Penthouse's fourth girl/girl pictorial appeared in the September 1974 edition which featured the most explicit Pet of the Month pictures so far from Janice Kane, who was also featured on the cover exposing the first completely uncovered nipple in a full size picture on the cover of the magazine.
A rather different approach was taken with this pictorial in that it featured photographs from a forthcoming book from the Penthouse publishing arm rather than being a stand alone pictorial.
These were the work of New York based photographer Roy Volkmann. Volkman built a recreation of an attic in his Manhattan studio and spent eight weeks shooting the pictures for the book, Mirage.
The inspiration for the shoot came from an episode where he was doing tests of two models in his New York studio. “I was impressed by the way both women interplayed. They projected a feeling of natural beauty, of subtle sensuousness so powerful that I felt I had to freeze the image,” he said.
“Women do have these fantasies of exploring their own bodies through those of other women.” he continued, pretentiously. “I wanted to express this fantasy as beautifully as I could. A woman exploring herself.”
This is obviously the rationale behind having two such similar looking women and the use of a mirror in some of the shots. It is really one woman discovering herself; the other woman is an illusion; a Mirage as the title of the book implies.
Volkmann began his photographic career in Europe, shooting in London, Paris and Milan, working in the beauty and fashion areas for magazines such as Stern, Grazia, Max and Harpers Bazaar Italia.
His pictorial for Penthouse mixes conventional boudoir photography with more avant-garde dance-inspired work.
He continued as a mainstream photographer shooting portraits of stars such as Melanie Griffith, Michael Douglas and Sean Young and is still very active today. He produced a well known series of photographs of Canadian actress Natasha Henstridge to publicise her film Species, in which she posed with an HR Giger designed chair.
Originally Volkmann was a dancer, however, and now he largely specialises in dance photography using his understanding of anatomy and movement to award winning effect. He continues to produce artistic nude work and teaches nude photography at the International Center of Photography in New York. Some of his most effective pictures combine the two as in this magnificent example below.
So this was something of an artistic diversion for Penthouse in their portrayal of girls together. The next girl/girl pictorial would be shot by yet another different photographer and would appear six months in the future; in March 1975.