london

Jimmy De Sana

Wilkinson Gallery

Taken when the American photographer Jimmy De Sana (1950–1990) was between the ages of just twenty and twenty-two, the small, black-and-white images in 101 Nudes, 1972, seem to document simultaneously this talented artist’s fumbling discoveries in both sex and photography. The subjects’ often embarrassing suburban posturing—a fleshy young woman walking gracelessly in the backyard; a skinny boy posing stupidly on a dining-room table, performing some sort of arabesque—captures the awkward, mischievous curiosity of early encounters with sex or art, the moments when our parents mercifully left us alone to discover what we really liked. Punctuating the many borderline grotesqueries among these portraits are sudden appearances of genuinely erotic nudes: a beautifully lit, sprawling male figure with magnificent legs, hiding his face in a couch; a confident, naked nymph sitting outside in the

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