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These Beautiful Blurs Are Nude Portraits

New York–based photographer Shinichi Maruyama has a knack for capturing motion on film

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Nude #1, 2012. Courtesy of Shinichi Maruyama

New York–based photographer Shinichi Maruyama has a knack for capturing motion on film. His Water Sculpture series completed in 2009, for example, seems to turn dripping, splashing liquid into glass sculpture. But his most recent collection, Nude, has been getting some attention for an entirely different reason.

Nude #2, 2012. Courtesy of Shinichi Maruyama

In a magnificent blur of flesh and beige swirls, his nude subject becomes the opposite of a sculpture: motion embodied. By piecing together uninterrupted individual moments as a series of composite images and then putting them together to form one shot, the artist says, “the resulting image appears to be something entirely different than what actually exists.” According to the artist’s statement, “With regard to these two viewpoints, a connection can be made to a human being’s perception of presence in life.”

Nude #3, 2012. Courtesy of Shinichi Maruyama

Maruyama was born in 1968 in Nagano, Japan, and studied at Chiba University. After graduation, he spent some time traveling and working as a freelance photographer. Maruyama moved to New York City in 2003 and started working on what would become his critically acclaimed Kusho series. His other work has appeared in several museums including Carnegie Hall’s Zankel Hall, as as part of the JapanNYC Festival, and the Peabody Essex Museum in Massachusetts among others.

Nude #4, 2012. Courtesy of Shinichi Maruyama

Nude #4, 2012. Courtesy of Shinichi Maruyama

Nude #6, 2012. Courtesy of Shinichi Maruyama

Nude #8, 2012. Courtesy of Shinichi Maruyama

Nude #9, 2012. Courtesy of Shinichi Maruyama

More of the artist’s work can be found on his website.

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The Anatomy of Renaissance Art

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About K. Annabelle Smith
K. Annabelle Smith

K. Annabelle Smith is a writer based in Santa Fe, New Mexico who covers a wide variety of topics for Smithsonian.com. Her work also appears in OutsideOnline.com and Esquire.com.

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