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A History Of Fashion Photography

May 29th, 2019

Fashion photography is a highly effective tool for marketing in the world of haute couture, but it is also regarded as a spectacular art form with a rich history featuring countless models of all shapes and sizes. Sporting the fashion of the day, both past and present, and being photographed for a variety of purposes is one of the hottest ways to grab the public eye and get it to focus on what the photographer desires. By considering the history and details of this particular art form one can begin to grasp the wide range of reasons which have made the world of fashion what it is today: A catalyst for the way all of us think, feel, and act, and for how we express that through the clothing and accessories we choose to wear. It has proven itself far more motivational and powerful than any of us could have ever imagined.

Fashion photography found its beginnings in the early nineteenth century and picked up the popularity pace as magazines with a fashion focus became more and more in demand by the public. Magazines like Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar took off like rocket ships because of this specific photographic genre. Vogue magazine proved to launch several photographer’s careers as well, including the man who is hailed as being the first fashion photographer, Adolph De Meyer. In those years, the primary purpose of fashion photography was to allow magazine readers to see what type of clothing was popular and in-season, as well as showing them what was available to them for purchase.

Paris was the very heart of fashion, both clothing, and photography-wise, during the early years, drawing photographers from all over the world. A majority of fashion photographers in those days were from Germany, but regardless of their home countries, these individuals turned basic photographs into works of art. Integrating mood and emotion into each and every picture they took, raising fashion photography to such a level that many individuals photographed were catapulted to fame as a direct result of their participation in modeling.

Cecil Beaton, a London-born photographer, relocated to New York City to pursue his passion. He photographed models in fashion for both Vogue and Vanity Fair before becoming an Oscar winner for the fashion creations he put together for Audrey Hepburn in the film “My Fair Lady.” Edward Steichen, a German photographer who immigrated to the United States, became known for his stunning photos of Greta Garbo, one of which made the cover of “Life” magazine in 1955. The picture is easily recognizable by most anyone to this day. Both of the men above are considered pioneers in the fashion photography industry.

While Paris is still integral to the fashion photography world, New York City has become something of a beating heart when it comes to art. Today the American city can truthfully claim to be its very center and draws countless individuals every year who are seeking to take their brand of fashion photography mainstream. Many who found fame and fortune as fashion photographers got their humble beginnings in the Big Apple, and this trend continues today as well.

The Theory Of Fashion Photography
The most useful pieces of fashion photography are about far more than robotic poses, though these were what pictures mostly displayed in the early days. Those who have the ability to communicate emotion to the viewer and this requires the model to be in touch with his or her surroundings to the point that one can feel what they are feeling. Whether the model is featured in a specific locale or with certain props and items of clothing or accessories, they need to be able to play these things off in a manner which conveys personal interaction.

A single photograph should tell a story for it to have the greatest impact, and this is what makes a great fashion photograph. It should consist of enough detail to put everything into proper context for the viewer. It should bear a certain level of drama or mystery (drama can consist of several emotions and settings), and the level of drama in any photograph is determined by the level of tension provided to it.

Context is essential to great fashion photography, and it can only be achieved through the composition given to any photo. The composition is made up of not only the items or surroundings a model is interacting with, but also the colors and tones being lent to the shot which make for the specific mood it is meant to convey. These even consist of the tones, saturation, and colors used around the focal point, or model, in the picture. It is the proper use of these points which will make or break any photo, as well as the fashion photographers themselves.

The point is to reach out and touch the individuals viewing any photograph by using these specific tools to bring specific characteristics to life. This results in raw emotion being brought to physical existence through the inanimate photograph, thus bringing the fashion itself to life. The viewer will inevitably be drawn to what they are viewing, as it has succeeded in touching their very being at its core. This is the purpose of fashion photography, and when it is accomplished correctly, a great fashion photograph will complete its mission thoroughly by bringing the viewer to the emotional mindset intended by the artist.

The Preferred Photographic Genre for Models
With such a powerful ability to convey coupled with its long public reach, fashion photography is the primary option for professional models who are seeking to find their niche. There are several specific factors which compel individuals in the profession to opt to get on film in this particular area. Not only do they have a much greater chance of being seen by more of the people who can take them to the career points which they desire, but they are also able to effectively demonstrate that their career choice was based on more than good looks. Fashion photography is a perfect platform for these people to show others what they can really do professionally. There is much more to this than simply striking a pose while wearing the fashions they do; they must be able to assist the photographer in bringing their vision to life by capturing specific moods and communicating with whatever surrounds them in a manner that also allows them to communicate with the viewers of their pictures. This ability is obvious in fashion models who may have either a natural knack or talent for their art, as well as those who have a much more seasoned level of experience. Though age is considered the prime enemy of the fashion model, more and more of them today span a much broader range of age groups, thus changing the public’s thoughts regarding how old a fashion model should be.

The Purpose of Fashion Photography
What is the point behind taking pictures of men and women posing in clothing? The answers are many, as we will discuss here. Fashion photography is rooted in pictures of individuals wearing the haute couture of the day while in different surroundings and with different props. Different moods and photographic techniques are used to empower the photographs so they will motivate the viewer to engage in an intended behavior. These pictures are mostly used in fashion magazines, on billboards, or in other forms of advertising to elicit the desired response. Today, fashion photography extends to moving pictures, or film and video, and these may be shown on television in commercials or taped and broadcasted runway shows. While the primary purpose of the genre may be to get consumers to buy, buy, buy, the fact of the matter is that the photographs themselves are art, and awards are given for the best and most powerful. This reason motivates individuals, in and of itself, to pursue fashion photography as a career choice.

High Fashion
Also well known by the French term ‘haute couture,’ high fashion is the creation of custom clothing that is both beautiful and, at times, very practical to its specific occasion. The product being made is tailored by hand, beginning with the selection of the fine fabric, which is to be used and ending with the individual being measured and fitted for the item to be worn. High fashion has been dated as far back as the eighteenth century, with nobles and the rich indulging their desires through their need for clothing. The making of fine clothing is an art form that stands alone, and today, fine fashion designers show off their wares by adorning anyone who can afford to don them.

Fashion or Glamour Photography?
Contrary to the popular opinion of the layman, there is indeed a difference between fashion photography and glamour photography. While fashion photography is quite glamorous in its makeup, its main focus is the clothing being worn. The model, the props, and the context of pictures taken are all used to lend credence to the items of clothing being displayed. Glamour photography, on the other hand, focuses on the model rather than what they may or may not be wearing.

Fashion Photography Past and Present
There have been countless high fashion models who have achieved wealth and fame as a direct result of their career choice, women and men alike. Both yesterday and today have provided the public eye with photographs of some of the most beautiful human beings on the planet. While there are literally countless renowned female models, far fewer people are familiar with their male counterparts. Famous men have contributed their good looks and talents to the fashion photography industry.

With changing tastes, fashion, and technology, fashion photography has experienced great metamorphosis over the years. In days gone by, or in its humble beginnings, this form of photography was of the ‘strike a pose’ variety, simply showing off the clothes which were the main focus of the picture, and using beautiful people to do it. Today, fashion photography has evolved into a full-blown art form, using not only skilled, attractive models, but also implementing the use of color, light, props, and the like to convey specific moods and messages to those who look at the pictures. So much more attention is paid to the specific effect generated by the photos taken that pictures of this type are no longer simply sales tools; now they are a solid means of communication, and they have proven shockingly effective, as the high fashion market proves. No more staring at the camera and smiling; now the model is basically giving a silent performance. The better the performance, the more dynamic the photo’s effect is on its audience.

In the modern world of fashion photography, everything is taken into consideration. Where are the pictures taken? What will accompany the model in the photograph, if anything? Attention is paid to hair and makeup, even if the hair is messy and the makeup smudged. Everything plays into the end result, and this has had a serious effect on how all of us view fashion photographs and photography.

Fashion Photography as Art
All you have to do to realize that fashion photography is an art form. View past pictures with those from the present day and identify the differences in emotion and overall appearance. Identify what the pictures you are viewing spark within yourself. Do you simply recognize an urge to splurge, or do you identify with something much deeper, something unspoken yet tangible? Fashion photography, which inspires the latter, can be identified as sheer art. If you look at a quality photo for even a mere second, you will realize that the hues, the colors, and the context within the shot can stir something to live on the inside. Walking through a museum filled with sculptures and paintings may have the same effect. A talented photographer can communicate an abundance of thoughts and feelings through their shots, and this, simply put, is art.

Each photo is unique, though it may have a specific flavor, depending on the one behind the camera. Angles, the use of saturation and color, and other personal touches enable the artist/photographer to make each, and everyone shot their own, one-of-a-kind tool to convey their thoughts and feelings. It will appropriately revolve around the clothing worn, and it will make you desire the product while appreciating its purpose and beauty. Today, more than ever before, fashion photography holds its own in the art world.

Fashion photography is vital as an art form because art is a personal expression. Any form of expression which is stifled is done so at the peril of everyone who could, and should, observe it. While the primary point may be to help others identify personal styles, tastes, and what they want to wear, it also possesses the ability to take others into themselves and explore who they are in relationship to the world, and that is essential to the human spirit. Therefore, fashion photography should be utterly embraced as an art form in today’s world.

In Conclusion
For hundreds of years, men and women all over the world have chosen fashion photography as a profession. While it may have started out as nothing more than a promotional tool, it has morphed into a powerful means of expression and communication for those who choose it as a career. Not only do we see beautiful people wearing stunning clothing, but we also observe individual talent that knows no bounds, expressed by people able to handle a camera and command its outcome. By implementing a variety of techniques, these photographers can change the entire aesthetic of any photograph, blending beauty with raw emotion, whether it be cheerful or gloomy, angry or elated. Sparking the interest and emotion of viewers is a skill only a few are well-known for.

The models who participate have dictated what we should wear, how we should look, and how we should behave. They have crossed barriers, and their general look has changed over time, but they remain “the beautiful people,” and like it and admit it or not, we look to both the model and the photographer for advice more than we may like to admit. As an art form, fashion photography is undeniable, and as a profession, it is solid for the talented and driven. Today, observe the offerings made by those in the business and discover for yourself what kind of feelings their photos spark in you. You may be surprised at what you discover!

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Photographic Records Of The World It's Not Always Black And White

May 28th, 2019

Landscape photography, defined as the capturing of an image that depicts an environment or specific area of land, really began at the genesis of photography itself. The first lasting photograph, taken in 1826 by Joseph Niepce, was called “View from the window at Le Gras.” It portrayed exactly what the title would infer; a view of the grounds and rooftops of buildings nearby, as seen out of Niepce’s high window in the Saint-Loup-de-Varennes, a commune in France.

Landscape photography has a rather broad definition and includes a wide array of subjects and style. Some landscape photos will depict a wide tract of land while another may show only a small flower bed. Most do not include any human beings or even the influence of humans for the true naturalist photographer. Landscape photos may be of urban settings or a natural stretch of land. All are pictures of the outdoors, although some may be taken from inside of a structure by focusing through a doorway or window.

However, a quality landscape picture comes from more than just snapping a picture of the scene in front of you. Ansel Adams once said, “Landscape photography is the supreme test of the photographer, and often the supreme disappointment.” It takes a very talented person, someone with a keen eye and sense of lighting and timing effects, to produce the best in landscape pictures. Some photographers seem to have an organic relationship with Mother Nature, which allows them to find just the right angle and the right moment for every single picture. For many, it takes years of training and practice to perfect these photographic skills.

There are three traditional landscape photography styles; representational, abstract, and impressionistic. Representational landscape photography shows the captured scenery in its most unaltered state. In this style, no manipulation is used in either the photographing or the developing and editing of the photograph. The impressionistic style uses lighting and timing modifications to produce an image that infers the landscape rather than fully recreating it. In the abstract style, the photographer uses graphics to enhance or modify the original image.

The first major set of landscape photos were taken by Timothy H. O'Sullivan, a geographical surveyor whose photographs of the western United States, taken in the late 1800s, were taken during two of his most ambitious surveys. These photos included “Harvest of Death,” a picture of the battlefield at Gettysburg littered with the bodies of dead soldiers. His pictures which captured nature in its pre-industrialized state were both beautiful and accurate records of America during the time of the Civil War.

By the end of the 1800s, the naturalism movement was gaining ground as photographers such as Dr. Peter Henry Emerson suggested that the mimicking of paintings in their photo treatments was belittling to the art form of landscape photography. Not too long after, naturalism turned into realism, as demonstrated in the works of Alfred Stieglitz. F64, a group which included well-known landscape photographer Ansel Adams, broke ground in moving away from straight, otherwise known as pictorial, photography.

These days, with the advances in technology, enhancements to photographic equipment, and the availability of image-editing software, the world of landscape photography has evolved far beyond naturalism and realism movements. We have leaped into an era where landscape photo galleries include more than majestic mountains and fields before harvest. We now have landscapes of the Moon and of underwater reefs. We now have landscapes of the dark interiors of the Amazon and of previously uncaptured events of nature like the aurora borealis against backdrops of only recently explored locations of the world.

Digitally captured and graphically enhanced images are the simple beginnings of the wave of the future. The new advances are allowing landscape photographers to provide more than just artistic records of our environment but also an image that reflects and inspires the feel of the scene. More and more artists are taking pictures of the world around them and using them to tell never before heard stories. “The landscape is like being there with a powerful personality, and I'm searching for just the right angles to make that portrait come across as meaningfully as possible,” said Galen Rowell, whose work includes “Sunset over Machu Picchu.”

Black and white landscape photography was once characterized by the production of black and white silver halide images. These days, however, the advancement in technology and the introduction of digital equipment, as well as editing software, has made it so that the photographer can shoot in color and still produce striking and dramatic black and white photos. Despite the ways that black and white landscape photography has changed over the decades, the value of this art form has not diminished.

Black and white photography possess such unique character and qualities that it is as timeless as the images it is used to capture. Early in the 1900s, landscape photography proved to be one of the best ways to document the exploration and surveying of America’s wilderness. Since that time the medium has gained much popularity as an educational tool as well, especially in teaching photography itself as black and white photos best illustrate such concepts as image contrast, highlight, and shadow.

When the topic of black and white landscape photography comes up in conversation, so does the name Ansel Adams. Although the history of black and white landscape photography does not begin or end with him, Adams was a pioneer in his field. His work effectively moved landscape photography from the record rooms to the art galleries. However, he is not, by far, the only great landscape photographer in history. There have been, are, and will be many great photographic artists producing previously unprecedented glories in black and white landscape pictures.

Before Ansel Adams was even born, photographers Eadweard Muybridge and Carleton Watkins were encapsulating the wilds of the west including Yosemite Valley and the Pacific Coast. Muybridge’s photos still appear on postcards, in books and on websites that wish to conjure nostalgia for the early pre-settled days of North America. As time moved on, in the mid-1800s, Charles Fontayne and William S. Porter began to display extraordinary talent in capturing Cincinnati’s waterfront using panoramic Daguerreotypes.

Soon after that, the Kodak camera became available, and snapshot photography became more and more popular. Artists who felt pressured to compete with the family album-making began to develop new styles and techniques in their work such as Pictorialism, a labor-intensive process which created extremely impressionistic images which were blurry by artistic intention. Even some landscape photographers, while touring the states in Studebakers, gave in to the juvenile and whimsical form of picture-taking and shot the scenery of America’s roadways through the view of their car windshields or mirrors.

With the arrival of Modernism, photographers like the brilliant Edward Weston began using depths of field that were akin to abstract paintings. In the later 1990s, the world was graced with the great talents of Galen Rowell, Philip Hyde, and Eliot Porter, most none of whom shoot exclusively black and white landscapes. Presently, there are hundreds of photographers learning and growing their craft of black and white landscape photography. The internet is littered with photos of beaches and hillsides, sunrises and thunderstorms from all across the globe. Some of it is good; some of it is magnificent. Looking forward, black and white landscape photography will continue to play its role in the fine arts as well as in documenting the ever-changing, and yet ever-majestic scenery of planet Earth.

Landscape photography over the decades has provided the world of fine art with some of the most iconic, stunning, and brilliant images known to mankind. Millions of pictures have been taken by photographers across the globe. Many of them are spectacular and unique. However, there is a small percentage that stands out among the rest, not only for the skill and artistry of the photographer but also for the impact that the image made on the world. There are a select few photographs which in some way have influenced events and people throughout history in prolific ways. Below is a small list of the most influential photographs in the history of landscape photography.

View from the window at Le Gras, 1826
When Joseph Niepce created the first photograph, it was itself a landscape of sorts. While fuzzy, due to the 8 hour long exposure time needed to create the image, it obviously depicts the skyline of the city and the rooftops of the buildings nearby. It holds a place at the top of this list for its groundbreaking existence mostly. This was the genesis of photography as a means of record and as an art form.

