The Emancipation of Judy: Robert Lang's images that humanise a blow-up sex doll

in Inspiration / Photography

"Maybe I will travel and see the great outdoors. I do tire of the city and imagine days spent lying in fields of flowers and gazing at my reflection in crystal waters." – This is what notable fashion and fine art photographer Robert Lang imagines "Judy" says, a blow-up sex doll that he captures from her own perspective.

Now the series has been released in a new book entitled The Emancipation of Judy – a 30 page title that documents Judy’s self-portraits in diary form, depicting her in intimate and vulnerable states as the subject of self-awareness is questioned.

Judy has only ever been known as a blow-up sex-doll. She is the epitome of the anti-feminist object, but, as photographed by Lang, brings a bittersweet and humanised side to the sex industry that is rarely shown.

The photos portray who Judy is and who she wants to be as she was stripped of this choice when she was created. Judy has only ever been treated as a sexualised possession and, like anyone else, feels the need to be desired, but was made to be your sexual fantasy and a product of capitalism.

The result of Judy’s journey is 21 colour images photographed in Los Angeles including collages of herself over dreamy landscapes manifesting a need to escape and explore.

"On creating the series of Judy I initially worked with a blow up doll when I photographed a look book for a men's wear designer in London. I revisited the concept with the idea that she was a living being and how interesting it would be to photograph her from her own perspective.

"The theme of existentialism was pretty evident as the theme of choice and freedom played a large role in the concept of Judy. Feminism plays a large part in the photo series but I felt it patronising on my own behalf to discuss this as I am a man but was surrounded by strong woman growing up who fought for women’s rights their entirety of their lives.

"It was really interesting to watch the photos develop and how a slight change in angle could portray emotions of sorrow, joy, desire, love, pride, shame and sympathy."

A short film of Judy has also been created with the release of the photo book, which you can enjoy below. The emancipation of Judy is now available for purchase at Amazon.com and in select bookstores worldwide.

Robert Lang is a photographer living in Los Angeles, California. Born and raised in Durban, South Africa he moved to Camden Town when he was 19 in 2001. Discover more at robertlangphoto.com.

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