Of all of subjects in art, the nude, is often the most controversial. Not sure if it started with the Victorian era, or the teaching of puritanical churches, but many people cannot separate the notion of being naked with sex. As such they get confused between an artistic image and pornography.
Despite all the negative attitude, there is actually no better way to teach someone how to see and draw light than to use the naked form as a subject and for hundreds of years we have been doing just that. It is why every art course involving teaching drawing humans will have some with the model naked.
It is also true for photography, where if you want to learn to light the body well then the best way to do this is with a naked body. You see it is not the lines but rather the interplay between highlights and shadows that really define the subject.
The life drawing group at the Hutt Arts Society has a biannual exhibition of their work but they were concerned that they did not have enough work to adequately show in the gallery. So they approached the Camera Club to see if we had photos that could complement the paintings. The exhibition was titled “Nudes, Nudes and More Nudes”.
In the end only three members of the club could supply images, and in my case I submitted 8 pieces shot over the last three years. Most of the images that I did submit where either shot in low light or were bodyscape images (where you are using the form to create shapes rather than the whole body).
While all of the images were up for sale I did not have high expectations of selling anything. Marianne Muggeridge (who is a very good Portrait artist) said that
“Nudes were a self indulgence, as they did not sell”.
I had taken the advice of James Gilberd for Photospace Gallery in pricing the images and it must have worked because it turned into a very successful venture selling 3 images as shown below.