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Jon Levi

The Photography of Jon Levi

Artist Statement:
In a conversation with Kate S.H. 2nd of June 2015 at 1:15am.

"Sometimes I am part of the shoot. Sometimes I am not. But much more times unintended,” I said.

Kate said,
“Your photos are about stories. They each and every one have a small encapsulated story, that reflects a way bigger life picture.

The women are naked and yet not erotic.
They are sexualized but not necessarily sexy.

They sometimes hold the power.

They sometimes are vulnerable.

They sometimes are merely present,
or floating in a self-involved daydream.

Maybe they are the daydream
but in each photo the story is theirs.

They ARE the story, and you can't look away.. you want to know why, and you want to dissect the details."

"Sometimes there are men. They are old. They are cowboys. They stand nearby, sit on the bed, doing nothing at all. They don't hold the power. They are players in the story.” I said.

She said,
"The thing you must realize is that in some weird way you are a voice for these women,
but don't condescend or try to pretend you understand women
because you dont
you just channel,
conduit,
avatar."

Her advice:
"Just don't pretend to know what the hell you are tapping into. Let it speak to you and you just pass it on.”

I first picked up a book called Nude:Theory (Lustrum Press, edited by Jain Kelly) about 1982. It's an anthology of nude photographers. What more could a kid want? It's now a very favorite, dog-eared book. Let's not forget a book called "Show Me" by Will McBride; I came across this one even earlier in the 70's. This book is a very rare gem, a pinnacle in the history of fine art nude publishing. It's about sex ed, innocence and discovery. It's so good, honest, clear, exuberant, effervescent and grounded that it's banned in half the countries in the world. If you can find it, consider yourself VERY lucky. My photos, the sexual domestic, speak for themselves when it comes to experience.

My name is Jon Levi. I was born in April 1968. I grew up in NJ in the 70’s. They didn’t discover that I was deaf until 1973. Playboy was all the rage in my house with an occasional Penthouse. Mad Magazine too. Bar Mitzvahed in 1981. I photographed my babysitter, my first nude in 1983 when I was 15. Feed my friends and family with good food,vino & laughter. Fly to exotic locales, skydiving once in a blue moon. Deaf, speak great with funny side trips in other languages, ride motorcycles and sleep like a baby. And Lastly LONG LIVE HELMUT. NEWTON.

If you like my work and would like me to do a photography project, please don't hesitate to contact me directly at jonlevi@me.com

All the best,

Jon Levi

“These works couldn't help but grab and hold the attention of any passer by. His curious subjects and meticulous stylization were the tools used to grab the viewer and allow them to feel a personal connection to each piece. I personally loved the work because it gave me just enough information to feed my curiosity and ask myself why or even how is it that I feel a place in this world the work has created.”
Hollie Klem 2010

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