Relative Risk (Updated)

August 30th, 2010 Posted by Janelle comments (51)

Sebastian Faena presents real life mother and son Lynn Koester and Paolo Anchisi in a fascinating story for VMan. The bond between mother and son is one of the strongest and most complex dynamics, but seeing it conveyed in a fashion editorial is a rare thing, especially when the story is less than straightforward. Faena’s pictures are vivid, but they leave a great deal to the imagination of the viewer – is this story more Sons & Lovers or is it veering into Ma Mere territory? Only Faena knows for sure. Regardless of the subtext, Lynn and Paolo both know how to captivate in front of the camera and their striking resemblance makes for memorable shots. Be sure to see the full story when VMan drops September 9th.

UPDATE: This just in, a letter from the V Man Editors: This is a fantasy tale from VMAN’s Age issue. It marks Lynne Koester’s return in front of the camera after not setting foot inside a studio for 10 years. There is nothing more illustrative about age than a mother and son. It is also the first time Lynne is shot with her rising star son Paolo Anchisi.

Imagine Lynne in a film where she plays a burlesque stripper. (Lynne is NOT the blonde woman who plays another stripper in one of the pictures). There is no hidden subtext. Paolo has a girlfriend (see below, played by Yenny from Ford) and he goes to visit his mother at work at the Vaudeville theatre. It is a sweet and sentimental tale that’s much more easily appreciated when one views the full story.

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  1. Josh says:

    OMG!!! That second and last shots are just plain creepy. What is the story they are trying to tell. Does he have an intimate relationship with his mother? Does he wash his mother? Disturbing is the word that comes to mind.

  2. Prabal says:

    What the hell?

  3. Ger says:

    The story in these pictures is very clear, great work by Faena.

  4. Janelle says:

    I feel like the comments on this post are going to be interesting. I am going to have some popcorn and read.

    Image and video hosting by TinyPic

  5. anlabe says:

    Hmm, i don’t want to see my mother naked in an editorial like this.

  6. Josh says:

    lol Janelle. I too will be checking back here every ten minutes

  7. forreal says:

    EWWWWWW that is NOT RIGHT!

  8. David says:

    I’m not sure what to say to this…

    But suggestive photographs with your mother?
    That’s always a fun Sunday afternoon!

  9. Mango says:


  10. jake says:

    i too was a little unsure what to think of this, regardless of the story lynn has aged well and paolo is getting better and better.

  11. JW says:

    This popped up on Facebook; my jury is out on this one…

  12. fashion_nerd says:

    what the heck!!!! can anyone please explain what the F is this all about. i’m a liberal person who can handle lots of ‘weired’ arty stuff that my freinds who’re not in fashion industry think insane, but this is just sick, and wrong on so many levels! i’m sorry but no no no no noooooo!!!!

  13. michael says:

    The images leave so much room for interpretation and subtext, which I think is brilliant. I personally think the images are beautiful.

  14. liz says:

    Beautiful the raw and rare intimacy that does truly exist exposed

  15. Jules says:

    I can agree about not wanting to see Moms naked..but..
    this is a beautiful editorial and must be a very close mother and son…

    also..we all came from a woman right! a lil moms nudity aint that bad!

  16. mate says:

    Sorry, but this is just plain sick. This editorial makes no difference except for its sick content. A VIRTURE of talented people that’s what makes difference in the creative expression.

  17. jason kanner says:

    Love her getting back into her Lindbergh drag. Fierce

  18. Gustavo says:

    fashion is supposed to be provocative, no matter what the subject is. The third pic bothers me because i´ve seen that a thousand time in lindbergh portraits of models – im saying Linda Evangelista, for those who do remember those pictures from decades ago.
    the rest is just fine, not even close to groundbreaking.

  19. Chris says:

    I can’t believe people are judging the ordinary fact that a mother and a son are working together in an editorial with nudity. He is not sticking a finger up her vagina, licking her nipples or whatsoever, he’s just looking at her eyes. He even feels deeply identified with that beautiful woman more than with a man and this doesn’t mean he’s gay, it just shows how determinately strong the bond mother&son is.

  20. Josh says:

    Call me old fashioned, but there is absolutely no need for a mother to take her clothes off in front of her adult son. I don’t care what anyone says, the last shot does suggest something vey sexual. She is wearing nothing but a thong and a blonde wig while she is caressing her nipple. I have no problem with nudity and sex, but this crosses the line. How many of you would feel okay doing a shoot like this with your mother?

  21. HannaV says:

    I think that’s kinda weird

  22. Eldy says:

    I love this edit. It looks like the photographer took stills from the Lgbt canadian film “Les Feluettes” between the gay son and mentally disturbed mother. The dynamic between the two was nothing short of heartbreaking and disturbing, which this edit has captured perfectly.

  23. nico says:

    this is so beautiful

  24. nico says:

    the story is a fantasy tale about a stripper and her son

  25. page says:

    i REALLY to see the art in this… but i just can’t. my comfort level was destroyed in viewing this.

  26. bee says:

    eeeeeeeeeeeewwwwww… no way… i will not see my mother naked in front of me… even they pay me much!!!eeeewwwwwwwwwwwww

  27. J says:

    Josh you are wrong, the blonde woman is not Lynne with a wig she’s a totally different person.
    This pictures are pure genius.

  28. Bette says:


  29. W says:

    Hate to say it, but this is disturbing, but I guess this is what fashion and art is about; to push boundaries that the mainstream are not ready to accept…
    And, wow, shocking resemblance between the mother and son!