Oceana, 1936
Edward Weston has always been known as a great landscape photographer on the whole but was never given notoriety for any individual piece until recently. His photo of the sandy dunes, Oceana, was not a ground-breaking photo until computers came on the scene, image and graphics software in particular, and this photo became a household staple. It is the base photo for hundreds of screensavers, wallpapers and memes on the internet. It has been digitally edited and enhanced in numerous different ways and has served as an inspiration to thousands of digital and graphic artists.

Tetons and the Snake River, 1942
Ansel Adams is known for his intense, black, and white images of the planet's landscapes. While his repertoire of amazing nature-embracing pictures is filled with masterpieces, this photo of his, once dubbed “the photograph that saved the planet,” is a perfect example of the lasting impact a picture can make on history. The picture helped to fuel a global movement for the protection and preservation of Earth’s environment, which sparked the formation of organizations and events still thriving today. Adams’ work inspired a new way of viewing our planet and how we treat it. He used this and several others of his photos to raise environmental consciousness around the world.

Earthrise, 1968
This photograph, although taken by astronaut William “Bill” Anders, of the Apollo 8 space mission, rather than by a professional photographer, heavily impacted the perspective human beings previously had of the Earth within the universe. This photo gave us a view of Earth as had never been seen before. It was like the language of the cosmos was translated through this extraordinary image. It also gave rise to a new variation on traditional landscape photography. Images of what lies beyond the skies began to emerge, and space was no longer a distant frontier for the photographer who could get their hands on a telescopic lens.

Photography, like everything else in the arts, continues to grow and change as new techniques and technologies are developed. However, the story wordlessly expressed through a single photograph is one that makes a lasting impression. It is one that makes a lasting impression on your soul. This list reflects the evolutionary journey of excellent landscape photography up to present times. The artistic endeavors of photographers, as well as the scientific advances and breakthroughs yet to come, all promise a gleamingly bright future for the spectacular photographic capturing of our amazing and awe-inspiring world.

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Hiding The Assets

May 28th, 2019

For as long as humanity has existed, so too the need for creative self-expression through art. As long as there have been people expressing themselves, there have been others who would suppress that free expression. This is censorship in its simplest form; the suppression of any form of expression that is considered objectionable, politically incorrect or harmful as determined by institutions apart from those sponsoring the form of expression. Censorship is usually applied to anything that is deemed to promote or represent conflict, injustice, or anything lacking in morals or decency. Artists are often the first to be targeted by censorship and especially when in situations where the topic of nudity is presented in the question. In regions where politics and propaganda rule, artists present a dangerous unknown. So-called “harmful to minors” standards are applied to shield children from material such as commercial porn. As there is no established legal definition of pornography, it is very hard to draw a line between the two. A working definition could be that the sole purpose of pornography is to create sexual arousal and that art has many layers.

Anthony Comstock 1844-1915 was the pioneer of modern American censorship. Starting with an 1868 police supported raid on a bookstore in New York, in a futile attempt to eradicate. The federal anti-obscenity law of 1873, in part inspired by Comstock, banned items "for the prevention of conception." As a special "postal inspector," he abused his powers considerably by raiding the Arts Student League in New York in 1906. He once cautioned that "obscene, lewd and indecent" photos are "commonly, but mistakenly called art." Dwight D. Eisenhower said, “Don't join the book burners. Don't think you're going to conceal faults by concealing evidence that they ever existed.”

Censorship of nudity in art
The history of the nude in art, traditionally starting in the classical period 6th - 5th century BC should be pushed back to around 30-25,000 BC. Indian temple art, some dating from at least the 1st century BC, often depicts voluptuous female nudes. There are two typical qualifiers for that. One is that historically, the nude is mainly a phenomenon of Western art. The other is that from very early on, the nude male and the nude female are treated quite differently and have different roles to play. When Christianity began to take solid root, the portrayal of nudes diminished. For centuries, the only nudes permissible were religious art. Art is capable of provoking debate, unrest, and protest. Art seems set to continue to attract the attention of those who would prefer it to be silenced.

Most nude art, before the 1800s, consisted of male depictions or, often time, modified male subjects to represent females. In today’s society, however, nudity seems more often as wanting to obscure the fine line between art and erotica. Nude depictions have often been used in symbolic ways, as an extended metaphor for a complex and multifaceted concept. Tales and stories from mythology once depicted naked gods in different paintings, such as the scene where Leucippus daughter is abducted by Castor and Pollux. Many art studies were rendered before creating a final project using the nude physique as a template. Studies tracing as far back as Italian Renaissance are used by artists to understand the problems involved in the execution of the artist's subjects and the disposition of the elements of the artist work, such as the human body depicted using light, color, form, perspective, and composition.

Four years ago, a French schoolteacher tried to post a picture of L’Origine du Monde by Gustave Courbet. Facebook’s moderators nixed it, and the teacher sued Facebook in court over its choice to take “L’Origine” down. The case has big implications for American social media companies and their moderation policies. The site also, at one time, suspended New York art critic Jerry Saltz over the “offensiveness” of a few medieval paintings. Previously, Facebook has censored work from institutions as diverse as the New York Academy of Art and the Centre Pompidou. Richard Corliss said, "Every artist undresses his subject, whether human or still life. It is his business to find essences in surfaces, and what more attractive and challenging surface than the skin around a soul?"

Censorship of nudity in literature
In response to the writing of philosophers and religious theorists, such as Martin Luther, in 1559 the Roman Catholic Church issued the Index Librorum Prohibitorum. This list contained the titles of books which were to be banned for their ideological content. The index issued 20 times throughout the past centuries with is most recent release in 1966. Censorship played a huge role in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries as well with the banning of “inappropriate” books by librarians, as well as teachers, to supposedly protect the innocence of children. William O. Douglas said, “Literature should not be suppressed merely because it offends the moral code of the censor.”

Censorship in literature has a long history beyond Comstock’s reach as well. A sex education book, meant to teach children 10 and older about emotional health and relationships, sexual health and pregnancy for children, titled It's Perfectly Normal, was one of the books banned over the past two decades. It contains some areas which regard puberty and sexual orientation as well as color pictures of naked people, by illustrator Michael Emberley. In 1981, at Gastonia, North Carolina, The Living Bible was banned as well. Other books banned for nudity, either in the books illustrations or discussed in the content of the book, include My Mom's Having A Baby! A Kid's Month-by-Month Guide to Pregnancy by Dori Hillestad Butler, Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, What My Mother Doesn't Know by Sonya Sones, The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky and In the Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak to name only a handful.

Censorship of nudity in media and entertainment
The entertainment industry has long suffered censorship, even nudity despite being a predominately auditory art form. As a society, we have always singled out people, whether due to their race, sexual orientation, or political views. This is no different in the film. Within the golden age, Mae West 1893-1980 was seen as a victim of censorship. Her sexual past made her a target and a risk to the Hay's Office; making her 'golden age' turbulent. The film and television industry has a built-in form of censorship through their rating system, said to have been created to protect the innocent and immature. In 1922, out of fear that government regulations were soon to come, the Motion Pictures Producers and Distributors Association, an industry lobby, and trade organization, headed by Will H. Hays, who thwarted the first attempts of the federal government to impose censorship on the film industry.

Häxan was the first film to be banned in the United States with nudity as a part of the grounds for the ban. Several films have been, and even in our liberated times, continue to be banned around the world. Another film banned in the United States was Promises! Promises! in 1963. Since then, due in part to the implementation of the film rating system, although films have been banned in the states, nudity has not been one of the themes regarded in the decision. Although some directors and film industry professionals would argue that the rating system itself is an unjust form of censorship, others support the system fully and believe that its existence actually allows them more freedom in their work.

Video games have also seen the rugged edge of the censorship cutting tools. In Kuwait, The Order: 1886 is banned. In Saudi Arabia, God of War, Heavy Rain, and L.A. Noire are just a couple of the video game titles on the banned list. In the United Arab Emirates, a branch of the government, called the National Media Council (NMC), controls the media and entertainment industry and has banned dozens of games, including Dead Rising 2, Godfather II, Mafia II, Red Dead Redemption, Catherine, and Heavy Rain. Most recently, in video games, the award-winning Papers, Please, border agent simulator game, is making some changes before its release. According to Lucas Pope, via Twitter, the nudity in the game had to be removed because Apple deemed it “pornographic content.”

Album covers and music videos alike have been the cutting ground for censorship. The original nude cover of Yoko Ono and John Lennon's album Two Virgins provoked an outrage. The artwork of Cannibal Corpse, a death-metal band, has been censored at some point, due to graphic imagery and occasional nudity. While German heavy metal band Scorpions' album, Virgin Killer’s, the artwork had to be changed altogether. The original cover showed a nude prepubescent girl. My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy's, Kanye West's album, featured original cover artwork of a man having sex with a phoenix (both nude). Two alternative versions were made for album distribution. The first showed a ballerina holding a glass of wine. The second, the cover that appears on iTunes, shows a pixelated version of the original artwork. The sheer number of music videos which have an “uncensored version” is a demonstration of the rampant plague of censorship in the industry including, recently, Robin Thicke’s Blurred Lines.

Global censorship of nudity
The Old Testament of the Bible states that the Hebrews burned the prophecy of Jeremiah. Confucius's writings were incinerated after a change of dynasty made them politically incorrect. 399 B.C. Socrates was charged with controversial teaching methods corrupting the youth of Athens with his words and drawing them away from the Greek religion. Socrates was sentenced to death for his actions. He was forced to drink a liquid poison. Even to this day, the "guardianship over the innocence of youth" theme is repeatedly upheld by censorship advocates. During the time of the ancient Roman Empire, censorship became an increasingly official duty. It was in Rome that “censor” was first inscribed. The title of censor was given to a Roman government public official.

The 17th and 18th centuries, commonly called the "Age of Enlightenment," in Europe, freedom of expression became the hallmark of the period, and it brought about a loosening in the laws, to some extent. Sweden was the first country to officially abolish censorship in 1766. In 1790, the first amendment to the United States Constitution, guaranteed freedom of speech and the press considering it two of humanity’s most precious rights. Established in 1922, the central censorship office, known for short as Glavlit, had absolute authority to subject the performing arts and all print media to preventive censorship and to suppress political dissidence by shutting down "hostile" newspapers. Libraries were too often the target of heretical attacks like the complete destruction of the University of Oxford library in 1683 and the destruction of Albanian-language collections in Kosovo libraries throughout the 1990s. By the nineteenth century, the first wave of state-sponsored censorship had largely ended in Europe, and had never been firmly established in the United States, public concern for morality and safeguards against offensive literature continued.

Russia has a long history of strict censorship. There was one short-lived period of tolerance and intellectual freedom, under the reign of Alexander II. From 1917 to the end of the 1980s, Russia was governed under a strict censorship rule. Under the Nazi regime, Germany also experienced a period of strict censorship. All media, public events, and even private communication were censored by the government, mostly by Joseph Goebbels, the Minister of Propaganda. While leading a massive book burning in 1933, Goebbels tragically declared, “From these ashes will rise the phoenix of the new spirit.”

Cultural censorship of nudity
Many cultures throughout history have taken as many different views on nudity. In many countries, public nudity is outright forbidden. The Adamites, a Christian sect that practiced holy nudity, date back to the 2nd century AD and is now banned in many places around the world. While in other ancient cultures, such as ancient Greece, nudity was a regular affair throughout the day. Even the first Olympic Games were included events performed in the nude. It wasn’t until their revival in the 1800s that clothing was required. It is believed that the gymnosophists, ancient Indian aesthetics who regularly practiced nudism, were of great influence over the Greeks. A Hindu sect of India, called the Sakas, was also known to practice rituals, prayers, and ceremonies in the buff. However, in ancient China, nudity was generally viewed as a matter of class standing. Nudity was acceptable among the lower classes, but among the higher classes, nudity was considered wicked and the household servants, who were often partially nude, were considered to be subhuman.

History is replete with accounts of Western culture stretching its reach right to the core of native tribes; essentially forcing our modern day hang-ups regarding nudity and sexuality on these tribes of people and their cultures. By being told repeatedly that the Western definition of decency was the standard by which humans ought to be measured, most natives would succumb to our influences and traditions such as wearing clothing. As of 1988, a primitive and naked tribe, the Yanomamis still populated the area of Roraima in Brazil. However, they are in danger of extinction because the government has discovered gold and diamonds on their land. The Yanomami are the largest known isolated tribe on Earth. The Tupari tribe of the Rio Branco, are another example of anti-clothing aborigines. Tibor Sekelj wrote: "It is no wonder that the Tupari never created any kind of clothing, for the weather is always warm. Their natural nudity fits perfectly into the framework of their surroundings and, except for ceremony or decoration, they never think of covering themselves."

General notes on censorship of nudity
A familiar example censorship these days is the use of pixelization can be found in television news and documentary productions, in which vehicle license plates and faces of suspects at crime scenes are routinely obscured to maintain the presumption of innocence, as in the television series COPS. Bystanders and others who do not sign release forms are also customarily pixelated. Footage of nudity (including genitals, buttocks, and nipples) is likewise obscured in some media.

Censorship opens up much broader questions about the role of art as truth as well as the implications of constrained expression. Tate director, Nicholas Serota, at a May conference on censorship, stated: “We can probably all agree on many of the principles that we seek to uphold. What’s actually much more difficult is to recognize that there are no easy paths, that there are no guarantees by which, and through which, we can preserve this hard fought for the right for the freedom of free expression.”

For as long as there has been censorship, there have been those who fight against. As Albert Einstein once mentioned, "Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds." In 1973, the National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) was formed, in part, as a response to the Supreme Court decision in the Miller v. California case. Other civil rights organizations, such as Amnesty International, have joined in the mission of fighting censorship as well. Several more have formed recently with a specific interest in protecting the internet from censorship. The debate over whether or not the internet needs censorship has become an ongoing and passionate one, from both sides of the argument. Shelley Winters, in two wonderful sentences, eloquently illustrates the human dichotomy of the censorship argument. She said, "I think on-stage nudity is disgusting, shameful and damaging to all things American. But if I were 22 with a great body, it would be an artistic, tasteful, patriotic, and progressive religious experience.”

Recent news regarding censorship of nudity
Today censorship, especially the censoring of nudity, is an appealing topic of discussion for the people as well as for the media, including social media specifically. As mentioned before, Facebook, in particular, has an extensive, albeit short, history of censoring nudity of all varieties, especially in photos. The strange world of Facebook's image and the post-approval system was opened up recently through an information leak. It proves that the purportedly arbitrary nature of picture and post-approval actually has a "meticulous—if faintly gore-friendly and nipple-unfriendly—approach." In 2013, people from the ACLU discovered that Facebook’s ‘chest-recognition detectors’ are fully operational. One of their recent posts, about a bronze statue of a nude woman taking a picture of herself with her breasts exposed, was morally unfit for Facebook. Also recently, Facebook took down a Liverpool mother’s photo for violating the site’s nudity policy.

Despite the resilient efforts to control internet content, there is a new content concern born every day. The “new parenting craze” on social media networks is posting breastfeeding selfies. The internet, because it is not singularly controlled, is an open forum for discussions and images of all kinds. The further we, as a species, advance in technology, the more of these types of concerns will appear. The solution is communication and empathy. Hillary Clinton said, “Both the American people and nations that censor the internet should understand that our government is committed to helping promote internet freedom.”

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How Figure Study Has Evolved Over The Years

May 28th, 2019

Figure study is an act of drawing the human body in a certain medium, whether it be drawn or painted. Most of the time, figure study is practiced with the subject, or model, without clothing; however, it is not limited to just nudity considering artist have practiced figure study fully dressed. The human body has been the subject of many different types of artwork over the years in all mediums all over the world; commonly referred to as figure study. Dating back to prehistoric times, figure study is considered by many to be the best way to learn to draw in terms of anatomy, overall accuracy, and help the drawings have depth instead of seeming flat and not rounded and curved like a real human. The body has many curves and lines that make light reflect and bounce in specific contours that are unique to the model. This can be rather difficult to replicate in drawings and paintings. Live models tend to be the norm when it comes to the preferred reference, but exceptions such as statues are used as substitutes when models are unavailable. There isn’t a wrong way to approach figure study. However, most approach it straight forward and draw what they see in front of them, while others draw a skeleton of sorts, followed by the muscular system, and then finally the skin and such. Others have been known to approach it differently and use geometric shapes in place that help to build onto the figure from there. Other than drawings, figure study has evolved from paper to other mediums.

