The lady of the lake, fountain, river...
Like many husbands, Fred enjoys taking pictures of his wife Valerie. As long as she's fully clothed and wet. Erik Kessels' latest In Almost Every Picture photography book tells the story of a bizarre yet touching obsession
Fred and Valerie is number 11 in Kessels' long-running series of books of found photography. Originally, Kessels (co-founder of the KesselsKramer ad agency in Amsterdam) would discover the material for his books by hunting through piles of annuals at flea markets but, as he revealed at the Typo London conference on Friday, he found his latest subject online.
Fred Clark began taking pictures of his wife in various aquatic locations in 1984. The book features Valerie in all manner of watery places, from lakes to fountains, although most of the shots were taken in the couple's pool at their Florida home. In almost every shot, Valerie is fully and impeccably dressed.
Sometimes she is almost completely submerged, or floating on her back (as in the shot above which recals MIllais's painting Ophelia). In others, she stands just calf or waist-deep.
Fred explains the rules: "A good part of the wet clothes adventure concept for us is the mental turn-on of taking a nice outfit into the water. Often, the more classy the outfit, the better! We love the watch, earrings, pendants, and jewelry in general, going in. Sensuous, erotic stuff. Nice hair-do, make-up, shoes, nylons, and sometimes a purse. We have both dressed to the max to do this. Then there is the simple point of view that if you feel like going into the water, or getting wet somehow, why stop and change into an official bathing suit? That is an extra step, and may break the mood, spontaneous or not. And wearing a bathing suit under your clothes is cheating."
Even the colder weather fails to deter the intrepid Valerie
To publicise the book, Kessels produced a special waterproof version printed on plastic which he asked the couple to feature in a photograph.
In Almost Every Picture #11: Fred and Valerie, edited and designed by Erik Kessels, is published by KesselsKramer Publishing. Details here
CR for the iPad
Read in-depth features and analysis plus exclusive iPad-only content in the Creative Review iPad App. Longer, more in-depth features than we run on the blog, portfolios of great, full-screen images and hi-res video. If the blog is about news, comment and debate, the iPad is about inspiration, viewing and reading. As well as providing exclusive, iPad-only content, the app will also update with new content throughout each month. Try a free sample issue here
CR in Print
In our October print issue we have a major feature on the rise of Riso printing, celebrate the art of signwriting, examine the credentials of 'Goodvertising' and look back at the birth of D&AD. Rebecca Lynch reviews the Book of Books, a survey of 500 years of book design, Jeremy Leslie explains how the daily London 2012 magazine delivered all the news and stories of the Games and Michael Evamy explores website emblemetric.com, offering "data-driven insights into logo design". In addition to the issue this month, subscribers will receive a special 36-page supplement sponsored by Tag celebrating D&AD's 50th with details of all those honoured with Lifetime Achievement awards plus pieces on this year's Black Pencil and President's Award-winners Derek Birdsall and Dan Wieden. And subscribers also receive Monograph which this month features Rian Hughes' photographs of the unique lettering and illustration styles of British fairgrounds
Please note, CR now has a limited presence on the newsstand at WH Smith high street stores (although it can still be found in WH Smith travel branches at train stations and airports). If you cannot find a copy of CR in your town, your WH Smith store or a local independent newsagent can order it for you. You can search for your nearest stockist here. Alternatively, call us on 020 7970 4878 to buy a copy direct from us. Based outside the UK? Simply call +44(0)207 970 4878 to find your nearest stockist. Better yet, subscribe to CR for a year here and save yourself almost 30% on the printed magazine.
The most bizarre and uncomfortable series of photos I've seen for a while. Reminds me of something Cindy Sherman would do.
Do you know if he will be releasing prints of these?
There's a time and a place...and this, CR, is neither.
One of the best moments at Typo London 2012 !
love you Erik x
Emperors new 'wet' clothes ... vacuous.
the waterproof version is a nice little idea. the rest.... why? oh, kessels claims it and puts it in a book, so it must be brilliant
spot on, John!
Despite the sarkiness of your comment, you've (perhaps unwittingly) summarised what makes the In Every Picture series work. The actual images in most of the books in the series are banal, it's when they are re-presented in book form and the stories behind them revealed, that they become fascinating. If you don't know them, you might like to check out the other books in the series and Kessels' Useful Photography series or read Rick Poynor's piece from our Feb 2008 issue
Great book, I can't wait for the movie.
This is rubbish!
I went to Eric's talk at the KK outlet. The Lady of the Lake is another humorous edition to the In almost Every Picture series. Particularly the email exchanges between Fred and himself which i believe may be in the back of the book? Though it doesn't surprise me it's not to everyones taste, i think the stories he teases out of a random and often long forgotten collection of photo's is to be admired.
Excellent headline from the CR team though, this is mint!
|Eight of the best Christmas window displays (1)|
|Wild Beasts create a gif novel with Mattis Dovier (3)|
|New type from Sawdust, Fontsmith, Benoît Bodhuin & more (2)|
|Waterstone's rebrands (144)|
|Cravendale introduces Barry The Biscuit Boy (49)|
|What makes a great image? CR's Photo Annual judge Gemma Fletcher shares her favourite work|
|Rebranding the YMCA|
|Pelican Books: an unrivalled online reading experience|
|Crafts Council launches Education Manifesto|