Two images from the photographic series ‘Sitting’ taken by John Kayser.
These images, from a vast photographic series called “Sitting,” were taken by photographer John Kayser during the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s. The photos, which were discovered by “accident” at Kayser’s home in Los Angeles after he passed away in 2007, were purchased by fetish photographer Eric Kroll who has been an avid admirer of Kayser’s for some time. In the series, Kayser (who is widely known as “John K.”) photographed female models in the nude sitting on various objects like large flower vases or, in at some cases, the photographer’s own head.
Kayser’s’ photos are meditative and intensely intimate, though they never give off the vibe that Kayser is intruding upon the solitary sensual moments his subjects are sharing with their often naked backsides. In fact, many cross the border into kitschy kookiness, which seems like a fairly accurate description of what a nude woman sitting on a bunch of oranges on a kitchen looks like. In 2014 Kroll published a beautiful book titled Sitting featuring Kayser’s clandestine photos.
Here’s a passage from the book where Kroll speaks about Kayser as an artist:
“From the bearskin rug in his East LA living room to a photo studio along Hillcrest Avenue in Los Feliz (LA), young women appeared, sometimes more than once, in his photos. I think these photos had a dual purpose for him: to paint from and to get off on, sexually. The work runs the gamut from classical nude to extremely intimate. But if the definition for pornography is gratuitous imagery to sell, then John wasn’t a pornographer. I can’t claim he didn’t feel there would be a certain immorality to his work (since he, as an old man, scribbled names and dates on the backs of his images taken years earlier), but I suspect the women never imagined their most private parts would grace a gallery wall.”
A collection of images from Sitting below which are delightfully NSFW.
An self-portrait from ‘Sitting’ featuring one of Kayser’s models sitting on his head.
Previously on Dangerous Minds:
That time Brian Eno posed nude for Bob Guccione
The magical and disturbing dream-like nude oil paintings of Erik Thor Sandberg
Nude Jimmy Page, plus entrails, naked lady, 1969
Nude self-portraits of George Bernard Shaw