Now going on three years since the pandemic first started, it's clear that its psychological effects fundamentally changed norms around physical closeness. Coupled with the isolating nature of the internet era, our connection with our body — and other bodies — is worth examining.
A new photo series by visual artist Vincent Tiley is exploring questions surrounding "intimacy and body proximity." The photos are part of an ongoing collaboration between Tiley and director-photographer Tim Saccenti, whose dark, futuristic style is seen in work with Rick Owens, Flying Lotus, Kelela, Depeche Mode, Korn, Sophia the Robot and more.
In the collaboration, Saccenti captures a razor-sharp cinematic spread of Tiley's sculptural creations, including a two-person bodysuit of eel leather and a two-person metal ball gag. Also featured in the images is jewelry by CHRISHABANA, who also fabricated and collaborated on two of the five pieces.
"I make work about the body and its boundaries, often combining and restraining multiple performers into new hybrid bodies," Tiley explains to PAPER. "Since the outbreak of COVID-19, I think our collective sensibilities on intimacy and body proximity have shifted and the work I make has taken on more potency."
The images offer tenderness amidst bizarre and dystopian elements, depicting models Image Object and Cal Nicole bound together through a mess of wires and restraints. "This new set of works is about sexuality, cross-contamination and evolution," Tiley adds.
Swipe through, below, to see images from the series.
Photos courtesy of Vincent Tiley
Photography: Tim Saccenti
Nails: Patti Spliff
Hair: Sean Bennet
Models: Image Object, Cal Nicole