Samantha Roddick: Hidden Within

20 Mar - 30 Apr 2015
  • “The sex industry is f***ing diabolical”

    “The sex industry is f***ing diabolical”

    Anoosh Chakelian, New Statesman March 31, 2015

    Artist Sam Roddick on the modern politics of sex...

    The sex workers’ rights activist and artist calls on the government to protect the sex industry, as her new exhibition on objectification explores society's sexual failings.


    In 1962, Carlo Mollino, the enigmatic Italian architect, bought a secluded villa in the hills over Turin. He worked hard on redesigning the house. But he didn’t live there. He never even slept there. Instead, he used it for over a decade as a place to invite prostitutes to pose for thousands of Polaroid photos. Each shot was meticulously directed by Mollino, who styled the models in obsessively repetitive – and sexual – poses.

  • Sam Roddick's New Photography Exhibition: Hidden Within. Do These Pictures Objectify Women?

    Sam Roddick's New Photography Exhibition: Hidden Within. Do These Pictures Objectify Women?

    Siân Parry, Marie Claire March 24, 2015

    As the founder of erotic emporium Coco de Mer (and former Marie Claire sex columnist) it’s fair to say Sam Roddick knows about sex. Which is why erotica is the subject of her first photography exhibition – it opened recently (guests included Colin and Livia Firth) and is causing something of a stir.
    It’s inspired by Italian architect Carlos Mollino. After his death in 1973 over 1,000 hidden erotic Polaroids were found in a property owned by Mollino. They were images of women that he had art directed over many years but kept hidden in the house – which he designed but never lived in – like a shameful secret.

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  • INTERVIEW: Sam Roddick’s ‘Hidden Within’ Debut Solo show.

    INTERVIEW: Sam Roddick’s ‘Hidden Within’ Debut Solo show.

    Toni Gallagher, FAD magazine March 22, 2015

    FAD caught up with Sam Roddick at the opening of her exhibition ‘Hidden Within’ at Michael Hoppen Gallery.

    For those of us that don’t already know, who is Carlo Mollino?
    Carlo Mollino is my favourite historical pervert. He was a Famous Architect and furniture designer. He was a stunt pilot, highly skilled skier and an obsessive erotic photographer. Mollino was born in Turin Italy in 1905 and died in 1973.

    How long has it taken you to create these pieces?
    It has taken me two years from the first shoot to actually presenting. The first year I spent creating the photos and hand printing them myself. The second year has been researching designing and creating the frames.



    Lily Silverton , Hunger TV March 19, 2015

    For anyone unfamiliar with architect and designer Carlo Mollino’s Polaroids, the basic story is that after his death in 1973, a huge collection (thousands) of erotic polaroids were discovered hidden in his villa. Taken by Mollino, they featured women in various stages of undress, styled and made-up for the camera. Mollino had further painstakingly retouched many of the images with an extremely fine brush to attain an idealised version of the female form. The resulting images are completely unnerving, and yet also fascinating and beautiful.


    Hidden Within, artist and photographer Sam Roddick’s ‘homage’ to Mollino opens tomorrow at the Michael Hoppen Gallery...

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  • How To Spend It - Samantha Roddick’s Hidden Within

    How To Spend It - Samantha Roddick’s Hidden Within

    Nicole Swengley, Financial Times March 19, 2015

    A Carlo Mollino - inspired artistic exploration of attitudes to sex.

    The secret passion of renowned Italian architect and designer Carlo Mollino was only revealed after he died in 1973, when more than 1,000 erotic Polaroids were discovered at his home in Turin. Shot from a low camera angle, the images depict models – usually local dancers – striking seductive and submissive poses in costumes and accessories chosen by Mollino. After printing, many of the images were airbrushed to present an idealised vision of the female form. The Polaroids were never exhibited in Mollino’s lifetime, and this very private exercise seems to have been both an exploration of art photography and a personal obsession. Now it has inspired another aficionado of female erotica – Samantha Roddick – to create her first artistic project, Hidden Within, which debuts at Michael Hoppen Gallery from Friday March 20 to Friday May 1.

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  • Fully exposed: Sam Roddick recreates secret nudes

    Fully exposed: Sam Roddick recreates secret nudes

    BBC Arts March 18, 2015

    Italian architect Carlo Mollino had a dirty little secret. He spent the 1960s taking nude photographs of dancers and prostitutes. His shots have been meticulously recreated by Sam Roddick, as the inspiration for her debut photography exhibition, Hidden Within. BIDISHA asks Roddick about what compelled her to enter Mollino's "theatre of sexuality".

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  • The Secret Body Shop

    The Secret Body Shop

    The Sunday Times magazine - Spectrum March 16, 2015

    Samantha Roddick, daughter of Anita, the Body Shop founder, made her own mark with her Coco de Mer erotica shops, which she sold in 2011. Her first outing as an artist sees her explore the ojectification of women, through the eyes of one man in particular: Carlo Molino, the Italien Architect and designer whose secret trove of thousands of Polaroids of women he paid to pose for him was discovered after his death in 1973, Roddick chose 12 of his Polaroids and reconstructed each one 12 times, using 12 models. The goal was to make the images as similar to each other as possible, so the sitters lose their individuality.

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  • Samantha Roddick. Hidden Within

    Samantha Roddick. Hidden Within

    Wall Street International, Art March 6, 2015

    The Michael Hoppen Gallery is very proud to unveil Samantha Roddick's first artistic project, Hidden Within. Best known as the original founder of the erotic boutique, Coco de Mer, Roddick has long been exploring our cultural relationship to sex. In this project, which has occupied her for the last couple of years, she turns her attention to the subject of the sexual objectification of women. Roddick takes as her creative muse the twentieth century Italian architect and designer Carlo Mollino, and in particular examines his erotic polaroids through which she seeks to explore the notion of the male gaze and those feelings of shame and anxiety that persist in relation to sex in our society.


    An air of mystery surrounds Mollino and his legacy. Over a period of 13 years, he secretly and obsessively invited women to pose for him. He hoarded these polaroids, these moments of fabricated intimacy, and they...

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