Craig Davies for Art-Sheep

An Art-Sheep favorite, photographer Olivier Valsecchi is known for his dark, interesting nude portraits, exploring the human figure and its desire for expression.

In his latest series Drifting, Valsecchi discusses the structure and suppleness of the human body. Instead of the extravagant expressions Valsecchi’s models usually have, the photographer’s subjects here look serene, arching their backs in pairs and alone, and laying against tables in a baroque fashion, reminding one the melancholia and fragility of the figures of the great Dutch masters.

As the series’ statement mentions, “Valsecchi induces an unsettling doubt on whether his subjects are falling apart or withstanding paralysis. He investigates this tenuous and brooding space between inertia and the urge to go somewhere. His bodies appear to have been submitted to an exorcism, an epileptic trance, or a mutilation akin to a reptile being cut in two pieces — and yet still crawling.”

Beautiful yet mysterious, Valsecchi’s nudes seem to be fighting with darkness, only to overcome it and turn grief into peacefulness.

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