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© Pola Esther for Visceral
© Pola Esther for Visceral
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Sex, Intimacy, & Infatuation In Amy Hood's 'Visceral' (NSFW)

Picture of Jill Di Donato
Fashion Editor
Updated: 13 September 2017
Infatuation has been called the dark shadow of love. In Amy Hood’s new book, Visceral, the art director delivers an erotic examination of unconventional intimacy, and the psychological impetus behind love, lust, and infatuation. Drawing on Constructivism, the Soviet Union communist art movement of the early 1900s that emphasizes the disorientation of time and space, Hood taps fashion photographers, artists, and writers for a verbal/visual mashup on the dark side of love and control.
© Sante D’Orazio for Visceral

The book contains photographs from seven art and fashion photographers: Bill Brown, David Bellemere, Enga Purevjav, Kirsten Bode, Michael Donovan, Pola Esther, and Sante D’Orazio. Hood commissioned auteurs to aesthetically and intellectually provoke the audience in all the right ways. Hood’s roster of talent includes Bellemere, known for his work with LUI and Victoria’s Secret; Purevjav who assisted the late Glenn O’Brien for many years and is the longtime partner of D’Orazio; fashion photographer Donovan; and D’Orazio known for his portraiture of ‘90s supermodels.

Essays from seven style writers: Ava Berlin, Brian McGreevy, John-Paul Pryor, Kate Messinger, Lydia Lunch, Stephen Elliott, and Vanessa Matic punctuate the photography in the 114-page book. McGreevy and Elliott come from a screenwriting background helming the scripts of Netflix’s Hemlock and The Adderall Diaries respectively. Lunch and Berlin are known as performance artists on the fringe of subversive subculture who question ideas of anarchy and permission, respectively.

Culture Trip interviews Hood as Visceral becomes available for pre-order.

Jill Di Donato: How do you see the difference between love, lust, and infatuation?

© Kirsten Bode for Visceral

Amy Hood: Well they’re all quite separate. However, they’re related on the note of intimacy, and are often intertwined. Infatuation is more of an obsession. Love is someone you’re truly emotionally and mentally connected with, and lust is more the body’s carnal necessity.

© Bill Brown for Visceral

JDD: There’s a lot of explicit sexual imagery in the book. In your opinion, what makes this imagery artistic as opposed to salacious, or even pornographic?

AH: Is it really all that explicit? [Laughs] Well I usually define it this way: the intention behind the photographs, which is not to arouse but rather to create a story. The fact that it appeals not just sexually but visually, intellectually and emotionally as well [is all part of the intention]. A level of taste keeps sexuality in the realm of art and/or fashion. I’d like to add that there is no actual sex or genitals even being shown, it’s just boobs.

© Pola Esther for Visceral

JDD: What is the vibe like on set when you’re shooting models in the nude or in sexually charged scenarios?

AH: Professional, human, comfortable. I’m just thinking about imagery and emotion and composition and always want to ensure everyone feels comfortable. More so, [I want to be] satisfied and proud to be a part of any project or vision I’m directing.

© Enga Purevjav for Visceral

JDD: What inspired the aesthetic of the book? It has a nostalgic feel to it.

AH: The book was designed to be chic and bold and refined with the design aesthetic referenced from the early 1900’s Constructivism movement.

© Sante D’Orazio for Visceral

JDD: Can you talk a little bit about the new terrain where fashion, art, and design exist. How do these cross-genres cohabit a space in such a way that elevates the industry of fashion?

AH: I feel like initially they always corresponded and were cohesive, and then at some point they became a little disassociated for awhile. Now it’s trending again for [fashion, art, and design] to be back together in unity, thankfully.

© Sante D’Orazio for Visceral

And why shouldn’t they be really? They all revolve around aesthetic and visual stimulus. They’re interdependent. Both fashion and art need design. Design itself is a form of art (or really several, depending on what your designing). You have to know design to make fashion; art draws inspiration from fashion and vice versa. I think we all just need to interact with each other a little more socially like we did in the ’60s and ’70s. That would lend a better climate for creation.

VISCERAL is available for pre-order by Viscous Productions

Creative Direction and Design by Amy Hood

8.5 x 9 in | 114 pages | Perfect Bound | UV Pantone & Duotone Printing by Starnet Media | 100lb Uncoated Cover Stock & 100lb High Gloss Text | Heidelberg Sheetfed Press | Limited Edition Quantity of 500