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Posted January 6, 2008
According to Wikipedia, 'Bondi is an eastern suburb of Sydney, in the state of New South Wales, Australia', but to photographer/artist Paul Freeman, Bondi is a resource for the models of his highly successful series of 'Bondi' male photography books. This volume, BONDI WORK' is, for this viewer, the finest of the series. Combining full page bleed color photographs with equally sophisticated black and white images, and interspersing these dramatic compositions with occasional two page spreads of snapshot size images that often create 'stories' simply by their placement on the page, makes for a large scale survey of the amazing Australian models Freeman finds and captures for us. The theme here is 'work' and the settings are all in the various factories and workplaces in Bondi. The men are buff, but not distortedly so, and are presented both au natural and in elements of work clothing. For the most part these models appear very natural: no body shaving here, no need for oils and accoutrements - these are men in the raw, and enjoying themselves. The work theme matches the characters in this portfolio as these men all appear to be naturally buff from labor in the workplace (as well as the gym). Freeman includes full frontal (and rear) nudity but only incidentally. This is not a collection of aroused models but rather a collection of men who can arouse the viewer merely by the gifts they possess! This is a fine collection for a very large audience. Not only are the models well chosen and well placed, but the photographs are also very high quality in composition and lighting and choice of setting. Highly recommended. Grady Harp
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