Allan Amato’s SERAPH photo book Kickstarter is in its final day. The good people at BlueBlood just reminded me we’d been meaning to let APN’s readers know about this project. SERAPH is a sequel of sorts to Amato’s Award nominated SLIP book, with a starker and more in-your-face approach. The book includes alt superstars like Stoya, Skin Diamond, Jiz Lee, and Luzia Lowe, who was kind enough to appear on the very first cover of our own magazine and probably my personal all time favorite model April Flores.
Instead of the usual artist pitch on Kickstarter, his video is mostly just the models talking about their bodies and their feelings and their finances and their sense of empowerment. April Flores talking about processing her grief being widowed through her work is incredibly moving. I literally started crying watching her part of the video and the juxtaposition of the photos of her is wonderful. A really interesting bonus for all backers of this Kickstarter is a mini documentary Allan Amato shot while putting this book together, which will be a longer mix of his five and a half minute Kickstarter video. Whether or not you can pledge this project, you should really stop by the SERAPH page and watch the video. It is really something out of the ordinary.
One year ago, I launched a book on Kickstarter called SLIP. I wanted to see whether I could nudge the narrative concerning how we view nudity and sexuality just a little bit forward, as much for my own education as for others. The book explored what it means to be a naked professional, stripped bare and utterly vulnerable. But I knew I didn’t want to end the story there. What struck me then, was how often the models expressed the empowerment they feel, the confidence that grew alongside and inevitably over the fear. Naked armor, of a sort.
SERAPH is at its core, my interpretation of that experience, a way to continue that conversation. If SLIP was dark and contorted, then SERAPH would be bright and unflinching; an exorcism of the architecture, the retouching, reforming and reconstituting of women spat out of the culture machine.
I’m altogether too at ease crouching behind elaborate lighting, syrupy narratives and the blessed, velvety crutch of Photoshop. I put all that aside for the SERAPH series. No coverage for the models, no filters for me. I want to tell this story the best and only way I’m equipped to. I hope I succeeded. I fucking know they did.