#SendNudes Bookrelease - Interview with Joost
First things first, can you tell us a bit about yourself? Who is Joost Albronda and what does he do?
"I am co-founder and co-owner of MENDO in Amsterdam. We’re a book store in the Nine Streets and a book publisher, focusing on what we refer to as visually inspiring books on creative culture in its broadest sense. At MENDO, I am creative director and responsible for the design of our collection."
Congrats with releasing #SendNudes! How are you feeling about disclosing this book?
"We’re excited! Every book project is an intense process, and as soon as it is at the printers it’s out of our hands. That’s a relief and a bit emotional at the same time, because it’s no longer only ours, but everyone else's book."
How did you get the idea of creating a book on nude photography?
"Books on female beauty have played an important role in the evolution of MENDO, ever since we opened our store back in 2002. We’ve always displayed them in a mature manner: not on the top shelf, not shady, but like any other book in our store. Like I said, we focus on visual beauty and what is more beautiful than the human body? So, long story short, when we started publishing books, it didn’t take long before a book on female beauty was on the wish list. We just needed an angle to create something that distinguished itself from other nude books. That’s when we came up with the idea of #Sendnudes."
We are also very curious to find out what’s the reasoning behind title ‘#SendNudes’. So how did that come about?
"Originally the term #Sendnudes was--or is--used to to request sexually explicit photographs. But over time it evolved into a meme deployed as a punchline in images and internet jokes. Now it’s making another transition; as the title of a carefully curated book on nude photography. What we like about this title is that you will appreciate it if you’re familiar with the meme, but you will be just as intrigued if you have never heard of it."
#SendNudes is a collaboration between yourself and Iman Whitfield. What made her the right person to curate the photographers?
"MENDO is a bit of a boy’s club - that’s no company policy, it just is. So when we started the creation of this book we immediately felt we needed a female voice. As a Willem de Kooning graduate, creative director and film director Iman has a fantastic eye. Plus she is raised in an environment where nudity wasn’t a big deal or an issue. She’s proven herself to be a highly valuable sparring-partner in the process of making #Sendnudes. We can easily say that, thanks to Iman, it has become a better book."
The title seems to appeal to both woman and men. Why do you think that is?
"I believe it has to do with the fact that it was curated by Iman, the type of photographers that are featured in the book, and the photo's we've selected. #Sendnudes has nudity, for sure, but the majority of the images aren’t that explicit at all. It’s a creation that celebrates the diversity of female beauty and body confidence. Plus, there’s a very stubborn stigma, even today: if a woman buys a book on female nude, she’s open-minded, defiant, a photography lover or all the before mentioned. If a man owns one representing male bodies and he’s not studying anatomy of the human body, he must be gay. A narrow-minded perception."
Do you have a favourite image? If yes, which one?
"I can’t say I have one favourite image really. There are photographers that appeal to me more than others. I love the work of Kwabena Appiah-Nti, Guillaume Gaubert, and Tailor Tailleur, to name a few. And that’s exactly what I like about this book. It showcases the work of a broad range of photographers, all with an entirely different perspective, and yet it makes sense as a whole."
Why is #SendNudes an absolute must have?
"It’s a beautiful book on a beautiful subject: female beauty and body confidence. It doesn’t get any better."
Get your copy at www.mendo.nl.