Paintings were among the most popular and first fine arts to begin practicing figure study. Like with drawings, painting has been around since prehistoric times, though very rough at first and not as well constructed as the figure art in modern time. Egyptians were among some of the first that truly began to add detail to the figure studies. Along with Egyptians, the Ancient Greeks and their depiction of gods and goddesses, and many Asian territories that depicted Asian calligraphy and historical figures on scrolls, which showed how the foundation of figure study was evolving over different periods and cultures. However, because of how long ago these pieces of art were made, a lot of the early figure studies never had a chance to be preserved for safekeeping, and as a result, a lot of early Pre-Renaissance artwork has been destroyed or lost. During the middle ages, figure studies continued, however nude figures were taken out of the pieces. Around the middle ages is when the Christian religion was practiced in huge numbers around the world, and the idea of celibacy came into effect greatly among many people practicing the faith, and the concept of human figures depicted in the nude was shunned upon. One of the only exceptions of this rule at the time was the works that depicted Eve in the garden of Eden, Mary Magdalene, and paintings that depicted the Virgin Mary, or the Nursing Madonna. It is unclear as to why this was decided originally, but it is believed that the idea behind leaving certain biblical figures nude is because of the representation of the certain individual being defenseless in the scenarios surrounding the character.

It is believed that the Renaissance era was when the figure study became organized and perfected with realism. When nude art became acceptable again in a sense, the depiction of a woman was very different than it previously was with Hugo van der Goes paintings of women. Early paintings depicted models as very masculine and fit in a sense. However, Goers' figures were presented as to how figures are in reality. Figure study over the years eventually revealed how our bodies really are and how every curve and contour we possess is not depicted as the perfect figures before. Other than Leonardo de Vinci and Michelangelo in Italy, most do not know that Rogier van der Weyden from the early Netherlands and Matthias Grünewald from Germany where practicing figure study as well. Both Weyden and Grünewald's work consisted of mostly religious iconography involving the Crucifixion of Christ. It appears that during the Renaissance era, most if not all followed de Vinci's rule when it comes to the basic form of figure study and the proportions of the human body. As time went on, most did not seem to stray away from de Vinci's template. However, artists began to work more with lighting. Paintings down the line seemed to get more and more details because painters began working around different lighting and observed the way the shading and shadows worked on a human body.

It is said that paintings depicting females were painted using males as the models and simply give the model feminine features after. A drawing by Michelangelo called the "Study of a Kneeling Nude Girl for The Entombment" proves this because of her flat chest and boyish figure. Regardless of the model used, this drawing is considered by many to be the first nude female figure study. It is written that this practice of male models lasted many years, but fellow Renaissance painter Raphael Sanzio da Urbino is the first painter to use actual female models for his paintings. In the 1600s, painters began using female models for females depicted in paintings. Even though the practice of depicting figures accurately in paintings was becoming more frequent, many artists still preferred to portray their figures as fit and idealistic. Artists soon began merging the two together; by not exaggerating the perfect curves as much and leaving the natural contours and such that were present on the live models. As far as how the models posed and were presented, all were shown posing in specific ways and at very specific places. In the 1800s French painter, Édouard Manet began experimenting with the idea of depicting models not only how they naturally appeared but models appearing in everyday situations. One of his paintings, known as the "The Luncheon on the Grass," caused a lot of uproar among the public. The painting depicted two females and two males; both men are seen seated as one of the females is shown bathing in the back and the other seated nude between the two males. Many artists took a liking to Manet's ideas, and soon after, paintings depicting females in casuals situations became the norm. Around the time the invention of the camera appeared pioneering artists shifted focus from canvas paintings to camera work. Painting Figure study is in no way dead. However, it just isn't as popular considering the advancements in modern times. The figure study now is very different, though. Most simply it exaggerates the models into their own style in favor of realism. Even though realism figure study isn't as popular, all fine art classes still encourage students to practice and learn realistic figure study and build up their knowledge of the practice and convert their learning into their own style.

Other than painting and drawing, the sculpting of the human figure was another practice that dates back to the Egyptians and the Greeks. Many artists desired other methods to study under and began sculpting figures in many types of stones, woods, and in more modern times, welding of metals. When it comes to figure study in sculpture form, Greek gods and goddesses are among the most popular. In ancient Greek paintings, it shows how they had a basic understanding when it comes to the human body. Considering how long ago the art was created, it is unaware if these sculptures came from a live model or not. Over the years, the materials to create these figures have changed as well. Many tools were originally types of metals, bronze, and even different types of bones. Tools soon began to evolve as metal forging became more perfected. At the time, many of the figure studies that were stature were for beliefs. Egyptians and Greek made these pieces of art to honor their respective gods, rather than for self-expression and such. One major observation a person can make about these two types of art pieces; in the early days of figure study in sculptures, the models were depicted as extremely fit and on the strong side. It is believed that many people saw these traits as the popular figure that both males and females alike preferred and saw attraction in. It is unclear as to how these figure portrayals became the preferred by many people, but it is believed that many people who were not of royalty in those times were workers, which cause them to build muscle over time. People say that having muscle clearly meant you were stronger in terms of being able to lift heavy objects. As a result, sculptors began figure study around workers body's to apply the strong figure on their gods.

Another very popular method of figure study is photography. Ever since the first camera, photographers have been taking photos of people. However, in the late 1800s, many people declined to agree that photography was a fine art until much later. At the time figure study, or nude study was very different; which often featured women over men models. Early photographers such as Gaudenzio Marconi and Jean Louis Marie Eugène Durieu often took monochrome photos of models posing in particular ways that appeared inspirited by the many poses of Greek mythology. Considering figure study with photography featured real models over figure study drawings that just featured sketches of the models, the nude study was controversial. Many photographers at the time got around the issues by stating that their portfolios consisted of figure study references for drawings and paintings. Many did, for a fact, use them as such, while others used the excuse as a way to continue their choice of fine art. Over time, many people would criticize nude study and say it was simply for sensual purposes and nothing more. It is true that some may indeed be, however not all are meant to be. Some artists make artistic nude pieces without the intent to arouse or to be erotic. Many artistic nude photographers seem to intend the satire, surreal, or expression of oneself present to be the main idea or thought behind the piece. Similar to how objects from a certain shape and people look at it in abstract ways, nude photographers express this by appreciating the shapes and forms that a model can make and pose in.

In the early 1900s, the nude study began to gain respect with the help of Rudolf Koppitz and Alfred Stieglitz, who dedicated their lives to help photography become accepted by the public as a fine art form. Photographers began to move away from the classical Greek mythology look and began to experiment with more stylized looks that emphasized on abstract expressions and natural, or real-life appearances using reflective distortions and many other printing techniques. Aside from that, the use of male models became more frequent as well. Using both males and females as models began to help drive the point across that photographers attempted to express idealism and the act of becoming comfortable with oneself with the stylized photos they took. Other than including models of both genders, the art form grew as photographers began stylizing not only on the models but also the backgrounds. Models began appearing photographed in front of huge landscapes and other locations in nature that gave interesting lighting effects and helped bring out the contours in the model's curves. The backgrounds also helped set up any types of tones or moods that helped the photographers vision in the art piece. Alfred Stieglitz began displaying his nude study photography in his galleries in the early 1900s, causing many art critics to gain interested and infatuated with the new art form for figure study. An interesting fact about Stieglitz is his view of photography in that he tried looking inside of a person, rather than simply photographing the person, and captured on camera the inner and purest form and beauty of a model to push forward the life we have. Another interesting photographer was female photographer Imogen Cunningham, who is one of the most important figures in nude photography as she is the first woman to take a fully nude photo of a male, as well as being featured in the first full-frontal adult nude photo to be published in Life Time magazine alongside model Twinka Thiebaud in 1976. Regardless of this, Imogen main style of photography was taking sharp focused photos of objects with a group of photographers named Group f/64, which takes its namesake after the camera aperture used for this style of photography. As photography began becoming even more respected, other photographers began experimenting with many other types of techniques to make unique and distinct styles to call their own.

A visual artist named Emmanuel Radnitzky, who went by the name “Ray Man,” was one of the artists who inspired many with his “Rayographs” style. Ray Man began taking photos on strips of film that had their tones partially flipped or on negative sheets of film; which gave the models a slight glow and at times a surreal look. This process is known as Solarisation in modern time, and many people practice this effect today in the digital era by simply desaturating photos and inverting it afterward. Many surreal artists from that time soon took a liking to him because of the odd effect the process presented and many photographers such as Maurice Tabard, who would overlay multiple photos that were solarised and would create haunting surreal photos. Raoul Ubac, who would photograph groups of models in odd and pliant poses, as well as single models glancing unnervingly, on negative film strips. It’s regularly debated if these styles of photography are considered figure study since these styles seem to focus more on the odd surreal looks over actually trying to capture the simple shadings and contours of a model. However, considering the models appear nude in the photos, there still appears to be an appreciation on figure study.

Many photographers at the time seemed to use medium formatted cameras, however photographer Edward Weston soon began figure studying with different cameras. Weston used a 4x5, and later on 8x10, which could capture movements at a quick or rapid speed, using model Helen Charis Wilson over a large span of his career. In 1937, Weston established photography as a fine art by becoming the first photographer in history to win a Guggenheim Fellowships award.

Just like when the camera came out, the video camera was an opening for new opportunists, and a new medium as well. Many artistic films that featured nude study began to emerge. Film manipulation was treated similarly, the way camera film was, which included recording entire movies on negatives and splicing together layers of film to create certain effects. As technology advance more and more, figure study in the film became very simple considering the film was replaced by digital. Like with photography, many people were unaware at the time what is considered adult filming, and what was considered art. Some figure study in the film can have sexuality present, but like with photography; if the sensation isn't meant as the main idea or thought behind the piece, then it is not categorized as an adult film. Another way figure study in motion has been depicted was in performing arts. Again, much like photography; people have challenged the theory that performance arts are not really an art form. Most performance arts are acts that express feelings and ideas in sometimes surreal and in odd mannerisms. With film figure study, the viewer is really limited with their learning abilities in terms of studying the models; however, in performance pieces, they are usually performed in front of crowds of people, and the views can witness the figure study first hand directly in front of them. Many performance acts are pieces of very strange and odd mannerisms for that exact reason; so the viewer can see how the model can actually move and what the human body is capable of.

Today in modern times, many of the practices and styles from over the years do indeed shine through in all photographers. Modern artists like early photographers have models lit in a way that really shows off the contours and curves of the human body, as well as some abstract poses and lighting. Considering how much work and study goes into figure photography, there is no denying that how true it is that you don’t take a photograph, you make it.

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What Makes Good Art?

May 28th, 2019

That seems to be rather a simple question, yet everyone that actually got around to answering it would give a different response. Some responses would be long and complex, while others would almost certainly be shorter and really simple. In that respect, it would be similar to the wide variety of art that viewers could look at while they are deciding what is good, and what is bad.

It is possible that every single viewer could have a completely unique take on what they feel is good art. With art at it's best attempting to get emotional responses from people, judgments about good art based on feelings instead of logic or reason could be regarded as holding greater levels of validity.

It is undoubtedly easier to agree on a definition of what makes good art than it would be to draw up a complete consensus on what precisely happens to be good art. Furthermore, if art is not good art, then it could be bad or great art instead. An objective agreement can be achieved in defining what art is, yet defining what constitutes good art ends up whether intentionally or not, far more subjective. It becomes subjective as pieces of art mean different things for different people, what people feel about art in that respect is just as important as the meaning the artist put into their pieces of artwork. A viewer that adores or loves a piece of art believes that it is good art as it got a positive response from them as soon as they saw it. Conversely, one might see a painting or sculpture that they do not like yet still appreciate it so they would not describe it as bad art just because they did not like it.

Besides meaning, artists can attempt to put experiences into what they produce. Their art is based on their knowledge, and they want whoever looks at their work to share or at the very least, understand such experiences. Those experiences may have been good, or they have been bad, yet they were possibly turning points, and the more extreme those experiences were, the more extreme the resulting piece of art could have been. Grief, heartbreak, love, and loss can all be regarded as such personal turning points, and thus from time to time have a powerful impact on the work produced by artists. Such profound events could alter an artist's style may be for just one piece of work, or for everything they do until they retire. Expressing and sharing experiences makes art more meaningful for the artist, and providing the viewer to tap into the shared experiences, which is potentially more rewarding for the viewer.

It makes the viewer have an insight into what the artist felt and believed at the time they produced their artwork. Perhaps if the viewer had the same artistic skills and had similar experiences to the artists, they may also have produced similar pieces of art. A viewer that understands where the artist was coming from is far more likely to appreciate the completed works, and consider them to be good art, or maybe perhaps great art. If you feel that you would take it home and hang it in your living room, providing that money was no object, of course, then it is a good piece of art. If you could constantly stare at it and notice something new about it every time that you did so.

The consensus is hard to arrive at about how people react to art. For example, the majority of people discussing art would agree that Constable, Da Vinci, Monet, Picasso, Van Gogh, and Turner produced pieces of art (these names were picked at random, and you could come up with plenty of alternative names). Yet it is less likely that these same people would agree that all these artists had produced good artwork. It would be surprising if people actually liked all the art created by all of those artists. A viewer would have to have really diverse tastes. Although at best they could admire what those artists had all achieved as individuals. Their combined works certainly portrayed a whole host of different objects and events, ranging from hay wains, the Mona Lisa, the bombing of Guernica, sunflowers, through to the earliest models of steamships. So viewers that liked all those objects to be painted certainly have broad tastes.

Now people might like the paintings and other pieces of art made by such artists, but the better-known pieces you have to settle for having a reproduction at home. For some of them, prints are relatively easy to come by. Yet owning the real thing is really unlikely to happen. Still, there is no harm in hoping for a huge lottery win to change everything forever, and possibly turn you into an art patron for contemporary artists, the ones that succeed in capturing your imagination with their work.

Some art collectors are more interested in owning art as an investment and are more interested in making a profit from it instead of buying a painting they like enough to describe it as being good. Such collectors can completely miss the artistic merits, and artistic value of contemporary artists while they are searching for the long lost work of a dead master to sell on for a large profit. It is not particularly fair for contemporary artists that their best works fetch less money than a lesser-known work by Constable, Monet, or yet another It would be no consolation for Damian Hirst for example that his art will be worth far more money after he is dead. His art has certainly caused debate, with viewers divided between those that hate it and those that love it. To generate such an amount of discussion, he has to be doing something right if you are part of his fan club, or something wrong if you are part of the detracting club. Love him, or hate him, any viewer that takes their art seriously cannot ignore him.

Some artists have been lucky in that critics, and art buyers plus members of the public have accepted their worth as artists during their own lifetime. Some artists have been considered producers of great art and not just good art while they were still alive. Thus able to enjoy the fame and fortune that came their way. That is a fortunate position to have been in, and most artists do not quite make it that far. It is more likely that artists have sometimes produced work to make their living instead of creating what they themselves considered to be good art. Still, that does not mean that the art made under such situations is bad, as artists should have enough professional pride to maintain the quality of their work. It just might show that they did not put all of their heart and soul into making it. Anybody that is doing a job that they do not enjoy only to pay the bills can relate to that feeling though. You are just doing enough to get the job done. However, for all, we know that could have been Da Vinci's frame of mind when he did the Mona Lisa. Perhaps if he had painted her with a big grin on her face, viewers would not have rated the painting so highly for the last five hundred years.

Artists such as Da Vinci and Picasso certainly achieved accolade for being great artists when they were alive, even though people may not have fully understood their works. The ideas of Da Vinci were really advanced at that time, while Picasso liked to be abstract in terms of what he painted. They certainly followed the golden rule that defines good art, they made people stop and stare at their artwork. Da Vinci was responsible for producing perhaps the most well-known painting of all, the Mona Lisa. It is a piece of art that has been discussed ever since it was first seen in public. The constant fear that the Mona Lisa could be stolen means that it is surrounded by so much security that the viewer may find it difficult to see it clearly. It is not the biggest painting ever produced, maybe Da Vinci would have argued that it was small but perfectly performed.

Unfortunately, poor Vincent Van Gogh did not achieve that golden rule until after his death, as nobody stopped long enough to stare at his pictures of what they considered to be mundane objects like chairs and sunflowers to appreciate their artistic traits and excellent techniques. When it came to Van Gogh while he was alive, people only discussed his sanity (the implication being that if he had any, he would have painted something else), and never considered the merits or otherwise of his paintings. The point here is that some artists have redefined what art means, yet may not have actually benefited from the changes they helped to bring about themselves. The subjects he painted may have been mundane, yet how he painted chairs and sunflowers was revolutionary in terms of style and technique. The problem was that by the time that critics and viewers had noticed his artistic merit and the artistic value he had given up hope of ever selling a painting that he already killed himself.

