Ashworth Rises from the Ashes


Peter Ashworth’s website just went through the first overhaul it’s had in years. It’s great to see the English photographer out and about, putting up new images on a site that looks like it’s easy to update. Above are two classic images that had a huge influence on me when I first began to do studio photography. The image of performer Lucifire with a gauze “veil” over her eyes pinned to her face by hypodermic needles will always remain, in my mind, one of the greatest fetish portraits ever taken. The image on the right, with its high contrast and clear space, was the first to show me a kind of abstracting isolation that I find crucial in producing a strong fetish image.

Below are two new works by Peter Ashwroth from a series called in excelsis. The models are Ulorin Vex and Viktorya, wearing the recognizable hairstyles of Robert Masciave. There’s a stark economy going on in his Ashworth’s older work with alt models that’s been replaced by high glam, and while I definitely enjoy these new images, I also hope to see more of the reductive, slightly-raw imagery that made such an impression on me in the past.


7 Responses to “Ashworth Rises from the Ashes”

  1. Zoetica Says:

    Wow, those hairstyles remind me of intertwined horsetails! But yet – I really do love the stripped down minimal look of Ashworth’s early stuff and would love to see more of it alongside the complex new work.

  2. Destroyx Says:

    I really like his work!

    I can see what you mean about the contrast between his stark earlier work and his newer work, which doesn’t seem to have that visceral edge which make them incredibly compelling.

    Thanks for writing such interesting posts, it’s cool to see you are still critical and can write really well about these things. It’s very thought provoking.

  3. Sterlingspider Says:

    I’m not actually looking for this comment to be unmoderated, just wanted to let you know that the comments function on the next post (Enjoying “stolen images”) seems to be disabled, and someone appears to have hacked the RSSd post on LJ and added a whole slew of porn links to it.

    Just thought someone might like to know and I couldn’t find a “contact us” address to do it any other way.

  4. peter ashworth Says:

    thank you very much for the comments nadya.

    it is always extremely interesting, and informative, for me to see how others ‘see’ my images.

    i have never presumed to know what photo will be liked more or less.
    one thing i would like to add to this conversation is that the ‘early’ work you refer to was actually only shot about 6 or 7 years ago, and i actually started in 1980 with images that i will be slowly adding (as i find them, and as i can scan and recolour the ones that need it – film does not last as long as i had hoped before going off in both contrast AND colour ) to the archive sections of my website.

    i have gone thro a number of phases, partially depending on my lighting, partially on how complex i wished to make an image (in effect hiding it within itself) and partially upon WHO is was working with at the time
    murray and vern were always brillantly provocative and i did many great pics with them.

    re the website, you are right, it is purposely very simple, no flash, not even any thumbnails, just long pages that sometimes go into sets of images, sometimes not

    it is the FIRST website i have been able to update myself, and so i will be changing it regularly, adding images to the archives, and most importantly making them BIG (i am fed up with websites that have tiny images which i cannot see properly, what’s the point???)

    anyway, thanks for the comments i appreciate them


  5. Io Says:

    While I do love the spectacular looking latter images, I am a little more partial to the elegant (and erotic) starkness of the first images — As a model w/an artist’s inclinations, those are the type of images I’d love to be part of.

  6. Traumata Says:

    Thanks for this piece, I’ve been in love with that Lucifire portrait (and the rest of that M+V series] for the longest time and never knew who shot it.

  7. kk+ Says:

    thx for turning me onto this photographer! :)