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For Je t’aime moi aussi, photographer Olivier Fermariello enters the bedrooms of individuals with disabilities, in part as a response to the closed-mindedness he’s perceived in Italy surrounding issues of sex and disability. After discovering Internet forums devoted to the topic, he put out an advertisement for his project and received numerous responses. With each of the people in his photographs, he took days, weeks, and even months to form trusting relationships that fostered open communication about personal experiences with intimacy and discrimination.

Bathed in a gentle golden light, Fermariello’s heroes and heroines engage in staged narratives, alternately set private moments of tenderness and in the more routine scenes of daily life. Under his gaze, the human body is neither ignored nor fetishized, existing on a nuanced continuum of individual desire. As his images move dreamily between the surreal sphere of sensual reverie and the scope of the everyday, the nude body becomes a means of defiance, a courageous assertion of the self in a culture that too often denies it.

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All images © Olivier Fermariello

Via Beautiful/Decay

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