Sublime Natures: Peter Dominic

When I was learning to distinguish between the styles of various naturist photographers, a friend of mine was paring down his collection and so I was able to acquire some things that rounded out my own. Included in his inventory were three prints. I knew they were not from any artist I was familiar with, but they were lovely images. One in particular portrays a rather idyllic and classical scene, as though we had come upon Artemis or Aphrodite in private contemplation. The flower further complements this feminine image, and she is frozen in a rather statuesque pose.

Peter Dominic – Dance in the Meadow (c 1991)

My friend did not know the name of the artist but told me where he bought the prints. Fortunately, the seller was still in business and told me they belonged to an artist named Peter Dominic and that they were part of a promotion to expose his customers to this artist’s work. At that point all the artists I knew about had books published so people could get an idea of their work, but this was not the case for Dominic. I wanted to see more and with a little luck and the kind efforts of some go-betweens, I was finally able to reach him and get a clearer idea of the scope of his work.

Dominic is quite personable but also a private man, which makes sense for someone who works with young nude subjects and is not interested in notoriety. He straddles a fine line between public recognition and attracting the wrong kind of attention from vindictive pundits. I always feel the art should speak for itself, and anyone making more than a perfunctory examination of Dominic’s photographs and has at least a modicum of artistic sensibility will recognize how exquisite it really is.

Dominic’s biggest inspiration was David Hamilton and that is evident in some of his work, but patent comparisons with well-known artists don’t paint much of a picture. I appreciate the long contribution of Hamilton and one of his books served as my introduction to the beauty of young girls, but when I increased my palette of artists and became familiar with a wider range of subjects and styles, I realized his work did not actually appeal to me. On the other hand, I can say without exaggeration that Dominic’s work is among my favorites, as he brings out the most in his subjects. It is tempting to glance at these images and write them off as just so much eye candy, but certain artists including Dominic have an empowering quality that is cathartic to the girls and young women who may be hypersensitive about their body image.

This revelation helped me recognize that true artists tend to come in two types. For example, Hamilton wants to see what he wants to see, and so his models are in almost complete service to him. This fact gives the viewer a feeling of being a voyeur accentuated by an intimate domestic or “behind the scenes” setting. Conversely, Dominic pays attention to the character of each of his models and that comes across as a kind of reverence. The girls are not hidden away in private settings but largely out in the open, grandly posed in the most beautiful natural backgrounds available to the artist. Both artists also may make use of soft focus, but Dominic is not using it for mere dreamy effect, but to bring out the natural radiance in the subject.

This particular model could be the poster child for this site, striking a balance between youthful beauty and innocent pursuits. With a talented artist it is easy to forget the effort needed to create the desired effect. All during this shoot Dominic was hoping the bubbles would cooperate and not make a mess of the scene.

Peter Dominic – Soap Bubbles (c 1992)

The glare in this bust brings out the girl’s golden hair and I personally like how the neat braid adds a contrasting geometric sharpness.

Peter Dominic – The Golden Braid (c 1989)

Dominic is skilled in a large range of techniques, and yet he never fails to flatter his models. In some photos the desire might be to bring out a girl’s soft sensuality but in this case, a crisp sweetness better suits this charming girl and her little companion. Animals are a challenge to work with and so I further commend Dominic for this skilled execution.

Peter Dominic – Eva & Charlotte (c 1989)

This shot emphasizes vitality. Notice how the model does not have a tan line; one might say she is comfortable in her skin and she sports an impish smile that communicates enjoyment. The bracelet and nails add a vivid contrast that pops out at the viewer, giving the image even more energy.

[It is with great pleasure that Pigtails in Paint reinstates this image.  Because we got a complaint from the Swedish authorities under whose jurisdiction our former host belonged, we had to remove it to remain operating.  As you can now see, it was much ado about nothing; the worst that could said is that the model was acting sassy.]

