Art Provocative (NSFW) by name and Art Provocative by nature. The Australian-based photographer has what he himself calls “the best job in the world”: setting up intimate, classy and revealing photo shoots with a great number of the nation’s sex workers for their own sites and other advertising needs.
We spoke with the man behind the lens who gave us the lowdown on what led him here, what messages his work conveys and what lies in store for the photographer who lets his work do more than the talking for him. Art Provocative were also generous enough to provide a number of his best and sexiest photos to create a gallery for our readers to enjoy…
What led you to become Art Provocative and into doing the work you do now?
Prior to photographing sex workers (agencies and independent escorts) I worked for Australian adult magazines – which is where I began shooting models – although the majority were soft nudes.
Your shoots are tasteful, erotic and display some genuinely beautiful women. Is there a particular message or philosophy you try or want to convey through your work?
I’ve always had a love of Sports Illustrated, Intimissimi and Guess Jeans style shoots, which are often very feminine, natural and raw, and I suppose I try deliver that same feeling I get when I see a photo like that in a book or magazine. One of my favourite photographers – Raphael Mazzucco – for a long time shot for all three of the mentioned, so I spent a long time studying and learning what I could from his pictures. Less is more is something I have already believed in and he does that brilliantly.
There has been some serious momentum gained in the production, distribution and reaction to ‘ethical’ and ‘feminist’ pornography/erotica. People are keen to support it as it attempts to remove the constant objectification – even neglect – of women and their role in the industry. Do you see Art Provocative as having a role in this sea change, given that your shoots highlight the women as individuals as opposed to ‘another piece of meat’?
I don’t see myself as being involved in any ‘movement’ like ‘ethical’ or ‘feminist’ porn. Essentially I just take pictures and think sex and porn is something enjoyed by men and women. Unfortunately there are people out there who see or treat women less than equal and it’s good that society is becoming more about women’s rights and safety, especially in the adult world of porn and escorting as there are always dangers out there. Personally, I am 100% pro-women and hope to see an end to any inequality or assault that women face around the world by ignorant stupid men out there. Thankfully there are a lot of good guys out there too.
Who have been some of your favourite people to work with? Furthermore, do you have a ‘dream’ photoshoot; one or more people that you would love to have on set?
There’s no one person I’m dying to photograph. Having a beautiful woman let me take her picture without any rules or restrictions and just having fun on set – and getting paid for that – is my dream shoot and its something I get to do every week.
Have you ever had to deal with people taking umbrage at what you do? The majority of people we speak to involved in sex work/porn seem to be forever fending off protests and complaints. Have you ever had run-ins with people/groups like that?
I’d say my biggest fan is my mum. No doubt. She’s open-minded about many things and it’s probably why I’m the same. I’ve had the occasional protest but mostly – when I tell people what I do – they’re so interested and ask me more about it. It’s probably the best job ever.
What does the future hold for you and Art Provocative? Are there any other realms you want to move into, or are you happy with the way things are right now?
I’ve always wanted to take my work internationally and have now started photographing independent and agency escorts across Europe; London, Barcelona, Munich. Australia is a great place full of beautiful women so I’ll hopefully find myself flying back and forth between the two continents over the next 10-20 years.
I’ve dabbled with photographing gay escorts and would love to do more of that alongside the female shoots I do. There are hotspots around the world that I’m interested in working in, like Sydney, Sitges, Berlin and Mykonos. I find gay men to be very outgoing, fun and overall great to socialise with, so why not bring that to a photoshoot? Be open to opportunities and see where they take you.