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Nimoy Speaks On Latest Photography Project

By Michelle
June 21, 2005 - 9:58 PM

Leonard Nimoy (Spock) has followed up his controversial study of the feminine face of God, Shekinah, with an exhibit of photographs showing the beauty and eroticism of what he refers to as "full-bodied people," rejecting the term "fat" as it is used in a derogatory manner in the entertainment industry.

"I had been working on female figures for a number of years, and a lady approached me and said, 'Your work seems to deal with mostly a particular body type,'" he related to The New Yorker. "She was about three hundred pounds — a very large lady, a very lovely lady, and she came to our studio and we photographed her." After these shots, Nimoy conceived the idea for Maximum Beauty, in which he took a series of photos of the members of a burlesque troupe called the Fat Bottom Revue.

Some of Nimoy's images serve as commentary on famous photos by fashion photographers, such as a pair of images by Helmut Newton and a photo by Herb Ritts which shows several famous nude models huddling together. In the same pose, Nimoy said, his own models "were very proud, very comfortable, and there was no self-consciousness whatsoever...I came to admire them."

Though Nimoy has never struggled greatly with his weight except when he stopped smoking, he expressed his disgruntlement with a cultural obsession with thinness. He spoke disparagingly of his Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan co-star Kirstie Alley, who called her show Fat Actress "ghastly" and "hypocritical" for trying to claim that being overweight is fine and at the same time a source of grief to her. "The taste is awful, awful, awful; and so is the level of humor, if you can call it that," said Nimoy.

As for his friendship with another Star Trek alumnus, William Shatner, Nimoy revealed that they had had dinner together for their birthdays (which are four days apart) and said Shatner was looking noticeably thinner. "I was very light on the potatoes, and had no bread," Nimoy said.

Shatner, however, was less kind to his old friend at the AFI tribute to Star Wars creator George Lucas. Asked whether Han Solo was cooler than Captain Kirk, Shatner told The IESB, "Han Solo's cooler than Nimoy, but no one's cooler than Kirk."

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