At it's a most basic level of art. It is meant to depict something, sometimes meaningful, sometimes not. Now some works of art can be considered technically brilliant by art critics yet cannot realistically be described as good art as they fail to make people stop and talk about what that particular piece is showing them. Now sometimes artists want their work to make profound statements while at other times they are simply completing a commissioned piece of work. In those instances, they are producing exactly what the patron has paid them to create. The artists are only seeking the appreciation of their patron. Commissioned pieces of art may be seen by the public if the patrons decide that they wish to have it displayed at a gallery or an exhibition.

Privately commissioned art tends to be something that the patron wants to be made, sometimes for public display, but more often than not for private viewing and appreciation. Yet sometimes the best way for artists to gain lucrative private commissions is to have previously produced work that has generated media or public controversy and debate over what exactly is art, good or bad. Media coverage is bringing attention to particular pieces of art, which in turn makes people want to view it sooner rather than later. Present day artists have a tendency to produce controversial work once they have entered competitions to enhance their chances of winning the top prizes. The galleries and organizations which run the contests consider the amount of publicity they gain if they award prizes to the most shocking entries. Publicity attracts visitors, and the media can obligingly tempt viewers to go along and find out what all the fuss is about. Everyone is a winner, the gallery has more visitors, the artists have a greater interest in their work, and the viewers get to discover new art they may love, or they may detest. Yet if viewers are discussing the art, they are evaluating it in greater detail, and something completely different will eventually start to grow on them. Good art can be a slow burner instead of something you instantly love, but every time it is viewed, you get a different experience.

Controversy equates to publicity, so institutions like the Tate Modern are not averse to artists entering their genre redefining designs to win the contests. All the parties concerned get extra amounts of publicity, and the gallery or museum gets more visitors to look at the objects which cause the controversy. People may disagree about whether or not a cow sewed in half, or an unmade bed is an art, yet it gained the respective artist's publicity and were widely debated. In any case, producing controversial work can be defined as good art because discussion extends the boundaries of all our understandings. If something has changed our belief that in the majority of cases has to be a good thing and thus be good art.

Besides, all forms of art were new at some stage, different things have to be attempted. Some art may not be to our personal tastes, yet that does not mean it is without any kind of merit or artistic value. Definitions of creative expression are just as likely to change from one generation to the next, just like other aspects of culture, and society. Art is subject to the evolving trends and fashions, yet not all artists and viewers want to be fashionable. Instead, the artist wants to produce art that they like to create, and the viewer would prefer to view art in the style and genre which they consider to be the best, and allows them to admire good technique rather than bad art.

Now, most artists regarded themselves as being free agents, and therefore they were free to produce art which they wanted to show. Furthermore, they could depict anything that was related to any object, or subject of their choice. This is mostly true, although art can be subject to censorship, and in dictatorships artists that did not adhere to what the regime wanted were banned, imprisoned, and in extreme cases killed. In Western societies with lower levels of censorship, artists have more opportunities to produce work that will maximize their levels of artistic merit and value. Less censorship means that patrons and viewers are more likely to get what they consider to be good art.

Assuming that artists were able to evade censorship or lived in a country which had more relaxed rules, then they could produce work that expressed their feelings and demonstrated their merits as an artist. Artists have formally belonged to or felt strongly attached to specific art movements. Influential art movements have included modernist, post-modernist, and impressionist, just to name a few. Even if an artist identified himself, or herself has been part of an artistic movement, that sense of belonging that did not completely dictate how exactly pieces of art should be painted, or sculpted. After all in it's truest form, art should encourage individualism both from the artists and from the viewers who are free to decide what they like and dislike in terms of art.

While Monet and Munch are both linked to impressionist, their works notably differed from each other as well as from other impressionist artists. Styles can differ from one artist to another, yet they can still be seen to produce work, which held things in common. A piece of good art can show that it has been influenced by other artistic works yet still remains unique and true to itself. Being different means that it has originality, and that gives a higher chance to have been considered good art as it stands out from other pieces of art.

The best-known artists have tended to produce work that even after the quickest of glances you could tell had been done by them, and not by any other artist. Good art should be something that stands out instantly from any other piece of art, which has come before it. Just as importantly, it should differ from all subsequent pieces after it has been produced. When each piece of artwork differs, it allows it to stand out and gain recognition for its own artistic value instead of been considered a poor imitation of somebody else's ideas and work. In any case, artists gain more merit from being original than from imitating others. When art has been produced by studios, those studios have not always named who the individual artist was, so the pieces are counted as been made in the name of the studio alone.

To be counted as good art it should really do something to grab people's attention, to stop individuals dead in their tracks, to look at what is in front of them and then have to concentrate on examining its meanings, obvious as well as hidden. Sometimes art pieces do have hidden images or messages within them.

Some information can be gained from doing a little bit of research about what grabs the attention of viewers. After all, pieces of art can actually tell people things about what was happening at the time in which it was produced. It is also worth considering what was happening to the artist at the time they were creating each and every single piece of artwork in their portfolio. The quality of work been open to variation, as the mood of the artist changed.

Yet at other times people may look at and evaluate a piece of art that has no hidden message or meaning attached to it. What happened was that the artist saw something that drew their attention to it, and they felt an irresistible urge to draw, paint, or sculpt the object that inspired them. Under normal circumstances, everyday objects rarely inspire artists to make a piece of art, yet something might suddenly inspire on the spur of the moment to paint a beach ball or a vase of sunflowers. Viewers are looking for something different to appreciate in art, just as artists aim to put an individual perspective within all the art that they produce.

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A History Of Glamour Photography

May 28th, 2019

Glamour photography is a genre in which females are portrayed in erotic or exciting ways ranging from fully clothed to nude, but in ways that either may conceal or may otherwise not especially draw attention to the subjects' breasts and buttocks. It is amongst the broadest genres of photography that could also include male models. The primary focus is usually on the model whose natural features are highlighted using make-up, accessories, and lighting in an artistic and a flattering manner. The image often illustrates the unique features and the natural beauty of the model.

Glamour photography dates back to the 1900s to France, where small erotic postcards were being sold on the streets by vendors. Pinups were also very popular in the early 1900s which depicted scantily dressed women who seemed startled by the viewer and with a playful pose.

In the 1920s, Ruth Harriet Louise, the Chief Portrait Photographer at MGM studios started taking photographs of Hollywood stars to make them more glamorous. The stars were the main studio product. The photographers captured the sex appeal of these stars although they did not show off much skin as is the case today. The photographs in that era were mainly in black and white and were greatly dependent on the lighting to bring the point across.

As time passed by, it became acceptable for models to show more skin. During the Second World War, pictures of scantily dressed stars known as pin-ups were very popular with the American servicemen and soldiers. Betty Grable was among the most famous models during that period. Pin-ups also included artwork that depicted how an attractive woman ought to look like.

The emergence of the Playboy magazine in the 1950s made a significant contribution to the Glamour genre with Marilyn Monroe as the centerfold. It was the first magazine ever to incorporate nude photography targeting mainstream consumers. The magazine did not feature famous models; instead, it used ordinary girls who portrayed innocence with a kind of naughtiness, a style that is still in use today.

In 1965, the sports illustrated swimsuit edition was born and brought a new style to the genre. The sports illustrated scantily dressed women who were not completely nude. In 1977, Roy Raymond created Victoria’s secret, which illustrated models in lingerie. The style was infused into Glamour Photography, and from there on, the lingerie style was born. The ’80s and ’90s saw the incorporation of glamour photography into the advertisement world as people believed ‘sex sells.’

The invention of the internet made Glamour widespread. It created an avenue for both photographers and models with full-time jobs but who enjoy Glamour as a hobby to exhibit their work. It has also made it possible for all the people interested in the genre to become participants.

Modern-day men’s magazines, the likes of FHM and Maxim, feature both celebrities and non-celebrities. They feature scantily dressed women and are very popular in our modern world.

In the world today, there are different kinds of Glamour photography, ranging from nude to fully clothed models, from high school portraits to models in magazines. The style all depends on the line drawn by the photographer taking the shot.

The theory behind glamour photography
Glamour photography mainly focuses on the model captured in the image by highlighting their natural features in flattering and artistic ways. The photographer achieves this through guiding the model through a series of stylish techniques that complement the model's body type. Although it’s associated with amatory, it doesn’t necessarily have to be erotic in nature.

One of the most important aspects of Glamour photography is the posing of the model. The type of location is the primary determinant of which poses work and which do not. For instance, in Boudoir photography, the intimate setting leads to the creation of sensual, romantic, soft, or naughty photos, which are influenced by the models’ pose. The interaction between the model and the photographer will also determine how great the poses are.

The lighting in the set influences the kind of mood and feelings portrayed in the photo. The right kind of equipment brings out the desired mood that can be lost if the wrong lighting is used. Therefore, it is important for the photographer to be able to master the many different types of lighting arrangements to project the desired messages in the shots.

The location of the shoot and the model should have a complementary look that works together. The location the photographer picks should also complement the mood and the theme of the shoot. The models’ makeup and clothing should also go hand in hand with the photo shoot location. Mixing the wrong clothes, makeup, and location can be compromising to the photos.

Glamour photography does not always depend on artificial lighting. It's possible for the photographer to manipulate the natural light of the location to produce unique shots without depending on artificial lighting.

Almost all the photos taken during a photo shoot require editing before they are published. This marks the final stage in the production of Glamour photography. Retouches are carried out to produce the desired effects.

Why glamour images are everywhere
Glamour photography depicts most of its models in an appealing manner that tends to be alluring to both heterosexuals and homosexuals. As a result of this, glamour images have been in great use in the past couple of years, mainly in advertisement and related fields. The reason behind this is the passing down of the belief that sex sells, which has been concluded to be true. Over the years, scores of women have shown their displeasure with the use of semi-nude women in billboards and magazines for advertisements. The inclusion of muscular and handsome men has, however, brought about a significant change to this opinion.

The passionate, suggestive, and provocative nature of Glamour photographs tend to attract many advertisement agencies. People, in general, are wired to notice sexually related information because it attracts attention. They are often duped into believing that if they buy the product, they will get or start resembling the models in the products. Glamour images are very appealing and, as a result, many companies manipulate this aspect to sell their products to people. For this reason, the advertisement sections in newspapers and magazines mainly contain pictures of beautiful and handsome models, both celebrities and non-celebrities alike, promoting the different products.

The use of lingerie images in the beauty industry is perceived as ‘sexy’ by both men and women alike. The sexy look of the models attracts people who aspire to look like the models in question and to attain the same level of sex appeal. Lingerie companies such as Victoria’s Secret are aware that women are comfortable with sex being portrayed in certain ways. They use this to their advantage to sell their products. It is, therefore, not a wonder they make millions of dollars in profit every year.

The use of glamour images has also become widespread in the print media industry. Glamour photos grace the covers of magazines and books. The more attractive the cover, the greater the number of viewers. The attractiveness is brought about by the beauty of the model in question. The nature of beauty depends on how much the photographer can capture, the setting, makeup, dressing, and the location. Glamour images are also used in school newspapers whereby they cover portraits of former students who have already graduated. Glamour photography is, after all, not all about nudity. The images are also used as covers to calendars. The principle of attraction is also applied here. The more attractive the cover, the more buyers it’s bound to attract.

Glamour images are not limited to the advertisement and print media. People also take glamour images for personal purposes. Especially women, take glamour photographs to appreciate a side of their beauty that they may not be aware of and to appreciate themselves in general. A great photo which shows all the beautiful aspects of the model does a lot in terms of boosting their self-esteem. People also take these photos to gift them to their loved ones or for decorative purposes in their homes. Others are used as pin-ups.

If you take the time to look around, you will realize that you are surrounded by glamour images, be it in your house, on your phone, on the internet or the roads.

Why glamour photography is the most popular modeling choice
Glamour Photography and modeling go hand in hand where fashion sells a product, glamour usually sells the model. This, however, is not always the case because photography promotes products as well, it is amongst the reasons why Glamour photography is preferred when it comes to modeling. In the modeling world, nothing sells a model better than a nice looking portfolio. In the portfolio, there should be a collection of the models best-looking photos as it shows clients how the model looks under different situations. It also proves that the model in question is not an amateur and shows that the model is photogenic. The photos should capture your unique and exciting qualities. If you have a great portfolio, you have a higher chance of attracting the attention of many clients who will want to have you representing them.

In glamour photography, the primary focus of the photographer is usually on the model. The photographers’ main aim is usually to highlight the natural features of the model in a flattering and artistic way. Using different settings, lighting, makeup, and clothing, a photographer can bring out different sides of the same model. Various poses are also used to generate different stories. The photographer goes a long way to creating different versions of the same person in various parameters. Through this, all the existing and artsy sides of a model can be explored, thus giving them an edge when it comes to getting recognition. The existence of an excellent rapport between the photographer and the model is crucial. Good photographs are taken when the model and the photographer can trust each other and where an understanding exists between them.

Some models have had significant breakthroughs in life as a result of glamour photography
One such case is the famous actress Marilyn Monroe. Marilyn was an important sex representation in America during the 1950s and 60s. This was a result of her public photos and modeling career. The two opened up a slot for her in the theatre world and paved the way for her to join the ranks of the most successful actresses in her time. Another example is Tyra Banks, who rose to fame after appearing on the cover of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue and for working for Victoria's Secrets as one of the Angels. This paved the way for her in the television industry and made it possible for her to become the successful person she is today.

Glamour photography, therefore, plays a great role in the life of models. It has paved the way for the success of many models in the past and continues to do so. Great glamour images expose novice and experienced models to greater chances of expanding their modeling career. Glamour photography is an integral part of modeling. The photo shoots do not end with the portfolio. Once a model manages to get clients, they have to promote the clients' product while at the same time building their reputation in the modeling world. It would also not be incorrect to draw the conclusion that the majority of the famous models today rose to fame with a significant boost from Glamour photography.

Evolution of glamour photography
Before the 1960s, glamour photography was commonly referred to as erotic photography. It dates back to the 1940s after the creation of the daguerreotypes by Louis Daguerre. The technology made it possible for artists to depict the nude form of women in another way besides the traditional methods of painting, engraving, and drawings. The invention made it possible to produce images that did not fade with passing the time. It was adopted in French in academies where painters studied the nude forms of both women and men. The invention of the stereoscope made it possible to view these photographs in three dimensions. In the 1850s, erotic photographs were declared illegal and, as a result, the production of nudes was stopped, and the business went underground.

The French then started producing postcards that depicted women in erotic poses. These cards were circulated were distributed under the counter as many countries had banned the sale of materials referencing sex or partial or full nudes. Erotic and Nude material was then marketed in a magazine called La Beauté.

The 1900s brought improvements to the camera. With the emergence of small cameras, it became possible to take glamour photos in secluded in and semi-secluded areas. The early 20th century saw an evolution in the posing styles that were brought about by an artist by the name E.J. Bellocq. The models in his pictures assumed relaxed and comfortable poses in contrast to the awkward poses women used to assume before. Julian Mandel also brought evolution to glamour photography. He adopted the natural setting that was later accepted by other photographers. Over the era, the production of soft images with exquisite tones were created with lighting instead of the usual shadows.

In the year 1931, the photographer George Hurrell made the first attempt at ‘manual Photoshop’ by doing a retouch on the photo of the actress Joan Crawford.

During the Second World War, pin-ups became popular and made an emphasis on legs. The models were usually in short skirts and bathing suits displaying shapely figures. The year 1953 saw the launch of the Playboy, which was the first magazine to reveal the naked breasts of women in this era. The 1970s saw the inclusion of male models to the world that was previously dominated by women.

The 1990s brought about the spread of the internet and social liberalization. Glamour photography became widespread on the internet, and in print, it then started competing with magazines as the nudity was no longer considered a taboo, it became a form of art which was appreciated.

Photography is now taught in schools, and this has led to the emergence of professionals in the industry. They have mastered the proper art of manipulating lighting to produce desired effects, moods, and themes in images. The technological changes have had an enormous impact on glamour photography. With the invention of photo editing software's, it is now possible to remove blemishes in the image, brighten teeth, even the skin tone, to remove the red-eye effects and to lighten over darkened photos. The continuous changes in photography have led to the production of high-quality images.

We can, therefore, conclude that glamour photography has been undergoing a series of changes from the time it was discovered to date. Most of the features we have today are, however, a modification of ideas invented by the pioneers of today's glamour photography.

Relationship between glamour photography and art
Art in itself refers to a broad range of human activities that are diverse in nature and usually involving technical skills and or imagination. Photography is a part of art and falls under the category of visual arts, together with printmaking, sculpture, painting, and other visual media. Glamour photography is in itself both an art and science. It allows the photographer to capture the emotions and feelings of the model at that particular time. The difference between photography and the other forms of visual arts is that there is a barrier created by the camera between the model and the photographer as is the case with the sculptor and his clay or wood or the painter and his canvas.

