Devoted to the analogic photography, Arthur Meehan realizes pure and unadorned nude female portraits that become genuine pieces of great beauty. Though a tiny, analytic eye he captures natural beauty as it is and depicts it simple but very deep at the same time.
I like the old school way of shooting and then developing and printing. I really dislike the whole digital thing as it has taken the mystery and romance out of photography.
Which is your first photographic memory?
Printing in the darkroom.
We know your interest in photography happened by chance. Would you mind to tell us how this happened?
I was studying business at a university and a friend invited me to come and see him do some printing in the darkroom and I loved it.
You say your artistic heroes are the sculptor Rodin and photographer Edward Weston. What about their art has made the most impact on your series?
For Rodin it was his passion for the female form and for Weston it was his dedication to keeping things as simple as possible when photographing and using only daylight to shoot his pictures.
What do you enjoy most about the photographic process?
I like the old school way of shooting and then developing and printing. I really dislike the whole digital thing as it has taken the mystery and romance out of photography. Everything is about now and no one has the patience anymore of waiting to see if you got the shot or not. I also feel that the digital revolution has made everything look the same. It’s all retouched and you have no idea of what is real or not.
You are devoted to sublime flowers and nude studies. Which is the reason why you are investigating these two themes thoroughly?
I started with women because I love the endless shapes and feelings one can obtain and I view the flowers as another female form. I usually shoot flowers when I need to be alone and think. It is a sort of therapy for me. To me visually there is not a difference between the shapes of flowers and women.
Your portraits are pure and unadorned. Your female figures are genuine and authentic as nature intended them. Your tiny, analytic eye captures natural beauty as it is and depicts it simple but very deep at the same time. How could you reach this effect?
I really don’t have an answer for this one because I am not sure how I do it myself. I just shoot what I love without thinking to much or making it complicated. I guess one could say that it is just how I see women.
I started with women because I love the endless shapes and feelings one can obtain and I view the flowers as another female form.
Your photographs are unique pieces of great beauty, pervaded by a subtle sense of romance. Through light and shadow, you seem to ask your audience to seek for something deeper inside your composition. What’s hidden beyond the shapes of your beautiful shots?
That’s for you to imagine. It can be whatever you want it to be.
The celebration of natural beauty and perfection can be seen in your “New Flowers” series as well. Here, your parrots and ranunculus appear as graininess painting; behind your shots, petals are soft, fragile to touch, they seem to smell good. You are able to catch them in all their simplicity, and perfection. How could you be so finely deep?
I think that when I go through dark times in my life, I somehow subconsciously gravitate to the light. I escape into my own world of beauty and vision.
You seem to be able to speak gently to your models, reaching their heart. That, is even more true if considering the pregnancy series. Which relationship do you usually develop with them during the shooting?
I am very relaxed and never have a preconceived idea about the shoot. I just have the models come to my home and we have a coffee and talk and then just slowly find our way into the shoot. It’s a very quiet, gentle and organic process.
How much preparation do you put into taking a photograph?
What leads you to become a professional photographer?
I just love it.
Your next project.
I am showing at the Festival Eoropeen de la photo de nu, in Arles France. It takes place May 5-14- at the Espace Van Gogh.
Your main flaw and quality.
My main flaw is I think to much and my greatest quality is my honesty and loyalty.
Make a wish.
I just did!
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