For the follow-up to his massive ultimate fighting opus Octagon (powerHouse Books, 2007), photographer Kevin Lynch turned his focus away from the bright lights and brutality of the mixed martial arts world, and toward a far more personal subject. Watercolours is a collaboration between Lynch and his wife Hillary, a series of abstracted nudes taken in the swimming pool of their California home that transform the human figure into twisting ribbons of color and brilliant bursts of light.
In creating these images, Lynch decided to forgo his usual high-resolution digital camera and elaborate lighting setup in favor of tools more classic and familiar: a 35 mm camera, low shutter speeds, and the pool light as the only source of illumination. As a result, the stark, unsparing detail that defined Octagon gives way to a fluid softness and a palpable air of tenderness and love. Watercolours trades the gritty realism of the artist’s past work for an impressionistic gaze that betrays passionate emotion and a painter’s eye.
Watercolours by Kevin Lynch, Introduction by Phil Hagen, Essay by David Pagel