Glamour photography is of great importance in art
Glamour Photography combines the significance of art and digital awareness into one experience. With photography, one can let their imaginations run free, what with the endless subjects and themes that the world around us provides, and at the same time gaining invaluable knowledge of handling cameras and other photographic equipment.

Perhaps photography can be said to be most significant in the communications, advertising, and marketing industry. It’s no mystery that a photograph can speak volumes about what happens in our lives and can tell us more in its singularity than a 1000 word article or news piece would. In this way, glamour photographs give us a clearer understanding of what we read about or hear in the news.

Advertising and marketing wouldn't be such profitable ventures if it weren't for the images that are used in promoting goods and services of various enterprises. Humans depend highly on their vision to make both basic and important decisions, and photographs no doubt influence what products we choose to buy, and from whom, and which companies or firms we want to conduct our business with.

The art of photography is one of the most common ways of giving value to objects and events. Photographs have, for a long time, been a means for documenting important moments in our lives; they act as a living memory of who we are and what we have done in our lifetimes. They tend to say the things that we are too abashed to say for ourselves, or moments that we'd either ruin by speaking too much about or lack the words. It's right of me to assume that photographs, family portraits especially, compose part of people's most valuable possessions.

Contemporary glamour portrait photography can capture the natural curves and emotions of the model using lighting and shadows to set the mood. In so doing, it makes the models of all ages and sizes feel appreciated, desired, and beautiful. They also make it possible for people to appreciate the human body as an art form.

Glamour images unite people from all over the world as it helps celebrate the diversity and the uniqueness of human expression through the internet or print. This helps in creating a deep understanding of people from all walks of life and transcends cultural differences. In so doing it, promotes the goal of the art of bringing people together, whether in a house or museum it adds color and life to the world that would otherwise be dull.

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Does One Size Really Fit All?

May 28th, 2019

What do Anna Nicole Smith, Marilyn Monroe and the Venus de Milo have in common? They all have that perfect hourglass body, and they were all icons of beauty.

Everywhere you look today in the media, you see images of skinny, starved-looking women that are considered sexy because you see the lines on the stomach and hip bones protruding behind their skin. There’s a perception out there that only a flat tummy looks good when in reality, the clothes on these emaciated bodies are what makes them look attractive by the way a blouse is unbuttoned down or hem of a skirt is up high.

The truth is, men, find curvy women more attractive. According to research, men get the same high from seeing a curvy woman. A ripped stomach and firm posterior is sexy, but so is a little pooch belly. That’s sexy too, it’s just a different kind of sexy and men are attracted to both kinds. But women think if they don’t have washboard abs, then they can’t possibly be a model and that’s just not the case. Have we grown so accustomed to seeing touched-up images of unattainable perfection that we can’t see the beauty in the average-shaped woman? When a real woman looks in the mirror, and the reflection looking back at her doesn’t resemble the images she’s accustom to seeing in magazines and in the movies, she equates that with, “I don’t look like her. Therefore I can’t be a model like her.”

This couldn’t be farther from the truth. What most of us don’t realize is that every image printed in a fashion magazine has been altered to look like perfection. And the model has been trained to move her body in front of the camera in such a way that it flatters her shape.

A lot of full-figured women don’t have the confidence to even consider modeling, when in fact, they’re missing out on a great experience. Some think if they aren’t the stereotypically lean women, then they couldn’t possibly be captured by the camera.

Women are beautiful in all sizes. Even if you have a heavier model, as long as she has some curves and is proportionate for the size of her frame, she sexy. Think of the quintessential pin-up girl, Marilyn Monroe. Did you know she actually wore a size 13 and she’s considered to be an iconic beauty? She knew how to wear her clothes and hold her body for the camera.

Both Marilyn and Anna Nicole prove that they didn’t need tiny measurements to be sexy. In fact, it was the high waist to hip ratio that made them famous. It’s more about the proportion of their sizes than the actual numbers that give them an hour-glass shape. As long as the waist is smaller in proportion to the upper and lower body, it doesn’t matter if a model is a size two or a size twelve, these are the curves that can drive a man crazy.

The key to achieving that voluptuous, curvy body is to look for that shape where the middle is proportionately smaller than the chest and hip. With a little guidance from behind the camera, you can transform her into the shapely goddess she’s hiding inside.

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Fauvism Art History And The Female Figurative Subject

May 28th, 2019

Fauvism art is an art form which has a modern conceptual focus which generally forsakes traditional forms of sculpture and painting. “Fauvism” is derived from the French word “fauve,” which means “wild beasts” and pinpoints movement, such as in individuals or machinery. Here we will primarily discuss the female form as it has been, and is, used in Fauvism art while breaking down the form’s history, popularity, artists, and other important points which will explain this particular art form better. Thereby providing a firmer understanding of it and the heartfelt purposes of those who created Fauvist works of art of the past.

The History of the Fauvism Art Genre
Fauvism 1898-1908 was derived and inspired from tribal art with a primitive flavor, and much of it was developed from Post-impressionist inspiration on the part of Fauvists themselves. The Fauvist movement itself did not last long, but the form played a major role in the onset of Expressionist art forms which developed later. One viewing a Fauvist piece will notice how an artist engages in an erratic, untamed use of color and style to achieve their works, thus explaining the “wild beast” reference. This particular use of color is considered ‘unnatural,’ and colors used are typically quite energetic, bold, and vigorous.

The most notable exhibition of only three held for Fauvism art was held in 1905 at the Salon d’ Automne in Paris, France. This exhibition was considered the greatest one held for the art form, which extended over only ten years. It managed to break significant ground for those artists who expressed themselves through the Modernist movement, sparking an entirely new art genre for all to see. To sum up the Fauvism movement in a nutshell, what the artists saw individually is what they painted or created, whether it be a real fact to the viewers naked eye or not. For example, if in the mind’s eye of the painter, one’s face contained numerous colors, each and every color would make it to the canvas. It was considered one of the truest forms of personal expression, and it paved the way for the incredible modern abstract artists of history, past and present.

Another important point which is tantamount to the history of Fauvism is the fact that Paris, France, played such a vital role, once again, in getting the ball rolling for this form. Because it is freely considered the “art center of the world.” This paved the road for Fauvism to grow and change as needed. All the most important art lovers were exposed, and therefore artists who would otherwise be trapped by traditional painting or sculpting genres could have the public’s okay to explore and express themselves in any manner they wanted. The go-ahead given in Paris was a go-ahead given by the entire world, and so Fauvist-based artist everywhere were able to spread their proverbial wings and put themselves on the line fully for the sake of their true vision.

With time Fauvism gave way to Cubism and Expressionism, but the original form itself had remained the only one true to itself, even in those early years when its blood flowed purely. Fauvism was, and indeed still is, one of the most rigorous forms in existence. It played a direct role on the way artists and viewers looked at, and used, color and tone. It changed the way shapes were used. It offered beautiful portraiture which still looked like the intended individual without compromising the obscurity of the form in any way. It was groundbreaking.

Fauvism proved to relate to the German people in unparalleled ways in the second decade of the 20th century with artists like Ernst Ludwig Kirchner. French Exhibitionists were overwhelmed by the form at the “Paris School,” resulting in the Rayonism and the Orphism Movement. Next came the overtaking of Scotland, when a group of four individual painters referred to as the Scottish Colorists began to contribute to the form before World War I. Included in this group were George Leslie Hunter, Samuel Peploe, John Duncan Fergusson, and Francis Campbell Cadell. All of these artists had passed away by 1961, but their individual contributions to the Fauvist form remain invaluable to this very day.

Matisse is considered the primary Fauvist pioneer, having contributed some of the finest works to the form. Matisse worked from the belief that freedom of personal expression was, indeed, art in itself, and thus could not be separated from the artist if the artist was true. He used specific systems and techniques which were coined as “Pointillism.” The artist without these beliefs could never be a true artist at all, and this is truly what Matisse believed. It drove him to perfect his form if that could really be accomplished at all when it comes to Fauvism. Others who worked from a strong belief system which was similar, if not identical, included Henri-Edmond Cross, Georges Seurat, and Paul Signac. These men, indeed, were the driving force behind the Fauvism solidification. While it is said that Matisse did not base his work or the techniques he used directly on the Pointillism theory. He did focus on the use of unusual ‘dot’ techniques which other artists forsook to bring an entirely new level of aesthetic and emotion to each and every work he contributed, and he did so successfully, remaining purely true to himself and his vision. Matisse also paid very close attention to several Post-Impressionists of his day, including Vuillard, Gauguin, and Bonnard. This resulted in the use of more and more strong, vibrant color, at a technique which boldly stepped away from the use of soft hues which was common to the Impressionism of his time. He would take paint straight from the tube, implementing no blending or shading, and he would use these colors to convey his point and vision. The effect is obvious; to this day, the name Matisse is common on the lips of even the non-art lover.

Today the basic aesthetic of Fauvism has changed, but it is not altogether uncommon to see a true work sell for literally millions of dollars. The contributions made by those who perfected the form in the past, as well as those who contribute in the present day, keep Fauvism alive, even by any other moniker. Because of the slow, subtle changes which the form has demonstrated, it can be difficult for the untrained eye to recognize true Fauvist art in any form. Many are tempted to simply stare at the works of Picasso and credit him with the genre, but nothing could be further from the truth. Fauvism came about in its own time, and it has been developed, even evolving, to the point of being unrecognizable to the layman. The fact remains that a true Fauvist work can be pinpointed by anyone with an understanding of its theory and history. To know the form is to recognize it, whether it is appreciated by the individual or not. Most, even those who do not love it, can appreciate its boldness and its ability to stand above and beyond other forms. It can be appreciated for the forms which it spawned, and eventually, it will be appreciated by all for its ability, in and of itself, to be utterly free in its purest form.

Fauvism: The Theory
As stated previously, Fauvism was a pioneering form of Expressionism, meaning that the artists, while painting or creating what they saw, did it by their own personal form of expression. This meant the use of a lot of colors, and the subjects bore mostly an unnatural look. In theory, this lent a hand to the artist is free to paint not only what they saw with their eyes, but what they ‘saw’ with their heart. Artistic freedom of this type was exclusive, breaking barriers for artist of the future to be who they were as artists rather than conforming to what the world’s view of an artist or painter should be. This is what the original heart of Fauvism is, and it is what Fauvism should remain, yesterday, today, and virtually until the end of time.

Not only did Fauvism lend a hand to the freestyle of the artist, but it also enabled the viewer to express themselves as well due to the art being, at times, harsh and loud. For those who were bored with, or could not relate to, traditional realism in art, this form was indeed quite popular. It crossed known boundaries and allowed for the personal expression of the owner of any piece, which was the purpose of Fauvist art, and remains the purpose of Expressionist art forms today. This is at the very core of Fauvism theory, even now, to the true artist.

The Popularity of Fauvism Art
Fauvism, or Pre-Expressionism, became popular in the art world for a variety of reasons. Not only did it open the door to artistic freedom, paving the way for some of the greatest Expressionists in history, it also broadened the minds of art lovers and enthusiasts the world over, allowing them to begin to see art as more than ‘black and white,’ so to speak. But there are other reasons why Fauvism was, and is, adored by those who consider art to be a vastly important part of their world and day to day life. For example, Fauvism is much easier for the art lover to integrate into any décor, as opposed to paintings and sculptures which are real in appearance, which tends to only compliment a specific aesthetic. Not to mention the fact that the boldness of color and technique used by Fauvists compliments individual personalities in ways that Traditionalism is incapable of doing. These facts, in and of themselves, have proven to be powerful catalysts about the popularity of Fauvism art and Expressionism being some of the most love art in the world, past and present.

Female Figurative Fauvism Artists and Their Works, Then and Now
Here we will discuss some known and influential Figurative Fauvist artists of the period, as well as some from more modern times whose works would not exist if not for the freedom of expression provided by the onset of the Fauvism period:

Ilya Mashkov 1881-1944
Born in the Cossack Village near Volgograd. This Russian artist known for his works in Fauvism, Nude 1915, Nude 1920, Two nudes 1908, Two nudes 1918, and Seated Nude 1918.

Albert Marquet 1875-1947
Born in Bordeaux, France, this French painter was a lifelong friend of Henri Matisse. Marquet was known for his Fauvist painting Life Class at the École des Beaux-Arts 1998.

Louis Valtat 1869-1952
Born in Dieppe, France. A French painter and printmaker known for his works in Fauvism, Young Women in the Garden 1898, and Young Girls Playing with a Lion Cub 1905-1906.

Henry Matisse 1869-1954
Born in Le Cateau-Cambresis, France Matisse was a true artist of many talents, working with painting, drawing, sculpture, collage, and even printmaking. He was known for works in Fauvism, Neo-Impressionism, Modernism, and Impressionism. Some of his pieces are The Blue Nude 1907, Woman with a Hat 1905, Standing Model 1900-1901, The Joy of Life 1905-1906, Nude in a Wood 1906.

Andre Derain 1880-1954
Born in Chatou France, this French sculptor and painter focused developments of Fauvism and Cubism, two avant-garde movements, and his Fauvism works include The Dancer 1910, Portrait of Matisse 1905, and Bathers 1907.

Pyotr Konchalovsky 1876-1956
Born in the village of Slavianka Russia, this Russian painter known for his works in Fauvism, Scheherazade 1917, Portrait of daughter 1912, Nude 1916, Girl under the umbrella 1929.

Maurice de Vlaminck 1876-1958
Born on Rue Pierre Lescot in Paris, this Fauvist painter from France gave several beautiful works to the genre, including The Girl at Rat Mort 1905, The Girl from Rat Mort 1905-1906.

Matthew Smith 1879-1959
This British painter is known for his works in Fauvism, Kneeling Nude 1915, Fitzroy Street Nude No. 2 1916, Nude, Fitzroy Street, No. 1 1916, Reclining Nude 1922.

Max Weber 1881-1961
Born in the Polish city of Białystok, then part of the Russian Empire. This Jewish-American painter and one of the first American Cubist painters who, in later life, turned to more figurative known for his works in Fauvism. Burlesque 1909, Three Nudes in a Forest 1910, and Summer.

John Duncan Fergusson 1874-1961
Born in Leith, Edinburgh, this Scottish artist, and sculptor, known for his works in Fauvism, Siesta 1951, and In the Sunlight 1907.

Emilio Grau Sala 1911-1975
Born in Barcelona, Spain this Catalan painter known for his works in Fauvism, Ballerinas 1955, Dancers 1963, La Lecture, and Champs Elysees.

Differences in Fauvism: Then and Now
While the basic message of Fauvism remains the same, the years have seen the form make several changes at the hands of the artists who have made the genre their own. In its humble beginnings, and in years gone by, many Fauvist works were considered extreme in their portrayal of women and other subjects, using bold colors, uncontrolled strokes, and independent thought processes to produce the popular works of art which resulted in the Expressionist trends we see in the art world today. However, it is important to point out that there are several changes in the form which have taken place over time.

The changes above can be obviously seen by even the untrained eye if one is to compare past works of the Fauvism form with the more modern versions created today. While many from the past were commonly abstract and extreme in appearance, many of the works we see today have taken a much more traditional tone. While coloration and tone remain bold in most cases, the form given to the subject, particularly human subjects, remains very consistent with reality. The color alone is what seems to cause these painting or other art types to stand out at “Fauvist” or “Fauvist type” works. Even self-portraiture created by these artists have seemed to lean in this general direction.

Present-day representatives of Fauvism have even taken still lives to this extreme, nearly stepping out of the abstract/Expressionism realm into something which is far more traditional than we might expect. While this has been widely accepted in this modern age, true lovers of Fauvism and other related forms notice the changes as starkly as one might notice the differences between black and white, which may be the clear explanation for the fading of the genre into other like forms.

The Importance of Genuine Fauvism to the World of Art
So, why bother? Why not just accept the ebb of the form as well as the flow? There are several reasons to consider if one is genuinely interested in the answer. Like any genre, Fauvism is as important to all art as oxygen is to all parts of the body; without it a specific part loses feeling, resulting in the severing of this particular form and all of its relatives. Without it, the world of art is restrictive and bland, it is the salt and seasoning of the world of art, as specific clothing is to individual style.

