Alternately alluring, shocking, deeply suggestive and subversive, Bradford’s work has a magnetic power, his masterly admixture of haute couture photography and sexuality is the thrill of the illicit paired with an admiration and hunger for so much splendor. This engenders an irrepressible desire to see more, provoking an admiration and hunger for so many splendors. The show includes twenty photographs in black and white as well as in color, and offer a unique view into the artistic oeuvre of this esteemed erotic photographer.
The works are all brilliantly composed and have a cinematic quality. Many of the images are connected to archetype of the vamp, the femme fatal so often seen in fashion, film, theater and art. While an undisputed sexiness is present in all the works, Bradford’s mastery over his medium is the cornerstone of his work. Bradford combines the thoughtful and clean use of light, magnification, focus, reflection of texture, and a sensual game of veiling, and exposure, creating a series of works that have at their core, a sense of theatric.
Bradford’s stunning photos are part of the colliding worlds of fashion and sexuality, and as such are part of the tradition of the great fashion photographer Helmut Newton, in the sense that Bradford builds on Newton’s precepts for a new vision and constructs stylish, posed and iconic pictures of bondage, sexual subjection and fantasy. As well, Bradford is fully engaged with the provocative image of a beautiful woman, her accessories and props highlighting her sexuality, her power, or the power of the voyeur over her, something Newton was unabashed about, this pleasure of looking, this need for beauty, and sexual experience.
More than a collection of images from a sexual subculture, Bradford’s work meets at intersection of erotica, burlesque and performance art and as such is multifaceted, masterly and unerring beautiful. The artist’s ability to engage in contemporary leitmotifs, and transform his images of sex into distinctive portrayals of explosive beauty makes his work stand apart.