Stone Nudes by Dean Fidelman

Dean Fidelman has generated a series of mesmerizing images for his project Stone Nudes.

Fidelman is a rock climber and he describes his series as “A photographic project that captures the essence of the climbing spirit”.  But to me these images speak more broadly than just telling a story about climbing.

To my eyes these images speak of a harmony between Man and Nature in a way that very few images manage to achieve nowadays. So much of our visual imagery is focused on Man’s destructive effect on Nature that we seem to have forgotten that there is also a positive harmony to be enjoyed observed and appreciated.

In most of these images the human figure is dwarfed by the majesty of the raw natural landscape.  Yet both elements have their own aesthetic – a different and contrasting beauty – and Fidelman manages to create a feeling of harmony rather than one of violation.

Fidelman’s images are reminiscent of those Arno Rafael Minkkinen’s ‘self-portraits’ in a natural environment.  However, while Minkkinen’s images create a feeling of human intrusion and molestation, Fidelman’s do not.  Looking through Stone Nudes I am left with a sense of peace and the hopeful feeling that some kind of harmonious relationship with nature is, maybe, possible.

Fidelman does not set out to make a point beyond his celebration of the climbing spirit. Yet, in celebrating both the human form and the natural world in the context of non-damaging human recreation, he has created an inspirational series of images that could show the way for a new visual language for those interested in taking a positive view of environmental issues.

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