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Wynn Bullock: Photographing the Nude

Introduction and distillations of Wynn's thoughts by Barbara Bullock-Wilson; book edited by Barbara Bullock-Wilson and Edna Bullock

This out-of-print collector's item is the original 80-page hardcover volume published by Gibbs M. Smith in 1984. It features 48 images, several of which had been previously unpublished, along with Wynn's own thoughts about his creative journey.

Signed by author and editor Barbara Bullock-Wilson

The sub-title of this important monograph is "The beginnings of a quest for meaning". In addition to 48 images spanning Wynn's photographic career from the 1940s to the 1970s, this book contains revealing commentaries about Wynn's creative journey distilled and edited by Barbara Bullock-Wilson from her father's taped interviews, lecture notes, letters, journal entries, personal conversations, and articles.

About his photographs of nudes, Wynn wrote:

"Human beings to me are as much a part of nature as trees or birds, and the unclothed body expresses this belongingness directly and powerfully. Thus, photographing nudes in nature allowed me to express things I deeply felt and believed in.

"Second, a person is quite different from a tree or rock or stream. By introducing the nude into my pictures, I started perceiving all the things I was photographing in new ways. In contrast or opposition to each other, things became much more significant and interesting, revealing many more qualities than I had ever dreamed of knowing and expressing.

"By using the nude I stopped thinking in terms of objects. I was seeing things, instead, as dynamic events, unique in their own beings yet also related and existing together within a universal context of energy and change. I began expressing these perceptions in my pictures. Although at the time I couldn't fully analyze it, I recognized that photographing nudes made my pictures infinitely better. I knew I was on my way."

About the book, photographer Jerry N. Uelsmann wrote:

"Wynn Bullock's use of the nude was sensitive and symbolic. He placed the nude in the environment in ways that evoked metaphorical significance: the environment became more than a physical setting and the nude transcended the individual identity of the model. Innovative in this time, his work continues to address our inventive consciousness today."

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