LA-based photographer Amanda Charchian’s new book Pheromone Hotbox explores relationships; the relationship between the female body and landscape, photographer and subject, and between women as friends.
Starting in 2012, the concept for the monograph came about as Amanda was travelling through Costa Rica with two young women and began photographing them obsessively, setting in motion what was to be a 3 year project taking photos of fellow female contemporary artists around the world. We’re completely enchanted by the vivid colours and tones in Amanda’s work, and find ourselves longing to be transported to each exotic location in her photographs, whether it be lying near a glittering ocean or wandering through an ancient rainforest.
Speaking about her experience with i-D, she says “For women the energy of artistic production and sexuality is inextricably linked - most often on a subconscious level” she says, “This is what I call “The Pheromone Hotbox”, a space in which a biologically confounded process occurs as our pheromones interact (in a nonsexual way) to generate creativity through simultaneous trust and mischievousness.”
Tenderly intimate and set amongst breathtaking landscapes, Amanda’s understanding and connection to her subjects is displayed in her awe-inspiring photographs - and we can’t tear our eyes away.
Shot in several different countries including Morocco, Iceland, Cuba and France, the women are nearly always nude which seems completely natural - why would you wear clothes when traversing the Death Valley Salt Flats in Nevada?
Speaking to The Huffington Post, Amanda comments that she has “been preoccupied by the idea of pheromones and the emissions of our bodies as extrasensory devices of communication. Clothes distract from that. I am interested in photographing the part of a person that cannot be expressed solely with speech or a look from the eye.”
Unclothed and adventurous, Amanda’s subjects are empowered by their nudity and their surroundings - the antithesis to overly-sexualised portrayals of women that saturate the fashion and art world. We can’t help but appreciate this subtle stand Amanda is making against mainstream photography.
It’s inspiring to see the female form celebrated in such a refreshing way, and we’ll be keeping a close eye on Amanda’s work - here’s hoping she’ll release another book for us to get lost in…
Words: Rosie Herdman
Images: Pheromone Hotbox