Encounters: Moments of Inspiration
by Patrick Stull

"The female body is both exalted and condemned within our culture because the power of the female terrifies even the strongest of men."

Packed with glossy, artistic photos, paintings, and composites of women and men in various poses and forms, this book offers up the human body as art in numerous ways. Sized as a coffee table book, each chapter presents photos that follow a common thread such as dignity, dance, adversity, and sensuality. Models range from the young and fit to the old or infirm. Occasionally, the artist provides his thoughts or insights about the human condition or simply shares the stories of the models themselves, their diverse backgrounds, and their unique challenges in the world. Each photo or series of photos is designed to illustrate and illuminate the connections we make from person to person and also who we all are as individuals at our rawest, most vulnerable levels.

Though many of these photographs are nudes, they are all shot tastefully, artfully, and respectfully, capturing the human body in a number of ways that are flattering without being fake. The sections of text are just as disarming and honest as the accompanying photos, creating a work that is humanity-affirming and inspirational to either scan through or read from front to back. The artist also deviates into some experimental photography that uses mirroring of posed body parts to create inhuman forms out of human parts. Occasionally, the author uses a photo as a base for a painting to achieve a more personal and creative end. These pieces follow the same thematic principles as the other photos in this book but take a more daring or abstract approach to that theme. Full of high-quality, breathtaking pictures and insightful thoughts that offer plenty to ponder and reflect upon, this is a collection that will have readers rethink the way they see themselves and others.

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