Jock Sturges

Jock Sturges

Born in 1947, Jock Sturges has been for a long time in the limelight of controversy for producing distinct kind of nude photographs. Most of his work is shot around nude beaches of North California and France. Subjects of his photography have mostly been girls in their adolescence. The images are unquestionably erotic, unlike treating a human’s body as an abstract structure. Sturges’s aim is to sketch out the subject’s own mushrooming sexuality in a non voyeuristic, personal, and straightforward way. His extremely fine grained and detailed images are created using a camera with a large format.

In his written work, Sturges gratifies himself on the connections of friends, trust and the bond between the model and their families with the photographer. In many of his photos, he has depicted a number of generations together… naked.

His work has been often criticized as being a medium of young people’s pornography veiled with a blanket of fine art. It is said that his photographs’ artistic worth is often ignored by many men who look at his work only for sexual pleasure. However, there are people who defend his work as well, with disingenuously statements usually. For this reason, he has always encountered legal warnings. In fact, in 1990 his studio was raided as well as his work and equipment was confiscated. Moreover, he was indicted for pornography of children. However, with the help of the defenders of Sturges’s works, he got his things back. Unfortunate for him, some of it was entirely damaged. Once more in the mid-90s, his work was attacked by a group of Christian conformists. Protesters targeted the major stores of books across the country that shelved Jock Sturges’s books along with the work of David Hamilton and other such photographers who work with nudes. This time as well, Sturges was provided with great support from civil liberation groups and artists.

Jock Sturges came to this level of photography after he completed his studies at Marlboro College and later from San Francisco Art Institute.

Sturges’s published works include, The Last Day of Summer, 1991; Jock Sturges – Twenty Five Years, 2004; Radiant Identities, 1994; Evolution of Grace, 1994; Jock Sturges – New Work, 1996; Jock Sturges – Notes, 2004; Jock Sturges, 1996; and Jock Sturges Life Time, 2008. In addition, he is also credited for Montage; Standing on Water; Jock Sturges Color; and Line of Beauty and Grace.

Apart from this, his work has also appeared on the cover of Jennifer McMahon‘s novels – Island of Lost Girls; Dismantled; and Promise Not to Tell. Along with this, his photographs have also been shown in Ute av Verden, Karl Ove Knausgård’s novel, 1998.

His works are in the collection of many places, such as The Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York); The Los Angeles County Museum of Art;  The Minneapolis Institute of Art; The Musee de la Louviere (Brussels); The Milwaukee Museum of Art; The Portland Museum of Art; and many more.

Jock Sturges has done many solo shows as well since 1976. Places where is work is shown unaccompanied, include San Francisco’s Maelstrom Gallery, 1983; Berlin’s Bodo Niemann Gallery, 1996; New York’s Louis Meisel Gallery, 2001; Atlanta’s Momus Gallery, 2002; Belgium’s Patrick deBrock Gallery, 2004; Paris’s Act 2 Gallery, 2003; Austria’s Galerie Farbre, 1998; and numerous more.