Thursday, February 7, 2008

Nadia Brito Nude Body Painting (body make-up)

Just a highlight of Nadia Brito's body painting for the Carnival of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. More about the city, the carnival and artist below:

Wikipedia: Las Palmas de Gran Canaria Gran Canaria - Carnival

Search for Artist: Nadia Brito Melado

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Featured Artist: Ethan Aaro Jones

See Ethan Aaro Jones's "In Water" series.

Spencer Tunick in Miami

Spencer Tunick in Miami
Nude volunteers prepare for a shot in a South Beach art deco hotel pool.

Whatever you think of Spencer Tunick, his work certainly gets attention and makes statements on several levels. Not only is there the work itself, with intended and unintended statements, but also the fact that these are volunteers, hundreds of area volunteers to model nude. What does it say that at least a small portion of the population is willing to take part? Some are undoubtably nudists, others artists or art models themselves. Others might be friends of the former two groups or connected in such a way to hear about a shoot. Whatever the case it's not only a visual display you don't usually see, but an interesting side of humanity that you don't usually see.

More of the Miami shots:
A Bit of Buff (Sky News)

Friday, January 11, 2008

The Nude in Art

Prehistoric cave painting: Nude hunters and their chief, Spain, 600 B.C.The nude in art begins in human prehistory. As soon as humans began making art (cave paintings, sculpture) the nude form was an obvious choice, especially in a time when people either lived nude full-time or nudity was at least very common. In fact, since people did live nude, the depiction of nudity in that cultural context was nothing unusual and would be like drawing people in normal clothes in modern times.

Venus of Willendorf"Venus" figurines are among the well-known archaeological finds that depict a nude or partially nude figure. Paintings and sculpture through the ages, in various cultures, continued to depict the nude in diverse context, for different purposes.

Venus de Milo, Greece, circa 80 B.C.Nudity in historical art must be considered with regard to the cultural context. Is nudity taboo in that culture? In that case, nude art may be an underground or forbidden practice. In other cultures, it may be very public and a part of daily life. Another cultural consideration is... what is the definition of nudity in that culture?

Amazon Natives wearing only string, jewelry and straps as apparel.In modern times, Western culture domination has enforced it's taboos and definition of nudity on most of the world. Some Muslim cultures have much more extreme definition of nudity or obscenity. Many cultures around the world did not consider exposure of the female breasts to be "nude" or obscene before the conquests of Western cultures. There still exist several "primitive" cultures (South American natives, Papua New Guinea natives, African natives and more) who appear to be naked to us, yet have their own cultural definitions of nudity and obscenity. For example women may be required to wear a skirt in some cultures, a thong-type string item in Xingu women, and men may be considered "clothed" as long as their penis is tied up with a string to their waist. Still other tribes may go completely nude, but still have taboos and standards of conduct. Nudism is a conscious movement/intentional culture that is more like the latter - that is full nudity is considered appropriate, but there remain taboos and a standard of conduct.

Michelangelo's David
Nudity in art has taken a wild ride in the Western tradition from being accepted entirely by society to being forbidden and supressed in medieval times, only for the nude to be reawaken and celebrated in renaissance times. America went through a long medieval-ish period regarding it's attiude toward nudity, which has relaxed, at least a little, through the 20th century. Though still not accepted by much of the population, nude art does flourish in galleries, private artist studios and now the web. We hope we can help summarize the story of nudity in art and link to important modern and past works and people in this realm.