New York based photographer Bill Travis was not someone I had known, until he contacted me last year about doing a feature on his work for my old blog Current Obsessions. And I was very glad he did.

Trained in art history at the Institute of Fine Arts, Bill Travis has shown his work in New York, Berlin and Argentina as well as having his work on medieval sculptures published in countries around the world.

But it is his photography of the male nude that brings his exquisite images here to this blog. The male nude, that for him, has been too long over shadowed by its more socially acceptable female counterpart. Indeed, as he says himself: "Not so long ago, few people were willing to accept that the male nude and art belong together. The female nude had a long and glorious tradition in art, but the Classical tradition of the male nude had somehow become the province of stuffy professors and men who lingered over the “wrong” gender. All of this has changed today, especially over the past generation, as artists and photographers have given the male nude a new complexity, ranging from humor to compassion, disease, vulnerability, homosexual longing..."

Powerful and daring portraits that bristle and crackle with life. Reminiscent of unrestored paintings in dilapidated galleries or cracked vases featuring the forms of Ancient Greek Gods, each one of his pictures feels like it exists because it always has. In no small part, this can be put down to his unusual and highly stylised technique: "Technically, I do alternative-process photography, taking digital prints through successive manipulations with oil paint, gold, and other substances. These manipulations are never an end in themselves, but, rather, a way to enhance the images’ sensuality, whether the object represented happens to be a body or a building."

I for one am now a fan, and urge readers of this blog to visit his site and view his galleries. Who knows, you may even have found that you have a new favourite artist.

this post has been reviewd and updated from a previous piece in on my old blog

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