Beyond the Top Shelf: The Private Photographs of Eric Wilkins

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9781898998860: Beyond the Top Shelf: The Private Photographs of Eric Wilkins

Two years ago we published Eric Wilkins’ first major anthology of his work: Top Shelf Girls. We have called this sequel to that great parade of naked female beauty Beyond the Top Shelf: The Private Photographs of Eric Wilkins. Many of the images in this book come from a particular archive of Eric’s work that was never intended for publication. There is a story behind this archive, which includes many more unrestricted shots of sex than his others. As times changed and the atmosphere became more liberal, the demand for explicit, sexually arousing imagery grew exponentially. Eric was shooting more and more sets of hardcore photographs with female and male models. In those days, however, the adult magazine industry was smaller and less regulated than it is now. Professional photographers were sometimes prey to unscrupulous (or simply disorganised) publishers who might commission a shoot but then, once they had the colour transparencies in their possession, deny the authorship of the photographer and simply not pay him. As insurance, Eric always took black and white shots along with the colour, so that there would be no question of authorship later on. Fortunately for us he has kept these prints as a private archive; many have been selected for this book. Beyond the Top Shelf is divided into Blondes, (and would-be Blondes), Brunettes, Redheads, Mixed Couples and Raven-Haired Beauties. Eric’s view of their untrammelled charms take us back to a time of relative innocence, before the silicone implants, before the shaven vulva, the mandatory tongue stud and any number of other dehumanising, Barbiesque, sex-doll attributes which can often make this type of imagery so lacklustre today. This is a tribute to those earlier models and, of course, to Eric’s photographic art.

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About the Author:

It all started when a small boy discovered an old box camera at the back of a cupboard. He began to take pictures of his family and surroundings. Eric Wilkins' star of destiny was set. A handful of years later Eric shot some colour of a pretty girl and sent it off to a photo magazine which used one of his pictures as a cover. Eric began getting commissions from British, American and Japanese publications. But it is Eric's distinctive 'top shelf' work for which he has justly gained most recognition: his work has now been published worldwide and his fan club keeps growing.

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