by Jock Sturges
Misty Dawn: Portrait of a Muse presents iconic images Jock Sturges has taken of his muse, Misty Dawn whom he has photographed for 25 of her 28 years.
"I'm an artist that's attracted to a specific way of seeing and a way of being. Any artist that's involved in their work is inevitably going to have a focus in what they do. I am fascinated by the human body and all its evolutions. The images I like best are parts of series that I've started, in some cases, with the pregnancies of the mothers of the children in question, and I continue that series right on through the birth of children to the child that resulted from that first pregnancy. I have series that are 25 years long. I just yesterday returned from a trip where I photographed a woman with two children whom I photographed first when she was the age of the older of the two children.
I have this naive and quixotic hope that in seeing the physical progress from start to no finish, from the beginning on, and looking at the body in all its different changes, looking at the fat-bellied babies turning into thinner children--they get straight, they get long, they become sticks, they begin to develop, their hips go, the whole process matures--that people understand that the person occupying that body is more than just a physical object. The pictures don't objectify: they're about the evolution of personality and self as much as they are about the evolution of the body, more than they're about the evolution of the body, because what stays the same is not the body. What stays the same is character, personality. It evolves and matures too, but there are certain ways of standing, there are certain sets to the eyes, there are certain behavioral consistencies, which from the very youngest photographs you can see. It's just always there. It's fascinating to see what stays the same and what changes.
My hope is that the work is in some way counter-pinup. A pinup asks you to suspend interest in who the person is and occupy yourself entirely with looking at the body and fantasizing about what you could do with that body, completely ignoring how the person might feel about it. That's of no interest to people who make pinup photography. They don't care who the woman is, what tragedies or triumphs that person's life might encompass. That's of absolutely no relevance.
My work hopefully works exactly counter to that. That's my ambition: that you look at the pictures and realize what complex, fascinating, interesting people every single one of my subjects is. They're all different. I don't photograph any two people who are remotely the same. "
Jock Sturges also shoots fashion editorials for Japanese Vogue and Italian Marie Claire.