Michael Wildman - Under the Skin
Undoubtedly Wildman's own stint as a life model has given him an insight into what it's like in front of the lens
| 13 Oct 2006
Whilst recently exhibiting at the Smoke Stack restaurant in Leith, several patrons registered their disgust at having to look at Michael Wildman's 'pornogaphy' while they ate. This new exhibition of photographs, in the spacious and comfortable gallerA1 space, asks the viewer to see beyond the obvious spectacle of unclothed bodies and engage emotionally with the human subjects that Wildman has captured on film. Executed in black and white, his new work has a certain style-mag sheen to it. The artist is obviously interested in the aesthetic elegance of the human form, and he does not attempt to give us a visceral sense of the models' flesh and bone constitution. It is therefore surprising that Wildman does succeed in imbuing his images with a real emotional sensitivity, the most successful pictures being those in which the artist captures the frisson of electricity between two models. Undoubtedly Wildman's own stint as a life model has given him an insight into what it's like in front of the lens, and he has definitely turned this to his advantage. I was most fascinated by the photographs which played on the abstract, sculptural qualities of the human form, but these are outnumbered by the more straightforward figurative works. Nevertheless, this is a strong show, so check it out if you're down Leith way. [Jay Shukla]
gallerA1, 2 Commercial St, Leith, Edinburgh, until October 15. Free.