Late last year I purchased some software from GYST to help in the organization and archiving of my images. One of the services offered was a one on one consultation on my art work and some recommendations, observations and so on. I felt like it would be good to get a different perspective on my work and signed up.
Karen at GYST had some interesting insights into where I should be going with my work and some great observations on my work in general. And while I do not agree with all she said it was a great session and has given me much to think about and some action items to address regarding my art. If you are struggling about the direction you should be going with your work or just want another look at your work from an unattached party GYST can help.
One of the topics addressed was the suggestion of removing the nudes from my website and from my art work in general. Karen made the point that the nude was an archaic art form and was brought about by parties who abused or took advantage of women. It was pointed out to me that with the nudes on my site I was automatically insulting, turning away, and alienating at least 50% of my potential audience. In her opinion this was nothing more than another male’s photographs of womens nude bodies. And while it has been a tradition in art it is really nothing more than uneducated males making money off of images of naked women.
Look I get that women have been nothing but a commodity or property throughout history, have been and are continuing to be exploited and for whatever reason (recent news with the Weinstein as the most notorious example).
But I know that I am trying to emphasize the positive of women with my art. The models who have posed know what they are doing, have chosen or consented to be a model in the creating of art of the human form. I am not supplying pornography for sexual gratification nor am I looking to exploit females for personal gain. There is a great deal of scholarly debate on the nude in art through the centuries and it has really only been recently that the female form has come under immense pressure as nothing more than the exploitation of their sex for male gratification.
I speak from experience in that regard. In one workshop I attended, there was one model with whom I could not connect with at all. It seems as if we were at odds about everything. The resulting images were lacking in any connection and this was noted by other artists who viewed some of the images I printed. They commented on the lack of feeling in the image and suggested it could be there was no connection between myself and the model. I responded there was a barrier of sorts, the lack of interaction or even a connection and difficulty in working together. After sharing this with them, they said it was evident in the photographs as there was no feeling.
Recent events at several art establishments and museums where art has been removed due to petitions of sexual insensitivity and other obscure reasons by a minority who wish to think for us or make decisions on what is good for all of based on their supposed insights and observations, but precious little experience, robs all of us of the opportunity to make that decision on our own. We all have the right to observe and make a decision on art work presented to us as to its value, impact, message, and if the artist has effectively communicated his intention or not. Censorship no matter how it is packaged is still censorship.
So come to my website, look around, take it in and decide if I have communicated my intentions, revealed something you have not seen or encountered before or even made you think about something a little differently. I know there is much I want to explore with the female nude and there a couple of models who want to bring those sessions to their natural conclusions by exploring together.