20 Mesmerizing Images Explore The Meaning Of Intimacy (NSFW)

Photographers Kate Sweeney and Aaron Tsuru have long been fascinated by the concept of intimacy. "Aaron and I have been collaborating for years and have always discussed in depth different forms of intimacy: how intimacy can be portrayed, the modernity of expressing intimacy, how technology has changed the concept of intimacy," Sweeney tells us. After exploring these ideas in their own work (Sweeney through what she calls "dark, raw, and romantic self-portraits" and Tsuru through lo-fi photography created to challenge norms of sexuality, beauty, and gender), the two decided to invite other artists to meditate on them, as well. Together, they curated "Intimacy," an art show taking place Saturday, August 22 at Brooklyn's Rabbithole Studio that explores what Tsuru calls "intimate and private relationships with people, places, and things."

In their call for artwork, Sweeney and Tsuru encouraged artists to consider modes of intimacy beyond normative romantic-sexual relationships. "In selecting the work, we were looking for pieces that made us feel connected: connected to ourselves, to the artist, to the subject," Sweeney explains. "We develop intimate connections with pets, places, gadgets, toys, hobbies, activities — well, almost anything. What does intimacy look like to you?"

From stunning portraits that examine the relationship of Black and brown bodies with nature to embroideries that are much more graphic than they at first appear, the 20 images from the art show that follow answer that question. Click through to view 13 artists' striking visualizations of intimacy (and if you are in the area, head to this Saturday's show for an in-person glimpse).