Known for her intimate, naked portraits of people of all ages and races, Malerie Marder spent the past five years photographing female sex workers in the Netherlands for her latest series, appropriately titled “Anatomy.” Marder paid each of her subjects around $500 for their time and got great pictures in return. She staged her sitters in art-historical poses, bathing them in a mix of natural and artificial light. She then took long exposures with large-format cameras, to capture painterly yet cinematic views of uninhibited flesh.
The 26 unframed works on view are pinned directly to three of the gallery’s five walls in a salon-style arrangement, and the result both attracts and repels the viewer’s gaze. One reclining woman mimics Gustave Courbet’s famous crotch shot from Origin of the World, while another imitates René Magritte’s surreal painting of a model and her inverted mirror reflection. Mirrors play a big role here, as does color, particularly various tones of blue, yellow, orange and red. From odalisques to standing nudes, Marder embraces her subjects with a visual enchantment that makes their lives shine.