Marc Baptiste Solo Show at Avant Gallery

Editor's Note: The following is a review of the Marc Baptiste show at the opening on December 3, 2009 at Avant Gallery. The opinions expressed in this post are not necessarily those of the editor.

by photographer Selina Roman

A lot of nude and erotic photography filled the walls at the various art fairs held in concert with Miami’s Art Basel, December 2 - 6, 2009 . In more than one show, slicked up, naked women lithely draped themselves over couches or concrete steps. The images could have easily appeared in any auto parts calendar.

But Haitian-born photographer Marc Baptiste’s show of limited edition photographs, which opened Friday at the Avant Gallery in Miami’s Design District, epitomized sensuality.

Each of the color and black and white photos seemed to tell a mini story about the women shown, where the plot line straddled naïve mischievousness.

Photographer Marc Baptiste at Avant Gallery show 2009
Photographer Marc Baptiste at Avant Gallery, 2009

Although some of his subjects gazed directly back at the viewer, like in Britt’s Room, the feeling was more like a person that was meant to be there in the room all along rather than a voyeuristic intruder.

Some of Baptiste’s photos even have a touch of cheekiness to them. One photo shows the backside of a fishnet-clad woman, tugging at her pantyhose. The photo takes an otherwise very private moment and makes it sexy and amusing.

In another, a woman stands in a doorway wearing a pair of white tube socks and underwear. The shot shows only her legs and backside with an ethereal light enveloping her. Again, a seemingly benign moment that is warm and sensual, but a touch naughty at the same time.

Nude by Photographer Marc Baptiste at Avant Gallery show 2009
Nude by Photographer Marc Baptiste at his Avant Gallery show, 2009

Baptiste, born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, was raised in New York City. He has published three books of his nude photography: Beautiful Nudes (2001); Intimate Nudes (2003); Marc Baptiste Nudes (2007). His commercial clients include Original Penguin clothing and Reebok among others.

Baptiste said during Friday’s show, that it was his first time showing during Art Basel week in Miami. He added that he was having a great time and would return next year.

Related: Read Dodge & Burn photographer interview with Jenny Baptiste.

View Selina Roman's latest photography series on her blog, The Burqa Project.

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