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  • Writer's pictureJo Sutherst

Surfaces and Strategies – Considering Other Photographers – Silverthorne

“The body is a complex and beautiful vehicle subject to the pleasures of youth and the indignities of ageing.”

– Silverthorne (Sturiale Contemporary Arts – News 2017)


Figure 1: Silverthorne. Nude. 1967

Jeffrey Silverthorne is an American photographer.  He is predominantly known for taking pictures of death and nudity.  An essential part of his images is the dialogue that he creates with his models.  This appeals to me as I always try to engage my models in conversation and encourage them to collaborate on the shoot and have input to the style of the images that are taken during the session.

Silverthorne has this relationship with his models wherever he shoots.  He is not limited to a studio space, instead, he is equally at home in a public place or a room.  He stages his models to create his images.  He looks to choose locations that are ordinary and almost banal. The scene is acted out in front of the camera creating a dialogue that is evident in the images.


Figure 2: Silverthorne. Staircase, 2006

Silverthorne’s images can be detached from the subject and the viewer, or as in the case of figure 2, incredibly direct.

Figure 1 is very sculptural in its form and I find this very appealing.  The double exposure effect adds interest and may be an area I could experiment with.  The placement of the plant life behind the nude is cleverly done and really effective.

Figure 2 shows how Silverthorne perceives man and himself.  This is a self-portrait of himself with a model and reflects on both youthful and aging bodies. Silverthorne effectively explores the impermanence of the human form through this work.

I intend to consider the non-stereotypical nude through my work in this module.  My models will be of all shapes, sizes, age, and colour in order to fully explore the human condition.


Sturiale Contemporary Arts – News. 2017. [online]. Available at: [accessed 20 June 2017].


Figure 1: Nude – Objects – RISD MUSEUM. 2017. [online]. Available at: [accessed 20 June 2017].

Figure 2: Jeffrey Silverthorne. 2017. [online]. Available at: [accessed 20 June 2017].

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