Jock Sturges, La Jeany, France, 2009
Stephen Bulgers Gallery’s third exhibition of work by Jock Sturges will present his acclaimed colour photographs. Internationally recognized for his 8 x 10 inch large format photographs of fellow naturists, Sturges has been photographing friends and family for over thirty years on beaches in the south of France, in communes of northern California and the summer resort of Block Island. Sturges (American, born 1947) work is distinct in several ways. Unlike many photographers who choose to make the body an abstraction, Sturges concentrates on his subjects individuality and presents them in a manner akin to 19th century en plein air painters, who celebrate the body and sensuality. Sturges criticizes the lack of understanding regarding the division of sexuality and sensuality and how society perpetrates this misunderstanding by accepting images of naked children but imposes a ban on images of adolescents which only ends as people become sexualized adults at the age of eighteen. He believes that Homo sapiens are, from birth through to adulthood, a fairly sensual species. His ambition is to have viewers of his photographs recognize what complex, fascinating and interesting people every single one of his subjects are.
Jock Sturges received a BA in Perceptual Psychology and Photography from Marlboro College, and an MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute. His work has been published in more than ten significant collections including: The Last Day of Summer (1991, Aperture, NY); Radiant Identities (1994, Aperture, NY); Evolution of Grace (1994, Gakken, Tokyo); Jock Sturges (1996, Scalo, Zürich); Jock Sturges: New Work, 1996-2000 (2000, Scalo, Zürich), Jock Sturges Life Time (2008, Steidl, London) and Misty Dawn – Portrait of a Muse (2009, Aperture, NY). Represented by twenty-five galleries in nine countries, Sturges work has been exhibited extensively and can be found in the collections of many of the world’s most prominent museums, including the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Bibliothéque nationale, Paris and Frankfurt Museum of Modern Art, Germany.