Neu Sex by Sasha Grey is a book of photos taken at various points throughout her career as an adult film star, dating back to 2006. Being an object of sexual desire, Neu Sex, itself is an exercise in obsessive self-portraiture, where Grey documented things in order to keep some things private and to retain some editorial authority over her own image. “The photos were never really meant to be published, they were more a part of the self-exploration that I was doing when I was making adult films. I wanted something to reflect back on.” Sasha Grey. For me Neu Sex, shows how versatile the photographic world has become. Due to how accessible it is, anyone can create imagery, which Grey has successfully done.
I find this book never less than page turning but I think that’s due to Grey being the subject matter. In a sense Grey still often emerges from her work more as a subject as opposed to the photographer. This may be due to the contribution made by her husband, Ian Cinnamon, a photographer in his own right. Cinnamon was the eye behind the camera in many of the images, which is made clear by some of the more highly stylized portraits of Grey and it’s conceptual implication. Nevertheless, Grey does possess a photographers’ eye. Her striking visual sense and restless energy exude from her gritty vs. beautiful self-portraits. Grey is proof that you don’t have to be a photographer to create arresting imagery. Despite having help from a close professional (Cinnamon) I feel her work still proves that this access to create imagery is a good thing. Even Nan Goldin started out by just photographing her friends! Do you need to be a professional to create good images? I don’t think so, however, Neu Sex clearly had the help of professionals so maybe so.