Kula by Vlastimil Kula
Published by Taschen Books
has blessed us again with another excellent book of raw sexual energy
and introduced us to a new era in erotica, thanks to photographer
Kula. Taschen books have repeatedly launched and promoted new
artists that are not content to settle for the way we are supposed
to live our lives, (and express ourselves sexually) and the name
Vlastimil Kula is one we can now affectionately place next to the
likes of other Taschen revolutionaries such as Richard Kern, Eric
Kroll, Natacha Merritt, Chas Ray Krider, Roy Stuart and so many
Book , 280 glorious pages of explosive black and white sexual
heat, is an ethereal exploration into absolute sexual freedom and
desire. Not only is this Czech born photographer skilled at taking
amazing pictures, he seems poised to wake the world up and liberate
us of our inhibitions with his art. Kula's work refuses to accept
that anything could be taboo or ugly; but more importantly, the
presence of real life sexual activity cannot be cheapened or labeled
as pornography. It is art through and through.
Book is not just a photo journal of nude females (which I would
have been fine with as those familiar with my reviews well know)
but rather a photographic journal of a group of beautiful people
exploring their sexuality for themselves, not just for our pleasure.
The first half of the book presents us with many
nighttime exterior locations, models in hose and fishnet stockings
kissing, touching, playing, and having sex in the shadows against
concrete and steel fences. We see penetration one minute, women
kissing the next, smiles and wide eyes all around, while Kula playfully
captures it all in the background. Everyone involved seems all too
happy to be having sex and exposing themselves to Kula. These people
do not seem like hired models, they seem like Kula's friends and
lovers, and only too eager to engage him and each other while the
camera snaps away. The bliss and comfort in their expressions and
smiles have no pretensions, nor do they suggest the action is staged.
No, this journey is about free flowing days of intimacy and enjoying
the one basic thing all humans have at their access to enjoy, and
that is sex, pure and simple. Flip and re-flip through the pages
of frolicking in the leaves and try and tell me these people are
not some of the happiest in the world. They do not take their freedom
for granted and do not have time to be suppressed or restrained.
The second half of Kula's book, titled "With
Satyr in Bed" and "With Satyr in Bath" is a bedroom
and bath, lazy day love making display that reinforces that the
main theme of this book is about freedom and happiness in sexuality.
Kula seems to have spent a day (or month?) in a room with several
beautiful women, having sex, jumping on the bed, exploring, and
taking baths. There is a deep emotional and psychological truth
in these images that suggest that we could all spend a little more
time with those we love, sharing the intimacy that is a gift to
us, rather than toiling away at jobs that are killing us, with people
who don't care about us. Kula rejects the industrialized modern
world with his beautifully stark images and says, no thanks, I'd
rather make love.
This book differs from Natacha
Merritt's Digital Diaries (of which I am a huge fan and waiting
for another volume) in that Kula seems to be taking pictures for
himself more than for an audience and a purpose. I wouldn't be surprised
if he couldn't care less if we see these images, but we are so lucky
he has shared them with us and that Taschen Books have once again
recognized a bold visionary, whose work, no matter how shocking
or explicit, has a great deal to say about the primal instincts
we take for granted and try to deny ourselves out of shame or fear.
Kula doesn't appear to be caged by anyone's rules of what art should
be, and hopefully we can look forward to many more wonderful books
from him in the future.
Books relentlessly publishes some of the most compelling adult
art books and erotica, and does so with a fervent commitment to
quality and groundbreaking design and shockingly unique artistic
aesthetic. We owe this brave company a great deal more than we might
understand, and yet all they ask of us is to buy the books, and
enjoy them. In this era of conservative and puritanical witch hunting,
we need to do everything we can to support the kind of art the Kula's
of the world want to share with us. We can't afford not to.