Jo Ann Callis, who began her career as an artist in the 1970s, has her hands in multiple creative forms including sculpture, painting, and photography. Callis’ photographic work shows her intimate relationship with shadows and her exceptional use of color throughout her pieces. The early work from when Callis began shooting models is the binding of Other Rooms. From 1974-1977, the book was shot in both black and white and color and a singular photo in 2013 has also been included to show the timelessness of both Callis’ style and the theme of sexual angst.
Other Rooms is a mixture of models and rooms in all types of scenarios. From plain “vanilla” to more radical love being shown, there is no one category to single out any tastes. With a mixture of men and women modeling, the viewer sees different body parts in all different positions, some just starting to get ready, others after the act has hit completion. And the empty rooms also photographed show different stages of affection with balled-up sheets and small stains spotting the whites of the bed. The scenes of Other Rooms makes the photographs appear to be everyday setups and more relatable for those who see this more as make-believe.
The sequencing shows a more quiet form of Callis’ impact. No exact number of color images back-to-back or spaced out, some photographs are on pages next to each other while most stand alone on one page with its neighbor blank. The sequence is not what the viewer focuses in on for this book in particular. What the emphasis is for Other Rooms is the time each photo is viewed. With every flip of the page, there is the natural thought of sex and curiosity the majority of the population has in their mind. The models show possible fantasies for others; marks left behind from a great night, a longing glance looking down at you, an empty room that looks as if it has been freshly used. The dwindling thoughts as the book closes and is placed back on the shelf are in the back of the viewer’s mind long after with the promise that the photos will be seen again.
Other Rooms is relatable for numerous age groups that share the bond of sexual desires. Callis’ uses her talent of not just photography to pose her models meticulously to evoke the craving of impulses acted out in her book. There is plenty to enjoy for both lovers of beautiful color and stirring black-and-white photographs. For those that love nude photography the most, this is one of the books to have in your collection
If you are interested in purchasing Other Rooms, you can purchase it on the Aperture website. Signed copies are available.
Written by Madison Rich
Images Taken by Madison Rich