Jonathan Ross Holography Collection

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Published in Shows at Gallery 286

Lust for Light - Hologram Nudes


February 8 – March 6, 2007

Ana Maria Nicholson

Matt Slade

Matt Slade

Matt Slade

David Pizzanell

Paul Newman


Along with a desire to brighten the dark February days, this exhibition was motivated by the wish to exhibit my latest holographic acquisition, a beautiful 50x60cm double exposure hologram of a nude by the American holographer Ana Maria Nicholson, who has been working with pulse lasers for many years to record images of the human body.

I realised that I had enough images in my collection, along with a few works on consignment, to make a small survey of how the nude has been handled by holographers over the almost 30 years that I have been involved with the medium. This exhibition therefore contains a mixture of Fine Art holograms and others that were made for more titillating or banal reasons

The oldest exhibit, 'Sylvia', is an integral hologram generated from film footage recorded at the Multiplex Company of San Francisco some time during the 1970s by Peter Claudius, a porno film-maker and inventor of the famous 'HoloBlow' machine. The most recent are a couple of small reflection holographic stereograms, made using very similar technology but a different display technique by the Russian company SmirHolo in 2005. "Plus ça change..."

Pulse lasers, which emit brief but intense bursts of coherent light, provide the most effective method of recording human subjects, freezing movement to give the most realistic 3D results. Martin Richardson and Paul Newman, both graduates of the Royal College of Art, show fine double-exposure pulse works, as does Ana Maria Nicholson from the New York Center for the Holographic Arts. Ron & Bernadette Olson, from a San Francisco studio, produce high quality portraits and animal studies along with a series of 'Playmate' images and some less well-known erotic works of which I include one of the milder examples.

Holographic stereograms are a fusion of holography with cinematography in which a sequence of photographic images, taken by a camera moving along a rail to provide different perspective views or by filming a subject revolving on a turntable, is synthesised into a succession of stereo pairs to create the illusion of a three dimensional and/or moving image. Harriet Casdin-Silver's 'Venus of Willendorf '91', a reworking of the famous pagan fertility goddess, is an example of this technique, as are the little 'California Dreamin' cards, produced with less creative intent but utilising quite sophisticated holography to render a full-colour image. David Pizzanelli recognised that the 19th century photographer, Edweard Muybridge, had used compatible techniques and his 'Arabesque' is appropriated from one of the latter's 'Human Locomotion Studies'. Pizzanelli similarly appropriated footage from a 1980s sex-education video for the 'Jolly Series', which formed part of his RCA PhD project on temporal parallax. His 'Dorothea' is a composite image - a sort of holographic collage of images of a former girlfriend.

Jon Mitton's 'Dunce' and 'Bodyshop' are part of his 'Hardcore Holography' series, a project realised with the Liverpool collective F (UK) who helped design, film and perform for the holograms. When exhibited at the John Moores University Gallery they earned the accolade of a visit from the vice-squad, national newspaper coverage and subsequent closure of the show. They have rarely been seen since.

Holographers who have not had access to pulse lasers or the optical printers needed to make stereograms have, on occasion, made images of the nude by recording 3-dimensional sculpted figures, and the holograms by Mike Medora, Third Dimension, Pilkington, Don Broadbent and myself (one of very few existing Ross holograms) demonstrate this approach. The 'Hot Shots' collectors cards are examples of using two dimensional photographs and artwork to make '2D/3D' images, more familiar from their authentication and promotional uses.

Photographers in the mid-19th century wasted no time before producing large quantities of nude studies for artistic and erotic purposes and it is perhaps surprising that holography has not done more along those lines. Maybe this exhibition will stimulate a few of the current practitioners to expand the slender catalogue of hologram nudes. I will be keeping an eye open.

To complement the holograms I am delighted to be showing The Erotic Art of Matt Slade.

Matt photographs gorgeous nude models bathed in psychedelic fractal light projections (see examples left) and a selection of his award-winning prints will be on sale for your continued mind-expansion.

Jonathan Ross
February 2007

"Said the public to Dennis Gabor,
'Just what is holography for ?'
'With pictures in three
Dimensions,' said he
'The love stuff is really hard-core'."
Isaac Asimov, 1978

The article "Hardcore Holography - A New Dimension In Erotica" can be found here.

Viewing strictly by appointment only.

Please contact the gallery
Tel: 020 7370 2239  E-mail

Warning: Some images contain what might be considered ‘Adult Content


Girl on Rock 1978

Reflection hologram 3" x 2"
Dichromate gelatin on glass

See 3 Girls? 1984

Reflection hologram 2" x 2.5"
Silver halide on glass

Princess 2005

Reflection hologram 5" x 4"
Silver halide on film

Promise 2005

Reflection hologram 5" x 4"
Silver halide on film

(Jeff Blyth/Mike Medora)

Joanne 1983

Reflection hologram 10"x8"
Silver halide on film

California Dreamin' (Kristen & Liza)

2 full-colour holographic stereograms 3.5" x 2.5"
hotstamping foil on card

Collector Cards for Men 1993
(Sandra, Dana, Jenna & Erin, Racquel Darrian)

3 2D/3D Embossed holograms 3.5" x 2.5"
hotstamping foil on card


Reflection hologram 9.75" x 9.75"
Dichromate gelatin on glass

Cocoon II 2005

Reflection hologram 50cm x 60cm
Silver halide on film, laminated to glass

Venus of Willendorf 1991

Holographic stereogram 180mm x 98 mm.
Nickel shim

Dunce 1993

Holographic stereogram 8"x10"
Silver halide on glass

Bodyshop 1993

Holographic stereogram 8"x10"
Silver halide on glass

Arabesque 1989
Mirror-backed achromate white light transmission hologram_10"x 8" Silver halide on glass

Dorothea, Blue Moon, Eclipse 1990
Mirror-backed white light transmission hologram, 10.5" diameter Silver halide on glass

Jolly Series
3 Mirror-backed white light transmission holograms 7" x 9", 7.5"x 9.5", 7" x 9.5" Silver halide on glass

Freedom is a Word III
Reflection hologram 60x 50cm Silver halide on glass

Cuddling 2004
Reflection hologram 20" x 14" Silver halide on glass

Nova 1989
Pseudocolour reflection hologram 10"x8" Silver halide on glass

Double Exposure
Reflection hologram 43 x 32cm Silver halide on glass

Sylvia c.1976
Integral hologram 9.5"x19" Silver halide on film.


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