Peter Gow­land’s “dressed” nudes

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“I try to por­tray a nude as if it were wear­ing clothes... I pre­fer to cover and to veil in or­der to make things ex­cit­ing”. These were the words of the Amer­i­can pho­tog­ra­pher Peter Gow­land (1916-2010) when de­scrib­ing his body of work. Over 200 of his ‘girls’ — from 1940s’ pin-ups to stars, like Joan Collins and Jayne Mans­field, pho­tographed for mag­a­zines like Play­boy and The Rolling Stone – were the fo­cus of a ma­jor solo ex­hi­bi­tion at MAKK in Cologne last month, that show­cased his tech­ni­cal skill which he him­self, along with his wife Alice, nar­rated in 25 books, al­ter­nat­ing ob­ser­va­tions on pho­tog­ra­phy and on tech­ni­cal in­struc­tions use­ful for pro­duc­tion and for print­ing.

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