"What the girl looks like" Reviewed by a MB member
Language rarely proves wholly adequate when attempting to describe the visual, never moreso than when trying to describe that most ethereal, even surreal quality we title “beautiful”; such a simple word, yet one that carries with it a host of connotations, meanings, expectations that vary from one person to the next. To describe Madison Young as “beautiful” is much like describing the Atlantic Ocean as “wet”: 
accurate, yet wholly inadequate in either emphasis or scale. Ms. Young carries herself a unique, understated presence, most often glimpsed in her frequent setting within some manner of elaborate knotwork or bondage. While perhaps not a ravishing beauty like Angelina Jolie or other celebrity of the moment, and certainly no vulgar sexpot, Ms. Young’s beauty is one found in the unspoken challenge she routinely throws out in the many photo series she puts upon display. No matter how elaborate or constricting the rope that binds her, no matter how her limbs and body are contorted and bent, never once does this defiance falter. Even in the rare instance her composure fails, her tears and emotions carry the same hardened edge. It is a comparatively new photo series wherein her beauty and power is displayed beyond dispute. “What The Girl Looks Like”, a series of 39 plates (making it one of the smaller galleries found on the subject’s website) telling no coherent story and are shown out of chronological sequence. Shot in soft light and in simple black-and-white, the series examines the subject from nearly every conceivable angle amid untidy bedsheets and within a common bedroom. Ms. Young is upon display here, most strikingly, without physical restraint. No rope or shackle is seen upon her, only the undergarments she wears and ultimately sheds, the delicious piercings she carries as her only adornment. Shadows and strands of light are her only companions within this bedroom, his sheets unmade and its details spartan. Has she just awakened to our presence, or does she seek to entice us into her sensual world with an unspoken promise? One could write any manner of story within the coy and challenging glances she indulges in. The viewer is left to imagine what they will through this series. Make no mistake: it is we who are held tight, not she. Control was lost to the viewer with the first frame, that familiar defiance in as full display as the ring she wears upon her breast. She challenges, dares, taunts, and haunts us in each frame. Her movements, seen in 39 simple photos, ensure our full attention is hers long after we have left the gallery. The photographer’s decision to leave the plates in monochrome, thereby emphasizing the subject’s own form in relation to the soft lighting and prevalent shadows, is a masterstroke of artistry. Color could only prove a distraction here from the subject herself. For the time it takes us to move through the series, we are privy to a private, sacred moment with the subject. For the length of this gallery, we see the subject as never before; angels should weep with envy to witness such beauty, and it is hard to keep one’s own eyes dry and heart calm with sights such as these photos display.












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