In the Flesh

I thank Christian Right protesters for introducing me to the artwork of photographer Jock Sturges. Almost a decade ago, I drove past Barnes & Noble on the day they were picketing, calling for his books to be removed from shelves on the grounds that they contained kiddie porn. Of course, I had to find out what was happening. I wasn't alone. Since the protest started, I was told by a sales clerk, every copy of every book by Sturges had been sold. The saying is true: There is no bad press. The photos in those books and most of the photographs taken, exhibited and published since then were shot by Sturges in Montalivet, France, in a coastal "naturist community." Yes, there are naked children. But Sturges' intent isn't to sexually arouse. It's to document the human body. And this community is the perfect environment. Families pose for Sturges; some have been involved for three generations. For them, being naked is as natural as the wind in their hair or the sand between their toes. And Sturges isn't a stranger intruding in their private lives. He stays in Montalivet part of each year. Photographs Do Not Bend Gallery, 3115 Routh St., hosts Jock Sturges: New Work beginning Friday with a reception from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. and running through June 4. In this exhibit, a few color portraits accompany Sturges' signature black-and-white photographs. Call 214-969-1852. --Shannon Sutlief

Book Report

We have seen horrible atrocities committed against cookbooks in our family; spines broken under the weight of a flour canister, pages warped by spills, covers marred by splatters. Forget cookbook stands--ours were always right on the front lines of baking. And they still soldier on, from the essential Betty Crocker to the reindeer meat loaf resource Out of Alaska's Kitchens. For those who lack stained heirloom cookbooks, the International Association of Culinary Professionals offers a peek at the past as it commemorates the re-publication of four antique works (three of which originated in Texas) during Endangered Treasures: A Celebration of Cookbook Preservation at Texas Discovery Gardens, 3601 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., on April 15 at 6:30 p.m. Star chefs Jacques Pépin and Martin Yan will prepare a game menu based on turn-of-the-century Texas recipes. Tickets for the seated dinner and silent auction are $125. Call 214-356-8751. --Michelle Martinez

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