Nude photography. What is the use of it ? Does it offer us something? Who likes it? Is there any point be involved with it in the first place?
Silly question. From the beginning of time and until the end of it men and women will be intrigued by the site of the naked body, theirs or the opposite’s sex. Some admire it, some consider it the source of all sin some are embarrassed some take their eyes away from it, but no one stays indifferent. In most, if not in all the cultures the naked body provokes tension, debate, disagreement of an artistic nature or not.
Artists have taken on the dirty work. Sculptures, painters, cinematographers, and above all photographers constantly suggest new ways of viewing, new ways of perception, new ways of understanding the naked body male of female (mostly the latter).Photography is in a privileged relationship with nude since the early days of the new art in the middle of 19th century. However, the never stopping progress of technology has increased the image production capabilities to such a degree, where it can be argued that the matter in question is being understood mainly through photography. This welcoming development has on one hand made photographers’ life easier but on the other, has put an extra burden on their shoulders. Sculptors, great without a doubt however painfully slow, painters even greater but rather “distant” on the same time, videographers children of their time yes, but inevitably too “fluid”, the communication of a naked body image in the modern era lies deductively on photographers’ backs.
Communication could mean exploration, innovation, original ideas, new proposals on aesthetics, exhibitions, publications, debates. Very nice, but now another big issue comes along. What makes an idea original, an aesthetic principal worth dealing with, which photography deserves being put on display, how nude photography should be presented in the 21st century? And above all, what is the point in existing?
Well, we have reached the core of the subject. Every photographer must have his/hers proposition and this is mine.
A good nude photo it is like the air. The one we breath. We say we breath oxygen but we know that air consists of 78% nitrogen, 21% oxygen and 1% other gases such as argon, neon, hellion, among several others.Likewise, photos have their own ingredients making them what they are. However, even though those of the air remain stable, the ones of the photos can differ according to the preferences of their creators. In my photos I need the erotic element. Nude photography without it is like air with no oxygen at all. But take care. This eroticism must always come in small amounts and must co-exist harmonically with what the Anglo-Saxon world describes as sexiness. A light breeze of sexual energy, something like the scent of a perfume in the evening applied the same morning. Any imbalance between the two makes the mixture toxic and the image is in danger of slipping into the “easiness” of pornography. The challenge lies in the constant movement on the edge of sword. Erotic but not sexual naked but not sleazy. The rest of the necessary elements come in small but not irrelevant quantities. Measures of grace (not divine), class, glamour, harmony, mini perversion at times can be mixed with sprinkles of love, eros’ promiscuity, joy of life. The proportions differ on occasion but at the end of the day what bothers me is this:
Are my photos making the world any better even by the smallest amount possible? Less violent, brighter, more optimistic? Those who see them do they have a lighter day? Τhat is the question.
Not if life it’s worth living.