The chameleon body – Nicolas Sinclair
With essays by David Alan Mellor and Anthony Shelton.
Published by Lund Humphries Publishers
ISBN 0 85331 6961
In the outer reaches of a marginal world, a world of scarification and piercing, of masks, tattoos and self-fashioned surface changes, Nicholas Sinclair searches for the fetishist’s self-image. His photographs, by turns terrifying and alluring, discover the gap between a fetishistic will to shock and the exposed and vulnerable skin beneath. Where previous fetish photography has tended to dwell on the immaculate surface and therefore the concealment of the human being, Sinclair records both the outrageous shells and the idiosyncratic characters who inhabit them. These characters, when in costume, combine global references to first and third world cultures and to heavy metal fantasies in one ensemble. The combination of a restrained photographic gaze and the inflammatory nature of the subject matter produces a sequence of images without comparison in contemporary portraiture. (Prof. David Alan Mellor)