Jock Sturges

Jean-Christophe Ammann and Jock Sturges

Each summer for many years, Sturges has traveled to France’s southern Atlantic coast where a group of nudist families spend their seaside holiday. He has devoted himself to photographing mostly the daughters of these families as they posed for him in the nude by the beach and in other nearby outdoor settings. For his dedication to capturing the ineffable beauty of these pre-, post- and pubescent girls naked and at peace with Nature, Sturges has had his masterful work shown in art galleries, museums and now in this elegant monograph put out by Frankfurt’s Museum für Moderne Kunst. Thanks to a snitch at a photo lab, Sturges has also had his San Francisco studio raided by the FBI and been prosecuted for kiddie porn.
The sexual subtext of these pictures is impossible to ignore, yet Sturges seems to be meeting these graceful, unashamed young people on their own terms. So where does the danger lie? Radiant and self-possessed, the subjects of these photographs clearly present some sort of challenge to our culture and national id. Perhaps the FBI should have raided the Ramseys’ house and confiscated JonBenet’s makeup, pumps and frills, and left Sturges alone. SS/MH

Publisher: DAP
Hardback: 204 pages