Two years ago, photographer John Bortolin embarked on an artistic journey which has now culminated in the creation of ‘Manscape’, a big and beautiful coffee-table book combining and celebrating the natural beauty of Northern New South Wales and the male physique.
“The incredible landscapes of the Byron Bay shire in Australia, and its surrounding areas, have always inspired me,” Bortolin explained to QNews. “The lush semi-tropical hills, hidden creeks, and the sensual lines of the blue and white coast.
“I am also an enormous admirer of the male body, with its strength and power. Yet, like any landscape it has a certain vulnerability. I decided to combine these passions in a large format photography book as an artistic celebration of these two forms”
In many ways, while this book is a celebration of all men, it is also a tribute to each of these men who generously participated with their openness and willingness to transform and become a work of art.
In a digital age that seems determined to create an unrealistic sense of perfection, Bortolin instead celebrates the raw image through traditional means.
I’m an ‘old school’ photographer who trained on a film camera. Some of the images were taken on a 1965 model Mamiya C33 medium format 6x6cm film camera. These square format images feature in the centre of the book. They have a texture and grain that digital technology doesn’t necessarily allow, revealing a raw beauty. Mother Nature has the best attributes for these outdoor shots and I didn’t need to interfere. The light is all natural.
Manscapes by John Bortolin is available for order now via www.manscapes.com.au