As boundless as his energy, Oliver Rath captures as the frenetic spirit of abandon and hedonism in his work. Although not explicitly an erotic artist, his vast empire of photographs covers a wide range of styles and subjects. The one constant seems to be his city of Berlin, where ruin and beauty can be found in equal measure.

The most defining characteristic is by and large humor. Much like the infamous David LaChapelle, the irreverence with which Rath treats sex strips it of its intentions and bares our suppositions on what is acceptable. It is so knowingly crossing this line, and the feeling he is laughing at us for even having the line in the first place, that defines his work as art rather than pornography.

The self-taught photographer follows the rules with his compositions but gives them a snapshot feel so that they remain vital. The artist claims to come up with his ideas in the middle of the night, which might be why they can feel like a sexy version of surrealism.

See more of his astounding and plentiful work here.

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