  30. the vagabond says:

    I am in love with this story
    thank u

  31. Didi says:

    Janelle please don’t scare me.. hehe :S

  32. marco says:

    this is absolutely beautiful – artfully shot, and professionally stated. The boy and his mother look AMAZING – this is what an actual fashion story should be

  33. yumpopink says:

    one day you guys will count yourselves lucky when your adult son bathes you because you are unable to do it yourself. how old do you have to be for this to be appropriate?

  34. Calvin says:

    Yeah, I have to agree but I still find it uncomfortable looking at a photo of a mother nude in front of her adult son. Everything else is OK. Not extremely captivated by any of it but it’s OK.

  35. ZOE says:

    This just shows that 90% of the people who comment on these posts are annoying, small minded rednecks from middle america.

    Your mother probably works in kmart and voted for Bush, and you buy teen vogue and watch The Hills. This does not qualify you to have a valid opinion on someone else’s art work.

    FFS, she gave birth to that boy! It’s totally normal for her to be nude in front of him. There is no suggestion that they are fucking.

    You should all leave your sanitized, sterile country and go to Europe where nudity is common place. Where people would not bat an eye at a mother being topless in front of her son.

    Or just keep your small minded opinions to yourself.

    Thanks all..

  36. david says:

    this is a bit creepy

  37. Joe says:

    After reading the description given I have much greater appreciation for the images . This is a fine story and the style of the photographs are beautiful

  38. IS THIS IT? models review says:

    hehe Janelle, I love the way Scarlett Johansson materialize popcorn in her hand and eat it continuously – and doesn’t get fatter! I’d like to know how to do that in real life… 🙂
    Btw: yeeep, in Europe people are so smart and clever, don’t vote for Bush (wait: is Berlusconi in Italy that much better? mmm… *_*’) and don’t care so much about nudity… nooo, wait, I DON’T THINK SO! 🙂 Relation with nudity is and I guess will always be (right or wrong) kind of controversial – once more with a mother.
    My personal opinion: eyes in eyes, the caress, her body language – I simply find bath shot pretty intimate…

    PS and no, I don’t like so much when people here get too much personal and tend to offend others, not at all… the key of any discussion should be: BEING CONSTRUCTIVE. Well, I hope and wish so…

  39. IS THIS IT? models review says:

    and sorry, I was forgetting it, just for the record – better underline that: THE BLONDE ONE IS ANOTHER WOMAN…

  40. tarzan says:

    Your mother probably works in kmart and voted for Bush, and you buy teen vogue and watch The Hills. This does not qualify you to have a valid opinion on someone else’s art work.

    You go Zoe!!! This is the most amazing comment ive ever read!!!
    Since when small minded people have the right to judge what is or isnt art??… With the internet everyone thinks can be art critic witch is ridicule :))

    Faena did an amazzing JOB, Bravo!!!
    ps who is the stylist of this story???

  41. Emily says:

    Whatever VMan wants to claim, there is subtext. This doesn’t exist in a bubble and they know we are going to bring to it history and references. To say there is no subtext is ridiculous in my opinion and they are probably backtracking.

  42. Joseph says:

    There are many contexts that can be read into this. You can choose to see an incestuous relationship or a family that is not inhibited by nudity. Culturally it smacks most Americans in the face but in many other countries it wouldn’t be a threat.

  43. Inna says:

    If it doesn’t have subtext then it isn’t art.
    Without subtext it might as well just be a commercial.

  44. Rini says:

    There once lived a man named Oedipus Rex
    You may have heard about his odd complex
    His name appears in Freud’s index, cause he



  45. lili says:

    tarzan: “Since when small minded people have the right to judge what is or isnt art??… With the internet everyone thinks can be art critic witch is ridicule”

    Well… I lived in the USA for many years and some people over there didn´t have another option than taking a retail job at a Kmart and that didn’t converted them into small minded people, many of them were artists, authors, photographers etc. Reading some stupid comments here I can witness more misery than in a retail employee’s pocket. Some posters should’ve never left the jungle.

  46. the vagabond says:

    they meant incest is not the subtext when u see the full story

  47. Billy says:

    I would say judging from the posts here, the photographer has succeeded in their mission. After all the idea is to view and discuss the art right? no matter how close minded the comments are.

  48. tarzan says:

    lili says:
    August 31st, 2010
    at 12:34 pm

    Thank you Lily, the KMart comment was writen by Zoe… Witch is Amazing!!! True since when reading Teen Vogue and watching The Hills make you an art critic. Zoe upstairs was very clear about this topic…
    If my comment was misery or stupid,then why you read it??
    Seeing Lynn and Paolo,remind me that there is mother and son – Love – between them… Many fucktards forget what is the word LOVE.Thats because seeing Linda Hogan or cougar world around the world…Or the porn half his age thing going on…
    When your parents get older you help them bath…Thats what people do in Europe…

    Janele answer my queston who is the stylist of this story?

  49. Lilith says:

    To whom it may concern:
    If you pretend to be an art critic first you need to learn how to write a complete sentence correctly. It spells WHICH not WITCH you funny guy from the jungle, hahaha.

  50. Justin Marquese says:

    I think this is a great story! I felt something from looking at these images, which is rare these days. Fashion photography has become so contrived. Great job. This is art.
    If it makes you feel uneasy, then there is a part of you that can identify or is scare of this. If you didn’t, you wouldn’t have any reaction.

  51. michael says:

    Tarzan the ape man. LOL!

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