Lessons in Posing by Robert Heinecken

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Lessons In Posing Subjects: Standard Pose #9 (Both Hands/Hip
Lessons In Posing Subjects: Standard Pose #9 (Both Hands/Hip© Robert Heinecken

We've obviously got posing on the brain as Robert Heinecken's Lessons in Posing Subjects scoops the Most Loved vote

Most of us spend our lives striving to achieve the perfect pose. Madonna, Marilyn Monroe and Audrey Hepburn each adopted their own, while Helmut Newton and David Bailey had their favourites. Grace Jones came close to achieving perfection with her arabesque pose for her Island Life album cover in 1985 (although even she required some digital enhancement) and we have watched Victoria Beckham’s girl power pose mature into a skillfully arched model stance. Last year, Coco Rocha released an entire book on the subject, which featured her bent in 1,000 different postures, photographed by Steven Sebring.

Photographer Robert Heinecken gathered these thoughts in a series of over 250 Polaroid photographs taken between 1977 and 1982. As amusing as it is candid, Heinecken deconstructed model positioning taken from mail order catalogues, in a satirical study which plays on American consumerism. The photographs were exhibited in their entirety for the first time last year in a show titled Robert Heinecken: Lessons in Posing Subjects. Stances include Hands in Hair and the One Hand on Hip, often referred to by the media as ‘Teapotting’. His photographic study on the age-old Both Hands on Hip pose has won the Loves vote this week, as loved by AnOthermag.com editor Laura Bradley.

Heinecken made his name in the 60s and 70s for his ad-hoc approach to photography, creating inventive and often erotic cut-up collages from magazines, advertisements and popular media. He famously published Beaver Hunt, which reworked provocative imagery from Hustler Magazine. He referred to himself as a “para-photographer” because his work often stood outside traditional ideas associated with photography. He is now considered one of the most influential of the decade, famed for his re-appropriation of mass media, alongside fellow revolutionaries Cindy Sherman and Sherrie Levine. His photographic study of poses also proved to be light years ahead of its time, carving the way for the likes of Coco Rocha alongside Leanne Shapton and Hans Eijkelboom both of whom have studied the repetition and categorisation of clothing and style.

From the John Travolta to the Charlie’s Angel, poses and body language continue to captivate and evolve. While we start practicing our favourite positions, Laura Bradley shares her thoughts on the enthralling subject.

Why did you love Lessons in Posing?
I can't take the credit for the discovery. It was recommended to me by our photographic editor Holly Hay – she has a great eye! I'm really intrigued by body language in general.

Who would you recommend this post to?
Anyone that is doing anything that involves waiting in line. Whilst queuing, it's good to perfect a chic pose.

Who do you think has the best signature pose?
Either Bruce Forsyth or Grace Jones.

What's the secret to the perfect pose?
Elegance, grace and confidence.

Do you have a signature pose?
The Grace Jones one, of course.

What pose would you banish?
Crossed arms.

What was the last thing you bought?
Nike Huaraches. The new Stan Smiths.