around the world and a firm place in Museums and private collections alike.
In Intimacy, Tenneson offers a varied selection of photographs from showing the entire shape of the flower dynamically stretching across the page to some close up, intimate encounters in which the blossoms are almost abstracted to pattern and light. Some are shot from above, others dramatically lit from the side and compositions alternate between calm symmetry and unabashed tension. Some flowers are veiled in subtle hues of pastel tones while others seem to explode with pure, vibrant color. Intimacy is a true feast for the eyes and a lovely book to look at time and time again.