It has been some time since I critiqued a set by this photographer of this particular model. At that time I was quite familiar with the work of photographer Catherine, but it was my first time seeing Vanda B. Although my comments were somewhat brief — the blog has grown and evolved since the post appeared in early 2011 — my enthusiasm for the pictorial was abundant. Now, two-and-a-half years later, I sit down with another gallery by the same collaborative team.
After viewing only a handful of images in “Anastoli” I can only describe my impressions as somewhat muted. Vanda B is as beautiful as ever, and her body is still as enticing as the first time I saw it. But there’s a certain stiffness in some of her posing and a slightly fixed look to her facial expression — the latter may have something to do with her styling and make-up which is not nearly as warm and vibrant as the first time around.
Vanda B starts out in a colorful sweater and a pair of teal panties. A slightly odd choice, I think. What is odder, still, is that Catherine has placed a mirror — a large, rectangular, frameless mirror — on the bed with her subject. Frankly, this makes little sense. Model and artist do their best to create artistic images with this combination but it never completely gels.
There are certainly appealing images in the first portion of “Anastoli,” but it’s only latter in the set, beginning with #106 and continuing to the end, that the series reaches its full potential. Here the sweater, the panties, the mirror, and even the background walls and furnishings are gone. Vanda B is totally nude, sprawling on the pleasingly rumpled white sheets of the bed, and delivers one splendid pin-up pose after the other. In these images a beautiful model and a talented photographer work together to create stylish, engaging erotic art. A problematic series, in some respects, but when it all finally comes together it’s very nearly perfect.