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Belle - il libro

Belle by Patrick Nicholas | Make Your Own Book

Vuoi diventare anche tu un ‘opera d’arte’? 

Puoi partecipare nel progetto Le Belle scrivendo un’email a me qui


New Belles

I Can Make You into a Work of Art!

Patrick is always on the look-out for new models for the Belle - would you like to participate in the Belle project and possibly gain a place in the book and gallery? Very often the idea for a photo comes through the model and photographer collaborating - in other words the model is not just a pretty face, her input is vital that is why she is literally a modern muse, the subtitle of the book. Or would you just like to be photographed as a work of art for private view? Please get in touch with
Here are a few testimonials:

Valentina’s story. Italian, aged 28 Alter Ego (2007)

I decided at first to do the photo because it seemed a  fun thing to do. But afterwards after thinking about it, I realised it would be an excellent “ exercise  in trust” in someone else. Sometimes we take things too 
seriously, sometimes we tend to concentrate on ourselves, at others we tend towards wanting to be in control of everything. Posing for a photo means it is up to the photographer to interpret who you are, to see you in a way that’s different from how you see yourself,  it means putting yourself in a position in which you have no power, and that intrigued me.
On the shoot I did feel naked! What we wear, our make-up, hairstyle, are nothing if not psychological masks. They condition our way of  gesticulating, of sitting, of walking. In the shoot I felt completely free. I don’t mean to say that I found it easy, in fact in the hours beforehand I had doubts about how I would feel afterwards. My worry was how I would feel about myself in the photo… but then we’re back to talking about trust. It’s not my picture. It’s not my creation. I simply lent my body to the realisation of an idea, by someone else.
Anyway, I think that most of all my decision to do the photo came from a strong sense of not taking myself too seriously!

Monica’s story. Swiss, aged 38. She posed with her husband Samuele Bacchanalia and Diana and Actaeon  

I was struck by a TV documentary that my husband and I were watching about Nicholas and his work. My husband and I talked about it afterwards, but it wasn’t till about a couple of years later, December 2009 that we decided to try and contact the photographer. We didn’t really expect a reply, he must be famous so why should he be interested in an ordinary couple like us? To our amazement we were to find ourselves a few months later in Orvieto in June on our wedding anniversary, participating in an indescribable experience. The beauty of the places he took us to for the shoot added to the magic of the day. And that’s what it was, magic. Everything combined to make it so: the beauty of the locations, the brilliance of the make-up artist Simonetta, the way Patrick directed us, the sounds of nature and the running water - it was all so far from civilization and our daily lives.

Susanna’s story. From Uruguay, aged 19. Casalisca (1989)
Posing nude for a photographer isn’t like standing naked in the middle of a busy shopping mall. We’re talking about something intimate that’s a lot less embarrassing. An art photographer doesn’t see his subject in the same way as a fashion photographer. He sees the sitter as a means of expressing his idea, whereas the fashion photographer uses the model to make her appear as beautiful as possible. And that’s why Patrick’s work is different - he works like a painter.

Rosaria’s story.  Italian aged 27. Student. Bernarda (2004)

Patrick described  to me how he wanted to interpret Botticelli’s Venus, but I wondered, with my face and body, could I represent such an important work of art?  Soon after our first meeting something struck Patrick about my body. I have a big scar on my tummy, on the right side, as a result of a surgical operation nine years ago. This scar is important to me and I’m not ashamed of it. Patrick was inspired to do a different Venus a Venus who’d lived, scarred!

Samara’s Story,  Lebanese , aged 44 Genius Loci and Seventh Veil (2010)

We arrived in Orvieto and were walking up the main road, when we noticed an art gallery; something about it was unusual but I couldn’t tell what it was. I felt so drawn to it, the colours in the “paintings” were simply amazing! I was looking at the art but couldn’t tell whether these nudes were photos or paintings. But most of all it was an elegant nakedness and a very unique kind of art, often combined with nature. It was like nothing I had ever seen before so my friend and I decided to go in to have a better look. I admired at length each and every one of them. Each piece had its own soul and a story to tell, some of them were even funny.

I thought to myself: how beautiful! I would love to be immortalised in such a way, but no way could I ever do anything like this! I am too shy! But my friend and I had often wanted to have pictures of us taken, clothed we thought. After a while, Patrick, the author and owner, came over and talked to us. He was very nice and friendly and inspired trust. After a while he expressed an interest in taking pictures of both of us which sounded both crazy and flattering. 

I was going through an extremely difficult period at that time and actually felt dreadful; but to have this artist look at me, or rather through me, and be inspired by  the life and beauty within me, rather than the sadness and numbness, was truly exalting. I thought to myself, this man whom I have never seen before is clearly drawn by my essence, he knows in his heart of hearts who I really am, despite my external sadness. And this had a tremendous impact on me, strong enough to break huge personal and cultural barriers. I felt I could trust him. I was sure that for some yet unknown reason this was meant to be. So right there and then I said, OK let’s do it!

Belle book
old masters, moder…
By Patrick Nicholas
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