After reading Ed's "Renoir" thread in the interesting quotes threads in off topic discussions ( that's a mouthful) it brought to mind an observation I've had about nudes in photography. I meant to mention this before but Ed jogged my memory.
I'm wondering if it's because the US was founded by Puritans and a lot of other religious sects that we have such a strange relationship with nudes in art, as I guess in everything else.
I see so many nude photographs that are so self conscious, so peek-a-booish and so adolescent that I want to puke. It's like, "well I've shot three rolls and I've talked her out of her bra, now maybe if I can just get her pants off. Or from her point of view, "well I'll show you my tits but nobody get to see my pussy" (if you'll pardon the expression) .
What happened to photographs that celebrate the beauty of the human body, male and female. Why are nipples okay but genitals not. If the body is beautiful all parts are beautiful. The cleft ofa womans genitals is as interesting as the cleft of her breasts and her butt. The landscape of human body can put Yosemite to shame anyday. Do the models actually put crazy glue on the insides of their knees before each sitting.
Where are all the women photographers that should be photographing nude males. 99% of the nudes of males are done by gay men. They are great but how about some from a womens point of view. Is not the erect male penis as intersting as an erect female nipple. Is not a male shot from behind as intersting as a female. Do not the curves of the male equal the curves the female.
I realize that there are lots of photographers doing great nudes and some are members of this site and some are absolutely great. But I'm still in awe of the self consciousness and self censorship I see. After all in my opinion it is still the most beautiful form that has yet to be invented and the most fun to photograph.
I'd love to hear your opinions,
Well, being a hetero female, I have to say I just don't find the male body as inviting as the female from and artistic point of view. Even the mucles bound jocks just don't emit the sensuous response that a female does even in the most mudane poses as I found out at nude art class.
But that being said, nudity and our relationship to it won't be changing anytime soon. We would have to suddenly have a majority (obviously not the "moral" majority) of the society comfortable both with their own nudity but also the postential nudity of their family members. Where to draw the line? I don't know, but I am confused by a country that thinks nothing of letting children watch umpteen kinds of explicit violence, but gets its panties in a wad over implicit or explicit nudity. But we are odd men out so to speak, making us seem like antisocial, perverts just cuz we like nature in all its glory.
My humble opinion as requested.
Embrace **it! **it. . .just another name for fertilizer. . . Grow baby Grow!
Originally Posted by inthedark
You answer deserves a much more "well-thought out" answer than this, but even though I'm burned at the moment, I have to say that I agree. The most troubling thought is that the so-called "odd wo/men" are the ones that have really learned to handle the human figure with maturity and appreciation. Some in this world obviously can not.
As far as the "moral majority" - how "moral" are they when thier critique of the work of the Great Creator is so severe that they choose to not only cover it up, but to DENY its existence - or so it seems.
I remember one Television program from the past: It dealt with the Atlanta Censorship Board banning the motion picture "Never on Sunday". One of the members of the board, in an interview, said, "I've watched this movie seven times, and I've never seen anything so disgusting.. etc."
My immediate thought: SEVEN times? You couldn't have figured that out after the first two or three..?
Can anyone name a "significant" photographer who has *NOT* produced nudes at some time or other? At first I thought: Ansel Adams ... but he did... he just did not think those were "keepers".
More later. I need some rest.
Ed Sukach, FFP.
I agree that Thomas Sauerwein's work is *brilliant*. I like it - very much.
Originally Posted by Aggie
Seeing that I am one of the few others who have posted nudes here - all I can say is "Ouch!".
Ed Sukach, FFP.
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Originally Posted by Ed Sukach
When it comes to people's view of your nudes, I think its better to take more of an don't get too high if someone really likes the work and don't get too low if someone doesn't like it. Someone's views on the nude in photography is a very personal thing.
Some of the best comments of work I've shown have come from the parents of models. One time in Phila a local model couldn't make it to the opening because her school had restarted, but her mother, her brother, two cousins and a family friend all showed up at the opening. Her mother was great, trying to find all the images of her daughter.
