My mind, my thoughts, my words

Is nude photography art?

My father is an artist (mainly sculptor but he paints and draws too) who focuses on the human body, so I grew up with ‘that kind of art’ surrounding me. I went to an art school myself for a few years and always enjoyed working with the body most of all: be it drawing or painting faces and bodies, dancing, photographing people, or standing in front of the camera myself. I learnt to analyse art and to be critical about it. When I see a photo, for example, I notice the dynamics, angles, and the general composition in particular. The human body is fascinating in that it comes in countless different forms and can take on various shapes.

Many people often look at photos of (nude) people superficially: There’s a woman, she has a pretty face, she has clear skin, curves, she is naked = beautiful (photograph). That does not make it art. It is however reductionist to say that nude photography in general is not art, just because there’s a person that we consider beautiful. Much nude photography actually features everyday kind of people rather than model models. The OED states:

art is the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power.

Both photographer and model create a piece of art together in creatively portraying forms, emotions, and other aesthetic qualities. It is NOT about erotic or beautiful people (this would be considered glamour or pornographic photography that either focus on showing the person as very attractive or try to arouse the viewer respectively – which I do not consider art). You can have an ‘ugly’ person pose for you and it can make a beautiful photo that tells a story.

Why would a photo of a (nude) person be less arty than a photo of a landscape if the composition, lightning, atmosphere, and mood are great?

2 comments on “Is nude photography art?

  1. myipadography
    22/03/2014

    I see it as an art.

  2. augustmacgregor
    24/03/2014

    I see the human body as beautiful, and photography of it is art.

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This entry was posted on 22/03/2014 by in Body and Health (or not), Cultures, Media, Miscellaneous and tagged , , , .
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