Currently reading : DISTORTIONS – ANDRE KERTESZ
Andre Kertesz is the Hugarain born photographer who created these important photographs in the 1930s. Fascinated by how an arbitrary image could become emptied of a reality that we are familiar with by simply using something as mundane as a mirror or glass, these images were truly ground breaking during their inception.
They way in which Kertesz manipulated the female body into some frightening was not particularly on purpose but more played on the then contemporary new ideas by Freud and the uncanny. Art no longer captured the beauty of the female form, but disfigures it to a kind of ‘negative aesthetic’ ideal. Freud claimed that the uncanny can lead us back to what is known and familiar. However the images created by Kertesz do not comfort the viewer in anyway, when seeing an image of a perfectly normal foot the eye will travel upwards to an engulfed thigh of abnormal proportions creating the image of the woman into something un-relatable to what we expect.
These images can also be read as a reaction to how normalised it was within art to see the female naked body as a harmonious and beautiful form. The way in which the women’s bodies are relayed to us in these photos shies away from normalised concepts of the erotic and sexual.
However it obviously wasn’t completely unheard of to have seen women’s bodies exaggerated into surrealistic shapes at that time in art especially of in the way that the likes of Picasso, Brancusi or Moore who had created images resembling this but photographing women in this way was unheard of.
In regards to how photographers were creating images of nudes at the time these images pay no resembles to how we expected to view women and the nude. Kertesz not only played with our expectations of how we would have perceived the nude at the time but also that of the mirror, we look in a mirror to reflect what we except of our own reality but these images create an otherworldly reality which actually does exist through the manipulation of a physical object.