Back to where the thread started at. I like to shoot the subject, sometimes that's means her feet, sometimes her but or breasts, sometimes that means her genitals. The only self imposed censorship that I employ is I want her to be natural, basically just shooting the subject as presented in front of me.
Michael, you didn't bring up the thought of Hetero males shooting the male nude. I have shot a number of men. The first few were to push myself away from the sterotypes of nude work, where the subjest is one of desire. Shooting the male nude alloud me to see the form of the subject.
I found one other side effect of shooting the male figure, it gave a different feel to the work when hung on the wall. With the male images hanging with the female images, the work became more about the nude as a subject and not about naked women.
With all due respect, you say you are a hetero female, then there must be a male nude type or angle or body part which you would consider worth photographing. I, as a hetero male have photographed male nudes and found it very interesting and challenging. the landscape is slightly different but none the less beautiful.
We have had countless threads that must have convinced us all that we are indeed "artists". Then what do we care what anyone says of the work that we do. You mentioned Sally Mann and Jock Sturges, and their photographs of nude children. I doubt that there is any self respecting pedophiles around that does not have copies of their books. In most circles this would be called kiddie porn. There are people in jail or lost their kids for lesser pictures. Mann and Sturges were somehow saved from this fate because they rightly convinced people that they are artists.
Who cares if some calls your work art, erotica or pornography. The unwinable debate will forever go on about which is which. But who cares. As so called artists we should be photographing in an uninhibited manner and view with complete irrelevance the opinions of nay sayers and critics.
Lastly anyone who hasn't seen George's site is missing out on really fine work.
I don't think we as humans really have developed the ability yet ,to seperate nudity and sexuality. Sex is a frame of mind. bein the the nude is a celebration of this vessel that we live with in, that thinks and creates. I was part of a group exibition some years ago, within which I was the only person showing figurative images. A woman and her two childrenwere cruzing the show, as soon as she realized the kids were looking at she took their hands and escorted them from the show. A couple weeks ago my wife and I visited the Getty museum. In the rennaissance building theirs a 12ft long by 7ft tall painting of a reposing nude female. the exact thing happened only this time it was the father who dragged the kids away. My doctor (who is a woman) asked me"why would someone put a nude picture of someone else on their wall?" I wish I had an answer to these but I don't except to wish that parents and people of influence would change their teaching or preaching from"this is naughty" to theirs a time and place for freedom without clothes and a place for a sexual frame of mind. This is a generational solution that does not solve the artful expressions for today.If I had to guess 90% of the nudity that is sold today is quite sexual in attitude and is kept for private interigation. Also a very high percentage of marketing is based on sexual innuendo for prducts that have nothing to do with sex!. As to why I work so often with the nude, it just kind of evolved from art school after about 8 years of commercial photography I got board with being a tecknition so I went back to drawing then drawing the figure then photographing the figure. Now my drawing and paintings have nothig to do with the figure, yet ironically my paintings out sell my photographs. But the one seems to feed the other conceptually so i'm pretty happy with the mix. Any way I'm rambling, Ed and Aggie thanks for the support.
Originally Posted by jdef
What's to defend. Just follow the laws of your area and you won't have to worry. Everybody has to sign a release (whether rights are released or not) and prove they are of legal age.
Anyone remember the old coppertone adds with the little girl wearing only a bottom, that a dog was diligently pulling off? We even in the bad old 50's when anh nude was wrong, thought that was ok. Today any one trying to take that same image with today's children would be crucified.
ED I did not mean you in particular, I meant the genre as a whole. There are many fine examples. I even have a favorite beyond Thomas'. It was at the start of the impressionist movement. Can't at this moment remember the artist. It was the one of the French prostitue reclining. It is a beautifully done image with more than just the body being nude to tell the story for those who investigate beyond the initial look.