Philip Werner created a photographic journey of 101 nude, frontal lower-abdomen views of women spread across races, ages, and body types, and in one case, even across gender. Despite the coffee-table book’s title, the black and white images are not of the vagina, neither are they pornographic. The 101 Vagina photographs are framed and lit identically, which results in you only seeing each woman’s unique beauty.
Each woman wrote an entry describing her own reflections of her vagina to accompany her photograph. Powerful messages of pleasure, pain, shame, celebration, joy, fear, guilt, desire, pregnancy, birth, intimacy, trauma, connection, femininity, abuse, divinity, and more haunt and delight readers, And, in the end we realize humanity unites them all.
So many current issues are raised by the 101 Vagina book that it’s difficult to encapsulate: Labiaplasty, pubic hair styles, genital mutilation, goddess worship, rape culture, orgasms, body image, masturbation, and even censorship of the word vagina itself. Most importantly, in a perfectly Photoshopped world erroneously leading our women to believe something may be wrong with them if they don’t look like Playboy’s centerfold, the book helps women accept their body as normal by representing the female form truthfully. And, that my friends, is a bold cultural statement well overdue.
In viewing 101 unedited photos and messages, we come face to face with the simple truth of human experience around the sacred passage through which we were all conceived and born, and yet have such difficulty speaking about openly.
The photographic exhibition is currently on tour throughout the United States and Canada, and has thus far been viewed in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Laguna Beach with overwhelming popularity. Men, women, and children view the exhibit with awe and they leave with a deeper acceptance of the female form.
The following represents the remaining exhibition tour schedule:
- Laguna Beach until May 8 at Laguna Gallery of Contemporary Art
- Montreal May 17-25 at 100 Talents
- New York June 3-8 at NOo Sphere Arts
- Toronto June 14-22 Creative Blueprint