As I paint the provocative parts of human anatomy I can’t help but think about their social implications with whomever around me sees the work. Painting breasts or genitalia is not in any way provocative for me, it’s just a study of drawing, value and color, and yet…
I wonder how many artists over the years have squandered their potential by not painting subject matter that could possibly upset their family or friends. Not only is painting the nude difficult but I think every artist has thought about how their family or piers would view them if they paint the opposite sex. For me, being a man, I can’t help but wonder if my family keeps their children away from my website due to nudity. I wonder, if I paint too many female nudes will it look like I’m a pervert or something? Will my artwork be pulled away from the love for the figure and just viewed as a response to my personal libido?
It is all too easy for people viewing the work below to completely pass over the subtle nuances of artistry for, “boobies”…
I remember the first time I ever stood in front of an easel and watched a model unclothe. Honestly it was quite shocking, I was still a teenager at the time and I think this was the first time I had ever seen a nude person right in front of me. At that point it was hard to concentrate.
Now, I view the nude figure quite differently. I don’t associate with models the same way as I did 23 years ago. Mostly I see the figure as a beautiful, complex, organic mass of value and color that is the most challenging of subjects.
In my mind artists objectify models much more than any person at a strip club, we have to. I need to see this nude figure as shape, line, color and value. I need to look at the breasts and see that they have cast shadows, core shadows and half tones just like a sphere would. I look at legs and arms and think how they resemble cylinders. I have to simplify and break every part of the body down in simple terms. But, never do I think about it sexually, passionate, yes, but not sexually.
Although I must admit. I have consciously, in some cases chosen my subject matter by what parts of the body is or is not showing. In most cases I will not choose a photograph if a penis is very prominent. This choice is directly related to my fear of the reaction by people close to me. However irrational it may be, there it is.