Wax Bodies Nº187, 2007    15 x 18"   *   *   *  Wax Bodies 2006-2008  In the summer of 2006, I began photographing wax anatomical models in a small museum in Florence known as “La Specola”–The Royal Museum of Physics and Natural History born at the height of the Enlightenment. The so-called ‘Phantom Bodies’ were created to reveal new knowledge of the body, anatomy, childbirth and disease. I also photographed the collection of models at the Josephinum in Vienna (once the Military Surgical-Medical Academy in the 1780’s).  These Viennese models were made in Florence at “La Specola.” The two collections are, in theory, identical.  Yet, their differences are intriguing --the Italian women have olive complexions and lush brown hair, while the Viennese are pale, blue-eyed and blond, and wear golden circlets.  In Wax Bodies I came to see the medium of photography as an analogue to Enlightenment concepts of seeing and understanding the world.  Both have the look of truth, with a stranger fiction not far beneath the surface.

Wax Bodies Nº187, 2007    15 x 18" 

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Wax Bodies 2006-2008

In the summer of 2006, I began photographing wax anatomical models in a small museum in Florence known as “La Specola”–The Royal Museum of Physics and Natural History born at the height of the Enlightenment. The so-called ‘Phantom Bodies’ were created to reveal new knowledge of the body, anatomy, childbirth and disease. I also photographed the collection of models at the Josephinum in Vienna (once the Military Surgical-Medical Academy in the 1780’s).  These Viennese models were made in Florence at “La Specola.” The two collections are, in theory, identical.  Yet, their differences are intriguing --the Italian women have olive complexions and lush brown hair, while the Viennese are pale, blue-eyed and blond, and wear golden circlets.  In Wax Bodies I came to see the medium of photography as an analogue to Enlightenment concepts of seeing and understanding the world.  Both have the look of truth, with a stranger fiction not far beneath the surface.

 Wax Bodies Nº144, 2007    18 x 15"

Wax Bodies Nº144, 2007    18 x 15"

 Wax Bodies Nº19, 2006     15 x 18" 

Wax Bodies Nº19, 2006     15 x 18" 

 Wax Bodies Nº165, 2007     18 x 15"

Wax Bodies Nº165, 2007     18 x 15"

 Wax Bodies Nº158, 2007     15 x 18" 

Wax Bodies Nº158, 2007     15 x 18" 

 Wax Bodies Nº249, 2008     15 x 18" 

Wax Bodies Nº249, 2008     15 x 18" 

 Wax Bodies Nº111, 2006     18 x 15" 

Wax Bodies Nº111, 2006     18 x 15" 

 Wax Bodies Nº42, 2006     15 x 18" 

Wax Bodies Nº42, 2006     15 x 18" 

 Wax Bodies Nº40, 2006    15 x 18"

Wax Bodies Nº40, 2006    15 x 18"

 Wax Bodies Nº204, 2008     15 x 18"

Wax Bodies Nº204, 2008     15 x 18"