80s nude shots bring fame

Auckland photographer finds late success

STACEY KIRK
Last updated 11:48 27/11/2012

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An Auckland photographer is "seeing what comes" of the global success of recently unearthed nude shots he took of his wife in the 80s.

John Crawford said the online success of the pictures had been "overwhelming".

"They've recently been on a Norwegian news site and on that alone they got 85,000 views. It's astounding," he said.

Crawford, a professional photographer in Auckland, took the artistic shots when he and his then-wife were living near New Plymouth.

"Nearly all of the pictures are taken in and around Taranaki. I used to do a lot of flying there and it always struck me, the views and symmetry that could be seen from that view."

Crawford's series, titled Aerial Nudes, were all taken between 1984-1987.

He said their inspiration came from having to fly between a lot of jobs throughout the region and country.

"It's not often we get to really look at something from that perspective and analyse it. As we're flying we're passing over a point but we quickly move on, so to be able to see something from directly above is something that people find interesting."

He said the idea to incorporate the nude body was initially born out of perspective.

"It gives scale because everyone knows the size of the human form, but it also shows how minuscule and insignificant we as humans are compared to the expansive landscape surrounding us."

Crawford is no longer married to the woman in the photos, but says "she's a dear friend".

And she is also pleased with their success.

"We're both really just so flattered people like them," he said.

It was only in the past month that pictures were unearthed. Crawford's website, www.johncrawford.co.nz, went through a recent redesign and he decided to include them in that.

Since the photos were placed online, they have been covered by media all around the world, including the UK's BBC and Daily Mail.

Offers of contracts and exhibitions have been flooding in but Crawford said he wanted to "hold tight" and see what happens.

He said he would most like an opportunity to exhibit in New York and then take it from there. 

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