Text and photos by Paolo Romani.
The “punctum” irrationally attracts the viewer to a particular detail of the photo.
The photographer, aware of the rules that govern the relationship between the ‘”operator” and the “spectator”, desperately tries to find the “punctum”.
Roland Barthes in “La Camera Chiara” explains, investigating the difference between the real world and its photographic representation.
Following these opening words, I will tell you a curious and fun story that saw me involved shooting a female nude. I carefully planned everything, and met the manager of the agency to select the right model. When the day came I was very disappointed because I discovered that a very important detail was missing.
The model was completely waxed, without any pubic hair!
I very abruptly ended the session. The agency director called me asking for explanations; Despite having paid, I apologized, my poor planning had unforeseen consequences. Given the style of my images and their erotic nature pubic hair was essential.
The Director laughed raucously, today they are all like that!! if you want a model with fur you must put your order in several months ahead…. And blah blah …. AHHAAHAHH !!!
We finally agreed to ask another model to prepare for a nude photo shoot three months later.
My “absurd” request circulated among photographers and models; there was a “crazy” photographer with who knows what kind of perversion… he wants a model with pubic hair.
A photographer friend of mine laughing told me all the rumors about me, and every story ended with a big laugh. A year passed since that episode, when the international press talks of a New York store that sells lingerie, on the occasion of Valentine’s Day has set up shop windows with mannequins wearing panties from which comes out a thick black pubic hair.
That pubic hair was a great idea!
Even Gustave Courbet caused a scandal in 1886 when he painted “The Origin of the World”, not for display of female genitalia, but because he represented a forest of black pubic hair in hyperrealist style. At that time it was considered pornography to talk about it or represent it. The pubic hair war continued… between Bob Guccione and Hugh Hefner. Guccione’s Penthouse magazine, promoting lush pubic hair vastly outsold Playboy.
I was eventually able to complete the photo shoot exactly as I wanted, and as we were wrapping up and the model started asking some questions, I told her about life in Italy after the war.
At that time we used to go to the beach with wool swimsuits, which were fine until you went swimming and got them wet… they would then stretch and droop, and big “mustaches” would show through. People didn’t use creams and perfumes, everybody smelled wild, and all that horniness helped repopulate the country!!
Now a nice shaved, perfumed, elegant, pussy, no longer has anything human or exciting–just like an over-perfumed lady sitting next to you at the restaurant will rob the taste away from the best pasta all ‘amatriciana.
Like all good stories, there is a moral here: “we were born to suffer and we succeded, so what are we complaining about?”