Book Review: Autopsyrotica: Artwork – Author Chad Michael Ward

AUTOPSYROTICA
Artwork by Chad Michael Ward
Written by Chad Michael Ward
Edited by Travis Anderson & Jenn Stetson
Published by NBM Publishing

Publication Date: 2006
Format: Full Color / Duotone, 80 pages
Price: $17.95

The 2nd art visual offering from artists/ photographer Chad Michael Ward is an intriguing collection indeed. First the odd name which I translate into Erotic photography with a mix of death and decay. We are taken on a trip thru the camera eye of the artist. This particular trip is one filled with dark solid imagery and an array of Gothic and dominatrix suited models. You cant comment on the work without commenting on the photographic talent who subjected themselves to a variety of revealing and haunting sessions. Often my thoughts would wader into the notion of seeking them out to give a few of them a sandwich. But then again these are the talents thaw lurk within the LA underbelly in search of face recognition, name or simply the honor of posing for a book. One of the things that was apparent was an obvious homage to the works of Joel Peter Witkin, If not in composition then in spirit. Though that is by no means a bad thing.

Chad who spends much too much time dinking away in Photoshop has presented a nice collection of haunting images. They are not drenched in digitalism as some of his other works as they are more about a journey into photography. In this voyage, he chose to veer way from vividness in place of grunge, dirt and duo-tones. Also this volume is a part expose in dark poetry. Though the clear purpose of Autopsyrotica is dark photography.

One can’t wonder if there’s a closet some where in the studio that houses an array of dominatrix paraphernalia ready to spring upon stray goth chicks that wander into his studio. My own personal wish would of been to have seen more of a prop- filled environment to create ambient atmospheres for the models. Though most of the environments are darkened by well paced fill lights on the subjects, so that trait is missing in many.

My other observation might be that the subjects are mostly photographed from the waist up and posed portrait style. I could of stood to have seen more body contorting in the placement of the subjects and some more use of deep perspective or perspective posing. However the outcome doesn’t surprise me, as these are models who would most little be used for book or CD cover work. These are not to take away from a nice photography collection rather than to make suggestions in further works.

My final comments on the book is that this will make for a nice addition to perhaps otherwise dull photographic collections out there for those who want a little danger on there bookshelf. The price might be better suited at a $12 to $15 range, however the print quality from NBM is professional and beautiful. And this is dark art we are talking about, so fans of the art-form will enjoy the ride.

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