Nudity, an Art or Exploitation?


“The naked human figure exudes artistic expressions in the most intimate and insinuating poses. Through extreme lighting techniques and shadow strokes across the body, the appearance of nudity frees what is seemingly trapped in an artist’s imagination.

The aesthetic value of nude art is artistic freedom. Whether an art seems controversial or obscene, the real worth lies on the artist’s justification of his work. For every nude painter, the bareness of a body liberates his deepest pleasures and profound emotions. Famous nude photographer Günter Rinnhofer defined nude photography as “A nude photo is then good when the Model shows it around at the coffee table at her grandmother’s birthday party and receives positive feedback.” Furthermore, artistic nudity is no longer a taboo yet various implications are cast on the moral view and societal norms.

Conventionally, nude models were painted to highlight some artistic elements of innocence as to imaginary Greek paganism. Traditional nude art challenges and differs from the norm, opens room for new opinions and alternate individual interpretations. This is particularly evidential to the portraits of Greek gods and goddesses, whose figures were used as depiction of beauty and power. In the time of Renaissance, painters like Michaelangelo worked on nude art photo as a portrayal of social issues and culture. The painting, The Birth of Venus, showed Venus in the nude without any sexual implication.

Nowadays, the general perception towards artistic nudity has changed and had even led to the debate as to whether or not contemporary nude photography complies with the artistic standards. Modern nude photos are said to be deviant in nature which greatly affect the people’s understanding of sexuality.

Modern media have blatantly come up with the most sexually provocative advertising called “sex sells.” Clothing brands and liquors won’t earn the public’s interest without a nude poster on its starry billboard in Times Square. After all, advertising has always been for its exploitative use of sexy men and women, which worked for Calvin Klein, Benetton and Abercrombie and Fitch. In fact, Paris Hilton could have flunked if she hadn’t showed some flesh in nude posters for the socialites.

In modern art, a nude photo showcases in entirety a woman’s naked body exposing even her private parts to draw more attention to eroticism. An example of this is Samuel de Cubber’s full frontal nudity for M7 Fragrance ads.

The question of whether a nude photo is an ‘art’ often gets into a debate since nudity has a long history. Arguments contain the premise seeing people clothed is more natural than seeing them naked.

How an artist portrays a nude photo depends solely on his or her intention of drawing it. As an artist, one has to set the standards and lay the groundwork. The image has to project a confident and sensible body not an exploitation of the flesh. “

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Source by Andrew Beene