A more literal interpretation of the Australian male than Bondi Classic, the collection Bondi Urban seeks to capture something of that spirit of freedom.
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Bondi Urban (2005)
A more literal interpretation of the Australian male than Bondi Classic, the collection Bondi Urban seeks to capture something of that spirit of freedom. Despite its’ edgy and gritty sensuality and a more contemporary look to the models, the way they are directed and captured, the trademark use of lighting to elevate simple compositions into captivating works of art, and the extensive use of gorgeous subdued colour, often infuses the work with the painterly romanticism we got to know in Bondi Classic. The result is another wonderful series of shared intimate moments of male beauty and sensuality.
“At Bondi in Sydney, the eastward growth of the city is halted by the Pacific Ocean. The white sandy beach made by the pounding surf is one of a number of breaks along a coastal wall of treacherous cliffs, atop which the stalled urban sprawl regroups as precarious modern citadels.
It’s difficult after a while to be critical of the architectural abominations, the bitumen and cement of Bondi, when, together with the warm climate and natural wonders, they have nurtured a unique Australian sub-culture. Combined here are many of the liberal and rebellious traits of the various diverse tribes found in the centre of most big western cities, with the tranquillising effect of the breathing space afforded by a vast expanse of ocean.
Bondi takes the edge off all kinds of angst, as urban renegades are soothed by the sun and the surf, and by man made enhancements like outdoor exercise yards, skateboard ramps, ocean side swimming pools and walkways on a coastline filled with astounding vistas. Even the graffiti on the cement retaining walls celebrates the beach lifestyle.
Bondi is a multi-cultural youth Mecca, for backpackers and working tourists from everywhere from England to Brazil, for Australian surfers, artists, workers, sportsmen, actors, intellects, students, fishermen, skaters, musicians, the party crowd, the clubbers, the beach peacocks, the iron-men, the muscle men, for outdoorsy corporate types wanting to live, exercise or just share a beer alongside the descendants of the original working class and immigrant inhabitants of the suburb.
As a suburb that is struggling to gentrify Bondi seems grounded by its working class roots and comes close to realising the oft-cited ideal of Australians, egalitarianism, the ‘fair-go-for-all’ acceptance of differences in people. It remains, despite sad trends of the age, a haven of peaceful coexistence, of colorful and unique diversity in one of the most densely populated urban regions in the southern hemisphere, in what is still the luckiest country.
The young single man of Bondi at his best is healthy and fit, loves the beach and all it offers, has a cheeky irreverence and willingness to have a go at anything that is harmless. He’s interested if not involved in contemporary cultural and liberal political dialogue, and loves diverse forms of art and music, as well as dancing and partying. He lives in an apartment or dilapidated beach house either in bohemian chaos or Spartan simplicity, most of his living being outdoors or hanging with friends outdoors or in bars and cafes. He’s equipped with a spirit of self-discovery and self- expression, unselfconscious, and whether gay, straight, bi, sexually exploratory or sexually ambivalent, is non-judgmental and accepting. He is, for at least the Bondi period of his life, free.” Paul Freeman
Bondi Urban is over 300 photographs on 224 quality, large format art pages, hard-bound. (250x340x25mm)