As any true Fauvist would likely relate, this particular form was freeing, not only to the artist but to any open-minded art lover or observer as well. No longer must trees and grass be green; the artist could openly lend new emotion and vision to the same using color, and even shape, variety. We all could look at the world through an entirely new scope and begin to see what could be, or even, what perhaps already was. As it is commonly said, beauty, or art, is in the eye of the beholder. To re-conform to the common is basically to turn our backs on this freedom. True Fauvism art in all of its glory is abstract and different. It generates new ideas which liberate. It is, therefore, necessary, not only to the artist but to the entire world, if we desire to accommodate the true tastes and pleasures of all those who call this world home. The point of living, breathing, and creating art today is to do just that, is it not?

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From Classical Art To Modern Art A Naked History

May 28th, 2019

One of the most prominent subjects in art is the nude human body. For thousands of years, nudity has been depicted in every medium of art, including sculpture, painting, dance, and more recently in photography and film. Yet while there has been a constant presence of nudity in art, it must be noted that changes in the norms of society also affect the way by which nudity is depicted as well as accepted. To trace the history of nudity throughout art history is a monumental task, and thus, this paper limits itself to a brief discussion of how specific movements in history treated nudity in art.

To begin with, long before the Classical era, nudity was already accepted and considered as part of the culture. For instance, primordial sculptures found in archaeological sites show the nude female figure such as the Venus of Willendorf (24th to 22nd century B.C.) and similar figurines. These nude figures are believed to be associated with fertility as the ability of females to give birth was equivalent to the Earth’s role as the source of sustenance. In Ancient Egypt, nudity was part of certain rites. Depictions found in Egyptian frescoes show naked women dancing as part of celebrations. The fact that nudity was portrayed in these frescoes attests to the nudity’s acceptability in both the visual and the performing arts.

Nudity in art reached a new level of refinement and exaltation in the Classical Era, particularly in Ancient Greece. In Greece, the nude male form was considered as aesthetically pleasing as well as representative of masculine virility and strength. It is in sporting events that this high regard for the male form is most expressed—competing athletes took part almost always in the nude. Athletics and athletes were believed to give tribute to gods such as Heracles and Apollo. Given this reverence, the nude male form was often depicted in art. Artifacts from classical Greece include vases painted with male athletes while sculptures attempted to capture the beauty of the naked male visage. Women, however, were rarely depicted on the nude except when the subject was mythological such as the case with Aphrodite, who was the goddess of love and beauty.

While Greeks may have extolled the male form through art, the Romans, on the other hand, were not too eager to depict nudity. The practice of portraying men on the nude was substituted with the depiction of the muscle cuirass, a type of body armor that mimics the ideal muscular male body. This allowed the masculine visage to be depicted without actually revealing it. Mythological scenes, however, depicted male nudity more regularly while women are limited to the exposure of the breasts. But despite this moderate treatment in art, nudity was rampant in excavated towns such as Pompeii and Herculaneum yielded vast amounts of frescoes, sculptures, and household items depicting sexual themes and acts.

Nudity, however, became rare during the Middle Ages. Upon the collapse of the Roman Empire, the Roman Catholic Church grew and eventually came to dominate society. The Church became the primary commissioner of an authority on works of art. Because religious subjects have no need for nudity, depictions of the bare male and female bodies were mostly comprised of portrayals of Adam and Eve. Even then, nudity was rendered to appear as if sinful and immoral. Therefore, it can be said that during this era, the exaltation of the beautiful bare body was supplanted with a form of nudity in the art that was intended to install virtue.

After its long decline during the Middle Ages, nudity became prominent in the art once again upon the emergence of the Renaissance. The Renaissance, it must be understood, was a movement that had its roots on the rediscovery of classical culture. The influence of the Church waned while the arts and sciences flourished. Although religious themes were still prominent in the arts during this time, classical themes rose to a higher degree of popularity. Because the themes were derived from ancient mythology, the execution was also patterned after it thereby bringing nudity to importance once again. The trend continued towards the Baroque Era, with renowned masters such as Michelangelo, Botticelli, and Bernini producing works of nudity reminiscent of the classical times.

By the 19th century, society’s treatment of nudity once again shifted. 19th century Europe, with its strict codes of morality and chastity, was in many ways similar to preceding eras; nudity in art was deemed only permissible if the subject was of classical or orientalist in nature. However, this was audaciously challenged by many artists by contemporary subjects on the nude. Examples to this include Edouard Manet’s The Luncheon on the Grass 1863 and Olympia 1865 and Gustave Courbet’s Woman with a Parrot 1866. The result was outrage as a 19th-century society thought it scandalous to portray contemporaries in a state of nudity. Yet the desired effect was achieved. Society came to understand that nudity as an art is not confined to classical themes but may also apply to contemporaries.

The shift in the treatment of nudity in the 19th century paved the way for the liberalization of the nude form in art. Paintings and sculptures easily integrated nudity as seen in Rodin’s The Thinker 1889, Matisse’s The Dance 1910, and Picasso’s Les Demoiselles d’Avignon 1907. Film and photography, despite being fairly recent, were also not immune to nudity as both readily utilized the naked human body to capture a sense of aestheticism. Today, depicting nudity continues in my photographs of the female body that capture its multifaceted nature. My images can at once be innocent, sensual, elegant, and enticing.

Taking into account what has been discussed, it can be said that indeed, nudity has come a long way as a major theme in art. From its beginnings in the dawn of civilization, the portrayal of the human body has followed a path that includes both moments of prominence and decline. Extolled in Classical Era, nudity in art waned during the Middle Ages, only to rise once again in the Renaissance and the Baroque Periods, and finally liberalized in the Modern Era. Although fluctuating in the level of appreciation and permissibility on account of the changing norms of society, the constant presence of nudity in art reveals a single unifying truth: that the naked human body is delicate as it is beautiful.

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The Value Of Voluptuous Females

May 28th, 2019

The perception of the perfect female body image has changed throughout history almost as often as the latest fashions. The voluptuous female, so often depicted in Renaissance period art, has come and gone from popularity over the many centuries of man. However, some would argue that, despite popularity or lack of popularity during any particular period, the female figure portrayed in such paintings as The Birth of Venus by Sandro Botticelli is the true, organic and nature-intended perfection of a woman. Woman in ancient art has often been shown as having heavy waists and thick arms and legs. They are rendered as being full-bodied and have a lot of curves to them. At times when the nature of society called for the thinning down of women to meet with the desires of the fashion world, art then began to reflect those trends as well. However, thinner women have never been captured on paper or canvas with the same affinity and affection that most often comes through in paintings, drawings, and sculptures of the more curvaceous woman.

The timeline of voluptuous women in art and culture is highly reflective of the societal timeline of mankind. The major themes of any particular period have a great impact on art and vice versa. As the times changed, and the physical needs of the people have changed, so has the ideal for a woman’s physique. Some would argue that the woman in a household is the example of the health and happiness of the family and, therefore, needs to look the part. Others would comment that women are held to such unrealistic standards of beauty, no matter what the period, that there will never be an attainable perfect body type, which does not require surgery of some kind.

In times past, being voluptuous indicated good health and wealth. The status of a woman is healthy and well fed was of great importance because women birthed and breastfed the children. Pale skin and body fat were thought to be aristocratic in ancient societies such as Greece and Rome. Centuries later, there came a time of female empowerment. “I am no bird;” said Charlotte Brontë, “and no net ensnares me: I am a free human being with an independent will.” With the rise and fall of feminine power in society, so did we also see the rise and fall of hemlines and self-esteem. Taking a look at how the ideal for the female body image has changed over time, may help us to understand the changes in art and culture, which reflect that timeline.

In Ancient Egypt, circa 1292 - 1069 B.C., the ideal body shape for a woman was slim, with narrow shoulders and a high waistline. A few decades later, in ancient Greece, they preferred a woman to be full-figured and equivalent in sturdiness to their male counterparts. Then came a period, popularized during the Han Dynasty, during which people idealized the demure and small-framed waif-like figure of a woman. Later, during the Italian Renaissance period of 1400-1700 A.D., the norm shifted back to the voluptuous beauty of ancient times, which was more reminiscent of the ancient pagan earth goddesses. A couple of hundred years later, the waistline goes thinner, thanks to the diabolic development of the corset, while everything else on the woman was expected to still be full and voluminous. Within just a couple of decades, whether due to a mass rebellion of women against the wearing of corsets or, as history suggests, because of the trends in the fashion industry, the full-figured woman was nudged aside by the flirty flapper girl who was boyish in body all the way to her flat chest and knobby knees. Luckily, this trend only lasted a mere ten or fifteen years before the starving girls came to their senses and began to once again embrace their curvaceous nature. Simone de Beauvoir said, “To lose confidence in one’s body is to lose confidence in oneself.” According to some research, men are biologically programmed to seek out women with the body ratio equivalent to the “hourglass figure,” which is said to be the ideal shape for giving birth, which was most popular in the "Golden Age of Hollywood," the time of Marilyn Monroe.

When the rise of feminism came about in the late fifties and early sixties, the woman began to see themselves and their bodies in a different context. They no longer measured their appearance solely by a societal standard. They were now invariably influenced by the advertising that was specifically scripted toward them and the fashion industry that was invading their living rooms and vanities via magazines of all kinds. The popularization of mini-skirts and A-line fashions, which really only looked good on the tall, thin types, set a new standard for the female body image; one that was only attainable through reasonably unhealthy means and lifestyle. Unfortunately, the desire for a slender body, while enduring slight adjustments here and there, has endured for a lengthy period. While the 1980s brought with it an emphasis on health and fitness, it also came with a rise in diagnosed anorexia as women continue trying to fit in which led into a period during the ’90s when bony, stick-thin models began to take the spotlight.

These days, as women continue to fight for the equal rights that they were assured decades ago, they have begun to embrace a somewhat healthier overall ideal image. Naomi Wolfin once said, “A cultural fixation on female thinness is not an obsession about female beauty but an obsession about female obedience.” Some would concur with her sentiments and also extend that the “obsession with female obedience” is often the catalyst for many sociological changes in human culture. The expectations of a woman’s body have changed more times during the last thousand years than it had over the millenniums that preceded this; the preference swinging back and forth like an every decade pendulum between the super thin and the modestly epicurean. In the 1910s, the curvy Gibson Girl was the fashion diva, followed directly by the loss of several pounds to the adolescent looking Flapper image. Curves gradually began to come back in style first with the elegant gowns of the 1930s, then with the sturdier look of war-era women during the ’40s. In the 1950s, the full organic figure of a woman is once again embraced by the masses as Hollywood stars like Natalie Wood take their places on the silver screen. Unfortunately, it didn’t last long.

The new preference is still one of a slim waistline or flat stomach but with fuller breasts and buttocks. Tina Fey, in her book Bossypants, wrote. “Now every girl is expected to have Caucasian blue eyes, full Spanish lips, a classic button nose, hairless Asian skin with a California tan, a Jamaican dance hall ass, long Swedish legs, small Japanese feet, the abs of a lesbian gym owner, the hips of a nine-year-old boy, the arms of Michelle Obama, and doll tits.” However, there has also been a rise in women expressing a complete love of their bodies just as they are. Many are working very hard to clear away the perception that there is or needs to be an ideal body image for women and each woman has a natural and individual ideal shape that must be embraced and accepted. Many women, especially artist, are even going to great lengths to bring awareness to women’s bodies which have experienced the trauma of the world, either through illness, such as breast cancer, or trauma of some kind. William Scott Downey said, in Proverbs, “For one to admire a woman merely for her beauty, is to love the building for its exterior; but to love one for the greatness of her soul, is to appreciate the tenement for its intrinsic value.” This is something that our society is slowly coming to better understand.

Looking specifically at the societal and cultural trends that would affect the ideal body image, it is easy to understand how the popular preference for representing women in the art may change throughout time as well. The reflection of the culture in the art regarding the standards by which women’s bodies are presented is somewhat astounding. As cultural changes occur, it is often times difficult to distinguish whether art was then influenced by those changes or whether the changes are what influenced the art of the time. It’s a “chicken and the egg” story to which the answer is likely ‘both’; one hand washes another. As we comb through the addles of art history and line up each inception of nudity in art to its corresponded period in societal history, we find a direct link between the challenges, beliefs and popular institutions of the time and the portrayal of women’s bodies as well as the restrictions on their sexuality and personal freedoms. Each time conservatism rose, hemlines dropped. Every time there has been a revolution or campaign for rights of any kind, clothes also became less confining. These themes are well documented in the artwork of each particular period.

Some individual artists have always had a fundamental understanding of the value of a woman exists within her and is not directly derived from her appearance alone. Painter Gabrielle Buffet, who is responsible for the astounding piece Marie Laurencin, was quoted in 1903 in saying, “My ambition is that men should have a voluptuous feeling when they look at the portraits I paint of women. Love interests me more than painting. My pictures are the love stories I tell to myself and which I want to tell others.” Artists have always attempted to present their subjects, whether real or fictional, in the best light possible. Their work does not have the potential to be the brilliant and timeless piece that they envision without incorporating an organic honesty of the times and an intrinsic interpretation of the societal context surrounding its inception. Whether an artist is attempting to make a public statement, send a personal message or simply capture the quality of a moment, it is the responsibility of that artist to do so with empathy for the subject matter as well as respect for the medium and the audience. These three things must be in harmony throughout the piece to tell the story of the artist’s soul within the context of the artwork.

The voluptuous female, throughout time, has represented many things to many groups of people. The curvaceous female body image is one that has been revered as the pinnacle of feminine beauty most often since the dawn of time. Women who have pleasingly statuesque and full-figured bodies are considered in so many cultures to represent the wealth and success of that society. Ancient goddesses, especially those associated with the home, health, prosperity, and sexuality, are most often depicted as having a wide waistline and thick hips. A female figure was not considered womanly until it had filled out in the bust and britches. The most artistically admired statues of women are those who represent the female form healthily and well-fed. Looking at the artistic depictions of women throughout time, it is easy to believe that women are most admired when they are naturally fit and have a healthy bit of meat on their bones.

The effect that this fluctuation of the perceived ideal female body image has on a young woman is unfortunate and also profound. Each time the trend swings back toward favoring the severely skinny figure, there is an exponential rise in cases of eating disorders, such as anorexia and bulimia, in young woman especially between the ages of fourteen and twenty-two. When the preference moves to the other end of the spectrum, the cultural norm becomes one of over-eating and excessive exercise in an attempt to increase the measurement of one area of the body or another. As the perception of the female body in art, entertainment, and society at large, swiftly changes from one standard to another, it becomes increasingly difficult for women to feel assured about themselves and their bodies. It also becomes harder for parents, both mothers, and fathers, to instill the right ideals of self-image in their daughters or to teach their sons the value of the complementary gender of human beings.

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Artistic Nudity A National Treasure

May 28th, 2019

Nudity is not only a part of human nature; it has been a part of arts, culture, and worship for thousands of years. As far back as there is written and pictorial documentation of mankind, there has been nudity included. Many cultures, even to this day, treat nudity as a regular part of daily life while in other, more puritanical, parts of the world nudity is viewed as a form of indecency. There is and always will be an effusive debate over what, when it comes to human nakedness, is within the boundaries of art and what lends itself more toward pornography and eroticism.

In times of ancient man, nudity was non-discriminately present in everyday life. Men and women alike spent the majority of their days and nights in the nude, especially in warmer climates. Most anthropologists are of the mind that animal skins and plants were made into clothing only to protect from harsher weather. Still, some believe that the use of such coverings was first developed for decoration to demonstrate prestige or as a part of certain magical practices.

Ancient Egyptian art and hieroglyphs initially led anthropologists to believe that clothing wasn’t worn until puberty and, after that, men often wore clothing except on their chests or feet and women would usually dress in lightly draping, almost see-through fabrics. However, recently discovered tablets show not only Queen Nefertiti but also her husband, Pharaoh Akhen-Aton, as well as the Egyptian court practiced nudism, even in the royal gardens and palace. Queen Nefertiti worshipped the considered nudism and sunbathing to be beneficial for both spiritual reasons and for physical health. In ancient Greece, the naked male form was a symbol of the virility of the nation. The physique of a young male was something to be proudly shown off. However, in ancient Rome, the general attitude was that nudity in public was indecent, no matter how lascivious the behavior inside the home was.

In the Orient, there has always been a noticeable divide between the positions taken on nudity. In ancient Japan, nudity was so readily accepted that such traditions as communal nude bathing became the usual standard. Nude family and mixed bathing were also common as Japan has numerous hot springs. Conversely, the Chinese view nudity as something for the lower-class, the peasants. The upper class viewed nakedness as such a foul sin that the women of high society would not even disrobe for their doctors. Neither Japanese nor Chinese art from ancient times depicts nudity, not due to censorship of nudity in art though. The Japanese generally liked their clothing and considered the removal of it as an essential part of intimacy while the Chinese simply believed that nudity was a great perversion.

