Self-Portrait Three Times
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© Estate of John Coplans

John Coplans
British, 1987
Polaroid / gelatin silver print
3 1/2 x 4 1/2 in.

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Aging and hairy, the photographer's nude body is presented in this triple-exposure in two profile views and one frontal view. It is a vulnerable revelation of the body's imperfections rendered in graphic detail. John Coplans has cropped his body across the upper chest and lower legs, emphasizing his torso, with its folds and spots made more severe by the deep shadows cast by the harsh, unforgiving lighting. Like a latter-day Three Graces composition, the multiple bodies interact in a dance-like posture, bending forward and back, legs extended in motion and carefully posed in side-by-side symmetry.