reBOUND, Shibari Style Impressions by David Lawrence

This may not come as a surprise, but I see a lot of rope bondage pictures. And videos. And live performances. And erotica. I actually read the text of Master’s K’s Beauty of Kinbaku, and loved every second of it.

It’s a fault, to be honest. The stuff just interests me. I’m not proud of it.

But keep it in mind when I tell you, point blank, that David Lawrence’s photographic book Bound remains the most beautiful collection of rope bondage photography I’ve ever seen. Not because of the models, or the ropework, but because they all come to a conjunction in the pages of the book that makes it greater than the sum of its parts. It’s a breathtaking experience to go into that book, to take its oversized solid binding into your hands and open it and let your eyes dive in…

Of course, you can’t look at it. It’s sold out. Out of print. OK, maybe if you bribe me with whiskey, dark chocolate, and unspecified sexual favors, I’ll let you hold it. Just for a little while. Ok, that’s enough, even you thinking about it is making me twitchy. Give it back.

Perhaps I’ll be more willing to share in about a month, when I get my copy (pre-ordered quite a while ago, because I knew it would be worth the wait) of reBOUND, Shibari Style Impressions. This is the next phase of David’s work, and he deserves kudos just for attempting to follow that first act. You can see a preview of the work by clicking on the link, but I gotta tell ya: it’s about as close to actually having the book as looking at a picture is to actually tying someone up.

In other words, not at all.

I can see by your face that you’re skeptical. And that’s understandable, because I still haven’t really talked about why exactly his work is so fucking good. Bad blogger, Gray, no biscuit. OK, fine, let me see if I can try…

Hmm.

OK, it’s like this: most bondage art photography bears something of the personality of the person who did it. Lochai’s Occupied, Lee’s Black Book, even Midori’s prints from The Seductive Art of Japanese Bondage. Hell, the instructional pics in Douglas Kent’s books scream “DOUGLAS KENT”.

That is, of course a subjective view. I know all of these people, some fairly intimately, so of course I’d project the personality on the pictures, right? Even given that there are other photographers whose work I’ve learned to spot without ever meeting them (Ian Rath, by the way, at some point I owe you a drink. Or ten.). All of them are something of a collaboration: the eye of the photographer with the experience of the model. If the photographer is also the rigger, there’s even more of their personality involved, in my opinion.

Except for David Lawrence.

I know David, and call him friend. He’s not a quiet man. You wouldn’t call him an unassuming presence. Hell, it could even be said that he’s an arrogant rigger, because of his penchant for fitting the bodies to his ties as opposed to the other way around. I’d say it’s probably more confidence than arrogance, but sometimes that line gets blurry.

But when I look at his pictures…I don’t see him. Somehow he manages to get out of the way and let the subjects tell their own relationship – between the rope and their body, between the partners, the snake, the candle wax, or just gravity and the hard, cold floor below.

Don’t get me wrong; I still know it’s David’s photography, and I can see and admire the audacity of location and the artistic composition and technical skill and all that shit that keeps me from trying to compete in the world of bondage photography. But David gives us the gift of photos that go beyond that, that triggers that inner resonant frequency. I look at the pictures, and somehow I see in the lines, the expressions, the shades of gray that same feeling of satisfaction that I get when I hold a piece of hemp in my hand, or when I look at my partner bound and smiling on the floor. I see that same fault, if that’s the right word, that keeps us tying and being tied.

David Lawrence gets it, and more than that, he manages to share it through photographs in a way that is rare and beautiful. I appreciate that.

From what I hear, reBound is going to be a limited print run too. That’s why I’m glad I got mine early. If you’re lucky, maybe Cupid will get one for you, too. If not, well…I guess I could share. Maybe. But we’re talkin’ 90% or more cacao, baby, and that whiskey had better be older than my niece.

Otherwise, honeychild, we’re going to be getting pretty fucking specific…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.