I've been so frantic for the past few weeks that, until this morning, I haven't had a chance to keep up properly with what's been going on at APUG. This is a fascinating thread, and I thought I might as well chuck in a few words about it, for what it's worth!
Generally speaking, I find the majority of nude photography bland, uninteresting and contrived. For some reason it just fails to move me in the same way as a landscape, portrait or documentary image can.
I've lost count of the number of photographers I've heard say that they shoot nudes, but in an 'artistic' style. Photographers who make this statement often seem to think that shoe-horning their models into poses worthy of a contortionist, or closing in on details of the human form automatically elevates their photography to 'art'. I have to disagree. While many good nudes also take this approach, it doesn't automatically guarantee a successful image, by any means! Sometimes I think I'd rather be offended by a nude photograph than bored by it, but that probably goes for any subject, not just nudes.
I could ramble on, but I'm not sure I'd be adding anything new to the debate. However, I'd just like to add myself to the list of admirers of Thomas's work. While not every one of his nude images is to my taste, all of them are immaculately executed, and best of all, a significant number have a lovely humour to them which I really enjoy. The Tip Toe Torso image currently in the Gallery is a perfect example of this.
Oh, and as a postscript, I have to pick up on a comment made by Eric earlier in this thread. He said something along the lines of North Americans being less sophisticated than Europeans. Just to clarify - he possibly meant to say that North Americans are less sophisticated than MAINLAND Europeans. Here in the UK, nudity is sniggered at as if it's something that belongs only on a naughty seaside postcard, or a Carry On film!