Peter Dominic - Spice Bread (c 1989)

Peter Dominic – Spice Bread (c 1989)

Although this post has focused on the younger girls, readers should know that Dominic shoots older models just as skillfully. An exhibition of some of his work can be seen at the ARGENTIC Gallery website.

7 thoughts on “Sublime Natures: Peter Dominic

    • Argentic is the gallery that represents Dominic and I included a link in the post. There is an important new development that I think readers should be aware of:

      There are two aspects of Dominic’s personality that have put him in peril as well as his beautiful art. 1) Because of his subject matter, few galleries or agents are willing to represent him because of the ages of the girls. In Europe, allowing older teenagers to express their eroticism is relatively acceptable and most of our readers are aware of naturist resorts and that artists like Sturges are out there helping to capture the wonder of this lifestyle and the inherent beauty of children. However, the hysteria about nudes of young children is much greater in Europe and the US. It takes a sensitive sort to gain the trust of these youngsters and their parents to preserve these eternal moments. As a result, there are posturing people (some are politicians) who want to make points by shutting artists like this down. 2) Dominic therefore has to make a living by doing a little freelance work for so-called “child model sites”. A man with exceedingly poor judgment approached him a few months ago with a lead for a company he might work for. He was given a link to inspect to see if he would be willing to work for them. The problem was that it was an illegal site and was being monitored by the authorities. Police came to Dominic’s studio, confiscated what they thought was relevant and he was brought to trial. Dominic is a very private person and is acutely aware that even naturists may not be completely supportive of his work and so does not want to generate any press. As a result, he allowed himself to be bullied by the courts. He did not have to serve any jail time, but was told that his materials would not be returned. There was a deadline for appeal, but out of fear that they might reverse their decision and send him to prison, he did not pursue it. He laments this momentary timidity and now has hired an aggressive lawyer to sue for the return of his materials (and photographic equipment). The problem is there are few legal legs to stand on now that he has missed this important deadline. It is unknown whether he will ever see some decades of his work again or the personal notes of appreciation from models that have also not been returned.

      • THIS part I guess I might as well say here:
        When Jock Sturges finally got back his confiscated photographic equipment, he later said that very little of it was still in working order.
        So it looks like in the U.S., they “accidentally” bang your stuff around.
        In Dominic’s country, they KEEP it.

        • P.S. In the U.S., there is a Constitutional ban on “double jeopardy”. Once you have been acquitted, they cannot change it to a conviction. It looks like in his country the situation is different, or he would not have had to fear that they might decide he was guilty after all.

          • I am not sure if this constitutes double jeopardy. Technically, he was “guilty” of visiting the site. Naturally, there are mitigating circumstances here. The appeals court can simply tack on a different sentence based on the same conviction/acquittal. Also, even in the US, an appeal can overturn a conviction or acquittal so long as an appeals court is satisfied that the first trial was not handled properly (ie. they accept the appeal). Only when the prosecutor stops pursuing the case or it goes all the way to the Supreme Court, is it a final verdict and subject to double jeopardy protection. People are extremely naive in the US about the nature of rights as though they are magically adhered to. Nowadays, financial intimidation is enough for innocent people to accept lesser pleas to avoid a financially ruinous and/or stressful court process.

  1. Hi Ron,

    thank you for this very interesting article about the artist Peter Dominic. I like idyllic naturist photography with tributes to the beauty of young girls. Unfortunately there are not many good artist in this genre. Therefore, I find your article very significant. Peter Dominic is for me a very sensitive photographer. What other photographer do you like?

    I am looking forward to more article and pics of you.

    • Thank you Kurt.
      Actually there are more artists out there than you may think throughout photographic history. I hope to show you some here and that is one of the purposes of Pigtails. Because of the taboo and stigma about child nudes, these artists cannot promote their work through the usual channels. Hopefully, someday our society will wise up and each person will not have to dig into these things from scratch. -Ron

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