The most extraordinary visual survey of human passion ever created, Love and Desire is the long-awaited sequel to William Ewing’s influential and highly successful The Body (over 150,000 sold in the U.S. alone). Here, the internationally acclaimed photography curator brings together over 300 color and duotone images that explore human intimacy in all its forms—from the innocent sensuality of a mother and child, to the group adoration of a cultural icon, to the carnal connection between the sexes. These images—both the famous and the obscure from the past 150 years of photography—come together in a thought-provoking exploration of humankind’s deepest yearnings. Sliding easily into its translucent slipcase, this beautifully designed book offers an amazing array of compelling images at an irresistible price.
The sister book to The Body, which was also written and edited by William Ewing, Love and Desire collects a diverse range of images that attest to Ewing's belief that "all photographs are, at some level, about love, and all photographs are triggered, to varying degrees, by desire." In pursuing this theme, Ewing classifies the photographs into eight different categories--Bonds, Icons, Observation, Propositions, Tokens, Libidos, Reveries, and Obsessions. Each of these chapters begins with an essay in which Ewing draws on his deep knowledge of the history of photography to explain the relevance of the selected images. The photos themselves run a full gamut of historical imagery, from the beginning days of the medium up through contemporary art and recent commercial photography. Julia Margaret Cameron explores a family bond in her depiction of the Madonna and child, dated 1865. In 1955, Frank Horvat, in all likelihood standing on a Paris bridge, observes a couple kissing on the quay below. Helmut Newton explores obsession in the mid-1980s with his portrait of a stockinged ankle and foot in a black stiletto heel. Brassaï's 1932 portrait of Janet--in which Janet is depicted from the waist up, lying back on a bed, her eyes closed, with a look of ecstasy on her face--opens the Libidos chapter. There are hundreds of other compelling images here, and together they go far to define the complex nature of human love and desire. --Mary Wren