As in most things, art reflects the life and, at times, vice versa. As societal proclivities change, so do artistic perspectives. As nudity, which was once generally accepted in society, became more taboo, so did the openly naked portrayal of women and men in art. A well-known example of this is The Birth of Venus by Sandro Botticelli. Since its creation in 1485, the painting has been banned and unbanned and banned again all over the world. By some, it is considered one of the most iconic and beautiful pieces of art in history. Others consider it profane and sexualizing and indecent. At the time of its rendering, the popular definition of beauty in regards to a woman’s body was not the thin, unfed looking models we see in today’s fashion catalogs. Venus is a perfect example of the standard of a beautiful female body during the fifteenth century. The obvious adoration of the onlookers in the painting is often mistaken for sexual desire, one reason used to justify the censorship of the piece. Birth of Venus by William Adolphe Bouguereau has, over the years, suffered similar censorship for its portrayal of the goddess in the nude with admiring onlookers including unclothed cherubic angels.

The pressure of those who would see nudity suppressed in art is so great that some artists have even succumbed to making variations of their art to satisfy the masses. One famous example of this is Francisco de Goya’s painting La Maja Desnuda (The Nude Maja) from 1797 which he repainted in 1803 which was then called La Maja Vestida. Of course, the most famous case of cover-up censorship during the Renaissance period is that of the Last Judgment, a painting, by Michelangelo, on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. While there were stirrings of discontent about the piece from the start, it wasn’t until after Michelangelo’s death in 1564 that the nudity was covered up with painted-in scraps of fabric. In 1565, Daniele da Volterra was the artist hired to alter the massive ceiling fresco.

The use of foliage, fabric, veils, and, notably, fig leaves to cover up nudity in the art of all kinds is somewhat amusing as we look back through history. These tactics for bringing modesty to the art pieces actually often times enhanced the sensationalism of a piece because it brought more attention to the area of the body which the censors were attempting to detract attention from. The reverse effect of covering breasts and genitalia became clearer as time went on. In the early to mid-twentieth century, restoration of many of these pieces included removing the cover-up additions of the 1800s.

Censorship of nudity in art has never been confined to paintings. Sculptures, such as Frederick MacMonnies’ bronze sculpture, Bacchante and Infant Faun, was set for installation in the courtyard of the Boston Public Library in Copley Square when the scandal took over, has been treated to the same type of suppression as paintings. A more modern example of the controversial sculpture is the work of Daniel Edwards entitled Monument to Pro-Life: The Birth of Sean Preston which shows a bent over Brittany Spears naked, pregnant and essentially going into labor on a bearskin rug. Some may say that it is a depiction of how popular culture can so easily kill one talent while giving birth to another. Others, however, strongly feel that it is nothing more than a pornographic smear at a music industry icon.

The same type of thinking is often used to validate the censorship of nudity in literature, worship, social events or gatherings and even on private property. People, who feel threatened by nudity, typically see the naked form only in terms of sexual activity, with the little rationalization of the organic nature of the human body being nude. Those who practice nudism sometimes referred to as naturism, generally agree that there is little to no sexual arousal inspired simply by being in the company of other naked people. Most say that, after some time, once a certain level of comfort is reached, it is easy to forget about the nudity entirely.

The entertainment industry as well, from live theater to television, film, and internet, has had to endure various levels of censorship of nudity, often times not taking into consideration whether its inclusion was of an artistic or erotic nature. In 1990, performance artist Karen Finley had her NEA grant revoked because Rowland Evans and Robert Novack, two reporters who wrote a column together, having never even seen her art, chastised her for it. The grant was later refunded; however, the artist took the matter to the Supreme Court. Even more recently, in 2010, video artist Rose Bochovski’s computer-graphic, 3-D film Susa Bubble, which depicts a naked young girl with no sexual context, was removed from the Second Life art gallery
Nudity in art has become so widely accepted that once banned, censored and hidden works such as L'Origine du Monde (The Origin of the World) by Gustave Courbet, which was not allowed in galleries, or included in public showings, from its creation in 1866. Finally, it was featured in a show entitled Courbet Reconsidered at the Brooklyn Museum in New York, more than one hundred years later, in 1988. With this acceptance of nudity in art, it was inevitable that a loosening of the reigns in entertainment and media would soon follow. None of That, an animated short film by Group Suspific, was recently released which tells the story of a museum guard who is supposed to guard the artistic nudes from censorship. It is a talented rendering that, amusingly and entertainingly, looks at the problem of censorship and the potential dangers of it as well. There has even been a recent emergence of nudism on television through reality television shows like The Nak’d Truth, Dating Naked and The Naked Office, a reality show out of the United Kingdom.

Nudity has only been considered rare or taboo during certain periods when puritanical views and conservativism was being touted as the basis of the devout lifestyle. This perspective was sometimes pushed by religious groups and churches who considered baring the flesh in any way to be a sin. However, during the majority of human history, naturism of one form or another has been openly practiced. It wasn’t until 1868, when the first “swimming-costume,” or early bathing suit, was introduced, nude bathing was commonplace at beaches in Europe as well as many other parts of the world. Today, there are some European countries such as Denmark and Germany, where beaches are clothing optional. These beaches are also known as “free beaches.” However, even on these beaches, a large percentage of the patrons opt for, at least, partial clothing.

As a subculture, nudists are really no different than non-nudists except for the desire to sunbathe naked. Many early nudists supported nudism for its positive health attributes and believed that regular nudity was essential to physical as well as mental health. The nudist movement as health and therapy was directly in opposition to the American view of the naked body as something immoral or indecent. Therapist and behavioral psychologists supported naturism as beneficial in building self-confidence and learning to feel comfortable in one’s body. Nudism was also attractive to the bored and under-sexualized white, middle-class looking for release from the monotony of everyday life. Sunbathing in the nude was a popular trend among young Americans in the early to mid-twentieth century. A perk to sunbathing on a nude beach is the anonymity it offers in comparison to going to one of the clubs or resort which require registration, membership applications, and sometimes advanced reservations.

The movement for social nudity carries a wide variety of titles and subjects, including, but not limited to, "naturism," "nudism," "Freikörperkultur (FKK)" and the "free beach movement" as well as generalized "public lands/public nudity" advocacy. The differences between each movement, despite their largely shared common themes, philosophies, challenges, and history are to this day a bit antagonistic. Numerous organizations have been formed to support and protect the rights of people to be nude in both private and public venues, including the International Naturist Federation and Young Naturists America. The first of these organizations was the American League for Physical Culture, founded in the early 1930s by Kurt Barthel, who was inspired by his participation in the German Nacktkultur, a nudist movement which Barthal and two colleagues sought to duplicate in the U.S. This was the short-lived beginnings of the nudist movement in America.

In the late 1930s and throughout the 1940s, Americans once again began to view nudism as sinful. The Puritan background of America, with all of its hang-ups about the naked human body, could not be easily diffused. In 1941, when the US Postal Service revived the enforcement of the Com-stock Law, from 1873, publishers of naturist magazines felt inhibited to send their publications through the mail as they did not want to be fined. In 1958, after Dr. Ilsley Boone had been arguing before the Supreme Court for years that nudism was not pornographic, they finally agreed with him. The police raids of the ’40s and ’50s gradually came to an end with the last raid, on a nudist camp, in 1956 in Michigan. The Michigan Supreme Court, in 1957, ruled that nudists had the right to practice in private resorts and parks. The 1950s are now often referred to as the Golden Age of Nudism.

Following the Golden Age of Nudism, came one of the most famous sexual revolutions of America in the hippie movement. This was a time of free love and open nudity throughout the country but especially at a festival, concerts and other large group events. It is arguable whether the high prevalence of nudity was due to a strong need for self-expression among young adults of the day or simply reflective of the over-accessibility of recreational drugs at the time. Whatever the reason, the nudity of the hippie revolution brought nudism and naturism to the forefront of American society and made it less taboo to be discreetly naked, in the context of a private gathering or inside of a personal residence.

Progress has been made over the years in freeing the human body from censorship and socially imposed restraints. As worldwide communications and connections grow, information is more easily shared, and people’s perspectives are widened in regards to world history, cultural traditions, and the impact of society on the scope of those topics. Some would say people are becoming liberated, others would call it desensitized. No matter what term is put to it, the fact remains that, as milestones of restricting censorship are reached in the arts and entertainment industries, those achievements reach into the culture of the people.

Today, although there is still some level of censorship in all things, there is also safe and respectable ways to include nudity in art and life. The many organizations and movements over the past decades have, little by little, instituted an understanding of nudity as an art form while opening opportunities for safe expression of the varying perspectives regarding nudity. There have been several articles, journals and even books published purporting the benefits of nudity in families, as well as in public venues and events from concerts to yoga classes.

However, that is not to say that the struggle against censorship is, or ever will be, over. On both global as well as the local level, artists, entertainers, families, and individuals still must overcome varying obstacles to create, display and sell their art or to simply live according to their chosen lifestyle. In January of 2015, a photographer from Lansing, Michigan, Amanda Grieshop, had an exhibit, We Are Women, on display in one of the local galleries and event spaces. The showing featured black and white photographs of nude women, some embracing and even showing off their scarred and imperfectly beautiful bodies, others simply living in their skin. In a time when body image is of wide-spread interest and the cultural standards for beauty do not match up to the reality of the average person, Grieshop’s is a resounding body of work. However, when the local paper did a story on the exhibit, they covered the women’s nipples and genital areas with white bars. A theater event, which was also taking place in the event space at the time of the exhibit, requested that the same be done to the actual installation as their show was meant to be family-friendly and they did not want audience members to be offended by the surrounding art.

Censorship of nudity, like art and expression, will continue to change, evolve, and adapt throughout time. There will not come a time for humans when censorship is not considered an option by those who are easily, and sometimes illogically, offended by one thing or another. It is the challenge of each artist, and the duty of each individual, to persevere in the face of such adversity, to continue to create art which challenges the comfort level of the masses and opens up new perspectives for looking at the world. The internet continues to present new challenges to freedom from censorship as there is always an overwhelming number of people who would see the human body constantly covered rather than have to manage their own predisposition toward nudity and sexuality.

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Changes In The Depiction Of Nudity Throughout The History Of Art

May 28th, 2019

Over the centuries, nudity has been an important theme running through art. However, it has not always had the same degrees of importance, and indeed accepted as a feature of art during the last 2000 years or so. Sometimes and in some places, nudity has not only been accepted as a valid part of art, but it was also encouraged almost to the point of being revered. Yet nude art has been found in the Khajuraho temples, the other extreme is of religions taking a dislike to nudity can be cited as an obvious reason for it being less prominent in other parts of the world. Indeed in times and places when or where Christianity, Islam, and Judaism have had a dominant position, it was much harder for artists to get glimpses of nudity into their art at all. Conversely, other religions have had no problems with scenes of nudity in art, they were not concerned about covering up the human body at all.

Sometimes though artists were able to get around taboos in depicting nudity in their pieces of art that existed during their lifetimes. The apparent easing of restrictions about displaying nude art arguably demonstrates that cultural ideas about morality have changed over the centuries, well in some countries more than others at least. Some of the pieces of art evaluated here, and the artists that produced those works of art arguably played a part in altering culture and morality, whether or not they intended to do so. In the majority of cases, the artists were more concerned about being able to draw, paint, or sculpt whatever they wanted to do instead of changing their respective societies. This evaluates some of the artists that were involved in using nudity in some or even all of their works of art.

Antikythera Ephebe is a bronze statue of a naked young man, the first parts of which were discovered in an ancient shipwreck off the coast of Antikythera during the year 1900. It is not known who made this sculpture, who wanted it made, and where it was originally displayed. Divers kept finding extra pieces of this statue over the years. The true greatness of this statue was not apparent until it was restored for the second time in the 1950s. Before the restoration of the Antikythera Ephebe, art history had considered Ancient Greek sculptures of naked people to be adequate in terms of standards, yet this statue showed that whoever cast it in bronze was a very talented sculptor. After the fall of the Roman empire in the West, Europeans would not produce statues of such high quality until the Renaissance beginning in the 15th century.

The best estimates would place this piece of nude art back to 340 BC. There is no proof of who the statue is supposed to be. Perhaps the best guesses are of Paris, Hercules, or of Perseus. If it is of Paris, then it would be the only one of him in the nude, Greek sculptures tended to have him wearing a cloak and a distinctive cap so that viewers would know it was him, the anti-hero of Troy. The Ancient Greeks were completely at ease with nudity so at ease with seeing it in their works of art. The Greeks would have had similar statues in their temples and other public buildings and would have admired the quality of the sculpting.

The Khajuraho Temples built by the Rajput Kingdoms in India are dedicated to Hindu and Jain deities. There are twenty temples in the area, and the oldest ones are at least 1200 years old. The Khajuraho Temples are full of art pieces, carvings, and sculptures. Around ten percent of all the carvings as well as the sculptures show erotic and nude scenes. The Hindus, though we're not attempting to turn their temples into places decorated with adult themes, after all, children would come to worship with their families. Instead, they were solely interested in depicting aspects of peoples' everyday lives, so the priests that oversaw the construction of the temples had no qualms in having carpenters and stonemasons make the nude artifacts that were placed in the temples. The artifacts were meant to be of ordinary people doing things rather than the gods in nudity and sex. There was no intention to cause offense with the things depicted in the temples, and none would have been taken, certainly not when the temples were newly built.

The inclusion of these artifacts in the temples demonstrates that Hindus did not have any problems with looking at depictions of nudity and sex in any of their temples. From their perspective, there was, and remains nothing to be ashamed of in looking at images of naked people (even those showing sex scenes). Hinduism is thus a religion that has considerably fewer hang-ups concerning nudity than other faiths do. In that respect, Hinduism had a similarly relaxed view of nudity to the Ancient pagan religions that prevailed over much of Europe, the Middle East, and parts of North Africa before the spread of Christianity and Islam.

The exclusion of nudity from the art of most Christian countries would eventually be challenged due to the rediscovery of the classical world linked to the Renaissance based in Italy. Before that, rediscovery of Christian themes dominated the art of the Middle Ages, unless the artist was painting or sculpting a secular ruler or a rich patron. Even then, the paintings of people, whether they were real, or based on Biblical characters, did not achieve any kind of realism. Christians could and do have different opinions of nudity in art, Muslims are against it, for copying the image of any person was and remains against the fundamental beliefs of their faith.

Lucas Cranach the Elder was an artist that produced works of art that made people appear more realistic, and if that meant he had to depict them nude to do so, then he did. He gained a reputation for his realistic portraits of people linked to the court of the Elector Frederick of Wittenberg including the reformers Martin Luther and Philip Melanchthon. He was therefore closely linked to the Protestant Reformation. Generally, he preferred to paint portraits of the wealthy, it paid well and kept him out of trouble.

The reason his merits are mentioned about nude art was for his art depicting the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. Showing Jesus almost completely naked during his death throes is definitely not the same as erotic statues. Instead Cranach the Elder used the nudity of Jesus to depict his humanity and suffering. Cranach's depictions of the crucifixion were among the most realistic produced. This was particularly the case with the one he made for the Stadtkirche in Weimar. It was ironic that they were placed in Lutheran churches because whenever more radical versions of Protestantism held sway all crucifixions, paintings and statues were removed. The most radical Protestant churches even removed stained glass windows and had whitewashed walls. They find any kind of art distasteful, especially in churches.

Michelangelo as a young man was an artist that regularly chose to do nude art, and in fact developed techniques for painting and especially sculpting the naked human form, which was widely copied for centuries after his death. At the time he was without a doubt the best sculptor Europe had witnessed at work since the Romans. Although nominally a Christian in his youth, Michelangelo greatly admired the art of the Greeks and Romans. His early attempts at art history were rediscovering.

Primarily Michelangelo regarded himself as a sculptor instead of being a painter, yet he made his name doing both. In his youth, there was room for the best Italian artists around to get lucrative commissions from patrons in Italy who were a bit more relaxed about what could or could not be depicted in art. However, a series of invasions and counter-invasions by the French and the Spanish forces would alter Italy drastically after 1520. From the sack of Rome in 1527, the Spanish forces effectively controlled most parts of Italy, and they were not keen about Renaissance art unless it could be used in the Counter-Reformation.

Undoubtedly, Michelangelo did his most meaningful work when he was younger and based in Florence. It was there where he did his most famous sculptures. These were completed when he was working for Lorenzo De Medici, then the Duke of Florence. These statues were all of the naked people sculpted along very similar lines to the sculptures of Ancient Greece and Rome. Michelangelo's technique was so good that he was actually able to sculpt naked people intertwining with each other. These were depicted best in the Battle of the Centaurs and the Pieta. At this stage of his very long career, Michelangelo believed that the only way to portray people artistically was to show them in the nude. The highlight of his early days was, without a doubt, the statue of David, a perfectly proportioned naked person if ever there was one.

