James Mountford  is mostly known for his stunning pictures for publications such as i-D, Dazed and Confused, Art Review, Vogue, ELLE and many more. This month he will launch his latest project called ‘Female’. The book is an unbound folio of 26 images, the format aims to re-establish the idea that photographs are a physical thing, meant to be handled, arranged and explored. The series, photographed over a two-year period, identifies a truth often lost in today’s aesthetic of photo shopped imagery. These females, in their different guises were left in their original state without the aid of retouching, and by doing that he wants to introduce an alternative definition of modern beauty. The inspiration for the setting came from wanting to show the human form in a way that made the viewer question what they were seeing, the figures move in and out of the darkness, limbs are lost and torsos distorted.




Some of the images have quite a hard sexual undertone but that same darkness removes us from what some might think vulgar, and permits you, in a somewhat voyeuristic way, to absorb yourself in the form. When we asked James about the general idea behind the pictures he spoke about the curiosity to explore the idea that a body in all its guises is something beautiful – size, shape, age, hair, bruises, veins, spots and all is something unique and therefore interesting to see. When an image is photo shopped to remove all these human qualities something is definitely lost. The result is a beautiful aesthetic view on the female body but also a very modern interpretation of what we have probably lost when we think about nudity itself. The pictures ask us to take time to look at every image, explore details and pause in the intense atmosphere that is created in the book. He gave the project a lot of time to develop without thinking of an end product and shot them multiple times to find the right subjects – almost like a painter having sittings.



‘Female’ is in a limited edition of 300 with a foreword written by Mat Collishaw.

Each book is numbered and the price will be £38.
Available from the 12th December at
Donlon Books
77 Broadway Market
London E8 4PH

Words by Ellen Grace Albers


Donlon Books, Ellen Grace Albers, Female, James Mountford, Mat Collishaw,