After you exhaust the well known–Weston, Bernhard, Callahan, Brandt, Kertesz, Hosoe–where do you find art? More specifically where do you find contemporary photographic nude art.
I’ve done internet searches, and that’s clearly not the way to find art. What does an Internet search reveal? Lots of photographers trying to sell workshops, boudoir photography sessions, soft-core porn, and a couple of big wall-art sites. About the only thing positive I can say about my recent search is that there are a lot of attractive women being photographed nude.
The workshops offer to teach you how to make art. I suspect there are a few that help with that, although I think most of the instructors impose a style, rather than helping the students develop their own. One instructor says she sets up a scene and then lets the students take turns shooting it. But mostly, they offer a session with a nude model and an exotic locale. They advertise, “We will have stunningly beautiful models …’ and “… you will have a chance to photograph a live model …”. Wow, they have nude women! But don’t get too frisky, as another workshop says it “… will cover the importance of mutually respectful interactions …” Really, people need instruction for that? Some of the locations are pretty cool though–Lake Powell looks like a good place.
The less said about the boudoir photographs the better. There are so many photographers offering this service that there must be customers. And wow, the prices are high $1000-1500 for a session. And I’m trying to sell postcards at two bucks a pop. Their forte appears to be making the customers feel comfortable when naked, “… is quite adept at making the most skittish clients feel comfortable …” and applying makeup, “Let us create a glamorous look from dramatic bomb shell to soft country chic.” I wish the photographers were better at photography.
And you know what the soft core porn market offers–young attractive nude women. Why do these photographers claim to be making art? It might be good porn, but when judged as art, it’s awful. There’s no idea, no concept, no imagination, no soul. “… has the largest selection of webcam models in the world.” This is advertised as art? No, it’s naked women.
And then there are a couple of big sites showing collections of art. Click on one of these and you can get nude art in any size, on any paper, and with many framing options. The frame costs more than the art. Maybe rightly so, since the photographer isn’t even involved in the production. There are thousands of images. I started looking, but was soon too bored to continue.
So where is the contemporary art? I look at a lot of stuff and very rarely find anything I like. Or even anything I think is worth looking at. Next week, I’m going to start showing some of what I found in my recent search. In the midst of dozens of pages of the other stuff, there were a couple of interesting photos. And I’ll also show some contemporary work that is on my wall.
But for now, here are some more legs: