The human form is a thing of beauty. Just look at any Sports Illustrated issue (not just the swimsuit edition). The sculpted forms of the world’s top athletes will grace its cover and the subsequent pages. I’m fascinated with how a human body works and moves, the muscles graceful and lithe, others fluid and delicate. This is probably why I failed at yoga because I was too busy looking at how pliant the movements were as my teacher preformed them, than actually namaste-ing during my downward facing dog.
In 1995, Italian photographer Guido Argentini wanted to make some abstract images. Inspired by his love for sculpture and dance, Argentini painted his model in shiny metallic silver paint from head to toe and photographed her in studio with one light. Almost 20 years later, his project culminates in his 5th book, Argentum, which features dancers, aerialists and gymnasts looking like liquid balletic statues. The silver paint seems to transform the nude models into a luminous, chiseled work of art. For many images, the face is intentionally hidden and so the form of the body is what your eye is drawn to.
The plain light background is a perfect and simple backdrop for the series, which also makes use of many geometric shapes to contrast the fluidity of the body’s lines with the angular harshness of the triangles, circles and squares. Most of Argentini’s work, including Argentum, is a study of contrasts and are quite provocative.
The book was published late last year with an accompanying documentary which explains how he made these images. Below is a brief trailer about his book and a brief behind the scenes look at what goes into the making of the incredible images within the pages of Argentum. You’ll be able to see Argentini at work as well as a number of the images from the book. Be aware that even though the models are covered in metallic paint, they are nude, so the following video is NSFW.