Michelangelo's work in Florence gained him an unexpected admirer, Pope Julius II, who was embarking on rebuilding the Vatican. Julius was so desperate to have Michelangelo paint the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel that he was prepared to allow the artist free license to paint whatever he wanted. So desperate in fact that Michelangelo was allowed to paint nude people from the first book of the Bible, Genesis. The scenes painted by him are all breathtaking. Later he returned to paint The Last Judgement, which is notably different in style as he was far less comfortable with nudity after becoming a devout Christian. So his most influential works were those from his youth, though he personally had grown to despise them in his old age.

Over a century after the death of Michelangelo, Francois Boucher was an artist that painted portraits of those linked to the court of Louis XV. That court had a freer atmosphere for painters than that of Louis XIV, and Boucher might have found it harder to receive patronage if he had gone to court twenty years earlier. At court, his main patron was Louis' favorite mistress, Madame Du Pompadour. She was an admirer of the way that Boucher painted people, he would paint a variety of paid-for portraits, and paintings based on a theme. Generally, it was the paintings based on a theme or inspired by a story, which inspired him to use nudity in his art. These pictures included The Toilet Of Venus, and Diana Leaving The Bath. The technique to paint them was really accomplished, and then the details were really lifelike.

Jean-Antoine Watteau was a Frenchman born in Valenciennes during 1684, his style was to influence his younger compatriot Francois Boucher. He went on to become a fairly fashionable painter who was linked to the Rococo school. Watteau moved to Paris to pursue his career as an artist after finishing his university studies. At first, he made a modest living as a scene painter before people started to take notice of his paintings. The time spent as a scene painter allowed him to develop his own style, and the way he painted lights and shading was a revelation to other artists and potential buyers alike.

The majority of his works were based on military events. He was content to put bits of nudity in his paintings, but only if it helped him to portray the image, he wanted to present on the canvas. The main picture that gave him the most publicity did not feature nudity at all, The Embarkation For Cythera, which he finished in 1717. This piece of art actually earned him a place at The Academy, and with the special status, it gave him a fair number of new commissions.

The main work he did that purposely showed nude art was Quellnymphe, and Reclining Nude but all his works were renowned for how he made the backgrounds more notable and contrasted between dark and light to give his paintings more of an emotional feel to them. For Jean-Antoine Watteau, including nudity in his art was incidental. Basically, he just wanted his pictures to tell a story, and he was content to include anything that would improve the impact of each piece of work. Watteau aimed to make everything included in his art look as realistic as possible, which is why he paid so much attention to detail, contrast, colors, light and dark, and shadows. His work was tinged with a hint of sadness as well as unfulfilled romance. Watteau only had a relatively short career, ended by his death in 1721.

Go forward more than a century, and the way some art was produced was changing in Britain. Walter Crane was an English painter from Liverpool born in 1845. Crane was a skilled painter and also a renowned illustrator of books. Because he mainly plied his trade by being an illustrator of children's books, he was not generally regarded as somebody that people would have thought would have used nudity in any of his art. In terms of style, he was influenced by John Ruskin and more importantly, his socialist views.

There were modest examples of nudity in some of his illustrations. For instance, Diana and Endymion and The Swan Maidens. The Renaissance Of Venus is the best known of his works to feature nudity. In terms of style, it shows that Crane admired the works of the Italian masters. However, due to the way the illustrations were printed, they look exactly what they are, late Victorian pieces of art and book illustrations. In terms of finish, it is more akin to a mural than an oil painting. It is a style imitated by the artists that drew adult themed postcards that could be brought at British seaside resorts in the early years of the 20th century.

Alfred Cheney Johnston used photography instead of canvas or stone to put nudity into his art. Johnston did actually train to be a portrait painter yet discovered that photographs of actors and actresses made him far more money. Originally he used his camera to take pictures to paint portraits after people had left his studio. Had he stuck to portrait painting, nobody would probably have heard of him, and the genre of erotic photography might have taken longer to have emerged.

The majority of the photographs he took were taken in and around New York. Johnston did most of his work for the theater owner Florenz Ziegfeld. In the publicity shots the showgirls, the Ziegfeld Follies were covered up, yet nude pictures were frequently taken. It is not clear whether these nude pictures were taken for his benefit or that of Ziegfeld. At the time the photographs of nude women were not published, or if they were parts of the women were covered up.

In 1937 Johnston published his only printed book, Enchanting Beauty, but this was edited to meet the American censorship laws of that period. He also took publicity shots for people who wanted to make it in Hollywood. The list of people he photographed that made it in Hollywood demonstrates that his publicity shots did allow people to get noticed by the major film studios. The list features the likes of Mary Pickford, Barbara LaMarr, Marie Prevost, and John Barrymore. More became known of his work after he donated 245 prints to the Library of Congress in 1960.

Johnston, in lots of ways, paved the way for the development of erotic photography, although that was probably an unintended side effect of a talented photographer simply trying to make the best living that he could. Photographers that followed him into this genre of art carried on using black and white prints to make it look better, when he started, it was virtually impossible to obtain the color film. He had a way of taking pictures of people in the nude that looked sophisticated, and erotic, but not tacky.

Photography, as a new form of art, was quicker to produce than earlier types of art. This means that photographic art forms and pictures featuring nudity can be produced in a matter of minutes instead of days, months, and even years. Setting up as an art photographer was, and is relatively cheaper than becoming a professional painter or sculptor. At the time when Johnston was working and producing his pictures a good eye for details and the patience to get everything positioned precisely where it had to go was required. These days pictures can be taken in an instant via a digital camera or smartphone and posted on social media worldwide within seconds. Perhaps the great artists of the past would have loved such technology, or maybe they would have hated it as it would not allow creativity flow for more than a few minutes.

In conclusion
Over the centuries in some parts of the world it has become easier to depict nudity in various forms of art, while in other places, it is something that is still frowned upon. Nudity was not always something that was hidden away, or that people felt ashamed of. That is why Hindus were relaxed enough about it to have nude artifacts in their temples, and the Greeks were content to have nude statues of bronze or marble displayed in public places. Hinduism and the ancient pagan religions regarded nudity as natural, and even what as far as teaching that the human body was beautiful.

The spread of Christianity and Islam altered attitudes towards nudity, and certainly made it much harder for artists to include it any pieces of art, which they produced. The Renaissance relaxed attitudes in some places, especially in Italy before the Spanish gained control. Michelangelo without a doubt produced some of the finest art that Europeans had seen in over 1000 years. Artists that followed have been able to gradually include more nudity in their works, while photography gave them a whole new medium to work with.

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Artist Theory Implied Nude vs. Full Nude vs. Pornographic What is the Difference?

May 28th, 2019

Today's society has blurred the lines between nude, fully nude, and pornography. TV, movies, and media advertising use nudity to sell their products. Looking at celebrity stars at various events show them baring more and more of their bodies. We are tantalized and inundated by the media with headlines about fashion fails that bare certain parts of a star's anatomy. So-called "Nip Slips" are given front-page attention, and the paparazzi styled photography show these peeks as a star's prized possessions.

These stars themselves often stage these types of exposures. There is a great deal of controversy whether Janet Jackson intentionally exposed herself on a nationally televised sporting event or not. Kim Kardashian's career could be argued to have started after a supposed leak of a private sex tape on the Internet. This followed a similar leak by Pamela Andersen's estranged lover. So where do we draw the line and what are the differences between the three types of nudity?

The church and religious teachings seem to hold no sway anymore. Except in one religion where exposure of any skin is a punishable crime. For an artist, photographer, and media creator, the line is difficult to see, let alone find the rules that correctly portray your subjects. Let's try to sort it all out, shall we?

Art in the form of statues, paintings, and now photography has always used the female form in various stages of undress. You only have to go the various art institutes, museums, and religious shrines around the world to see examples of this. Michelangelo's David is a prime example and is considered an outstanding work of art and a treasured piece of fine art. Rodin's famous statue "The Kiss" and he was famous for the way you see flesh in stone, as his work was so realistic. Bernini's "Rape of Persephone" as well shows nudity and none call it in bad taste, and yet rape is one of the most heinous crimes imaginable. However, here it is, and it is a listed work of art that is in the world-class of art pieces. In fact, historical people in the nude hold a special fascination to us.

Cleopatra, it could be argued is the first Kim Kardashian as she made love to many powerful and historically significant men. She has been depicted countless time in the nude or partially nude for hundreds of years in sculpture, paintings, and in the film as media goes into the digital realm so do Cleopatra's breasts bared for all to see.

So, what are our definitions of Nude, Full Nude, and Pornography?
Nude, as defined by most, is anything that depicts a male or female form in the case of a woman from the waist up and exposing her full breast. The top of the breast is not considered nude if it doesn’t show the nipple or areola. For a man, it is considered nude if he is shown Au naturel or in his birthday suit. Nude art consists of paintings, sculpture, or any likeness, whether in a photo or digital of real or imagined human or human-like characters. This expansion of what is nude is due to the popularity of Anime characters who a part human and animal, such as the famous "Cat Girls," who often appear nude or semi-nude in videos. In Japan, it is considered ok to show this as they are technically not human, and the censors let it by. This includes pictures that depict things up to and including sexual intercourse as it isn't a human being involved. Western censors are a lot more critical, and if it looks like a human breast, it is considered nude.

Full nudity is defined as where both the breast and genitalia are exposed. The male penis, testicles, and scrotum are allowed as long as it is not erect and is in its natural state. In the female, the pubic mound may be shown either trimmed, shaved or Au Natural. The vulva and labia must not be exposed or visible in the final work of art. Also, the erect phallus is verboten as well. Strangely, erect nipples, which in the female are a sign of sexual arousal, are ignored by most critics and censors.

Pornography is where most people are concerned, and religious groups get the most enraged. While the Catholic Church is the owner of the record for many famous works of art, which feature nudity. Even to the point of showing the suckling of a child at its mother's breast, these are not considered pornographic in nature. However, pieces of art, which show the sexual organs in their aroused state or anything, that displays the: vagina, vaginal opening, clitoris, labia major or minor engorged, or anus. These parts of the female anatomy are deemed offensive and obscene. Though many others consider them a beautiful part of the female form. In fact, a whole vocabulary has sprung up to describe pornographic works of art. Words like: rude, lewd, filthy, X-Rated, XXX, porn, dirty, raw, bareback, perverted, degenerate, disgusting, vulgar, and indecent. This is only a small sampling of the verbiage with negative impact.

In contrast, words that describe eroticism, which is accepted in most cultures. The words that describe this are: sexy, erotic, disrobe, naked, sensual, voluptuous, and risqué. These words serve to tease the senses and are used in the news, advertising for many products and haven't any negative connotations when applied to the artwork.

There is even a third group of words that allows you to talk about the vulva, penis, and vagina and no one lifts an eyebrow if you use the words sexual organs or even testes in polite conversation. This third group is called clinical English and allows us to talk about things that, in another context, would be forbidden or go against cultural morals. Medical art can depict almost anything imaginable without fear of ridicule. The context may be the single factor that separates allowed and taboo topics in the art that gets them labeled as pornographic or nude.

What do you mean by context?
The reason something is considered pornographic is if it intends to arouse sexual feelings in a person. Both the church and the state both want to control our lives. Making sex is a sin unless it is through a sanctioned relationship as defined by society and religious tenets is forbidden. Sex is one of humanities strongest urges, and society wants to ration it and meter it out as a reward for obedience to social norms.

Porn is considered by those who are involved in its production consider it an art form equal with the others, and there is nothing wrong depicting the sex act, which is the main sticking point with religion as looking at what is considered porn allows one to give vent to sexual frustration.

The control of sexual release is what society and religion are attempting to control or prevent. If this issue were removed from the equation, there would be no difference between any of the various types of art today involving the clothed or unclothed body. This simple observation shows us the hypocrisy of the whole system. If people don't like a certain picture, they don't look at it no matter what the topic is.

But, because of ancient beliefs and cultural retractions that decide for us what is proper to view and think about individual paintings, statues, and photographs are not on display and in the case of many artworks are locked away. An entire generation of German paintings, sculpture, and other artwork has been warehoused and locked away from view since WWII in Germany, as it is considered pornographic by some even though in many cases there is no nudity involved.

For the artist who is attempting to create their art. They must toe the line if they want to get their work accepted nowadays. Society, law, cultural beliefs, and the law dictates what you can paint, sculpt or take a picture of and be able to put on display without fear of ridicule or even defamation and destruction.

A few years back, a painting of Mayor Washington was shown in a woman's negligee. This raises a furrow not seen since the days of booking in Germany. Alderman rushed down a torn the picture down from an art exhibition. Similar malice happened in France over the depiction of a religious figure in a news periodical. Mayor Washington was not nude, and at worst, it could be considered political satire. Yet it illustrates how many feel about the images that are seen in art today.
A woman may be put to death in some countries if she models for a photo shoot. One famous music star showed her ankle in front of a holy site and was castigated in public forums. This prompted a quick retraction of the photo and a public apology. A comic book was banned in one of America's biggest allies in the Middle East during the Kuwait liberation from Iraq. The comic was for the consumption of the servicemen that protected Saudi Arabia from a possible invasion, and the magazines were intended for their use only. In fact, a reference to this ban is not even available via search engines. This shows how far censorship has progressed on the net in some countries.

Wonder Woman is a symbol of Woman's rights, and she is fully clothed, yet many feel even the amount of skin she shows is too much. Barbie, another cultural icon is banned in many nations, and a Burka Barbie was released during her 50th anniversary. The clothing was tastefully done by a famous designer. This prompted cries of outrage on this side of the Atlantic as it was said it was a sign of oppression of women for not exposing her face or any skin.

You see most of the world wants to control what you will see in art whether it is paintings, art that appears in the newspaper, or what you see in movies today. Nudity is just a convenient ploy used by those in power to show they are doing something while larger issues are remaining unresolved.

So how far do you think your full frontal painting of a nude of a woman would be taken as part of cultural exchange between Riyadh and New York's Guggenheim Museum? What would happen to a Van Gogh nude sent to Israel? Israel is a country that whites out women’s pictures from newspapers, magazines, TV and replaces them with men. Hilary Clinton was removed from pictures in Israeli newspapers after the Osama Bin Laden hunt reached its conclusion.

It's not the terminology or the subject matter
Nude, Full Nudity, and Pornographic are just linguistic constructs that hide the true issues today. It is not a picture of a woman having evil intercourse. On the contrary, it is the most significant activity two people can engage in. So why is a depiction of it rejected by the art world and society? It is all related to the arousal of emotions involved with sex.

Implied nudity is everywhere. Look at the Met Gala and Kim Kardashian where she wore a gown that was implied nudity at the very least and totally over the wall into the pornographic depending on who you ask.

Bathing suits today all imply nudity and any event that Hollywood hosts show more skin that you could possibly imagine. JLO has started a trend of showing the underside of the breast, which has traditionally been forbidden territory for pictures and media art. It is not only implied nudity that comes into question. It's the proximity that genitalia comes in close contact, which is the danger sign for art in the west.

An erect penis is considered a precursor to intercourse, and thus you can't paint it or photograph it unless you want to be thought to be in league with Larry Flint of Hustler fame (or notorious depending on your point of view.) Yet in Japan, a fully erect Penis statue is put on display and women touch it in public and rub it for good luck and to invoke its ability to promote fertility. Ancient customs in Europe show the Maypole as a symbol of male potency.

The Cerne Abbas Giant is a giant with a club, and an erect penis cared into the English countryside, and it is a cultural treasure and landmark. It is not considered obscene or pornographic.

In Beijing in the White Temple, there are Buddhist statues that depict Buddhas and demons having intercourse with women with full penetration of the penis and vagina, and it is on display for all to see.

Finally, there are the Tantric temples of Khajuraho India Where various forms of sexual congress are carved in graphic detail showing sexual contact between men and often multiple partners simultaneously. No one would say these are pornographic in India. They depict various animals portrayed as Gods having sex with human beings as well.

The Arabian Nights tales as translated by Sir Richard Burton are art in written form, and some editions show the various acts between men and woman in graphic detail with color illustrations, and this was written during the Victorian Era, which was one of the most sexually repressed periods in English History. These editions are highly prized and considered art treasures.

Not to be outdone the Indian Kama Sutra is considered a classic and is hundreds of years old. Japan's pillow books and silkscreen paintings are also considered works of art and not pornography. These date from the 12th and 18th century. One of the most famous is the "Pillow Book of Sei Shonagon." Similar Books are to be found in China as well.

One could argue that what is considered hardcore XXX Rated magazines, videos, and films is just the current age’s version of these classic art forms. Which brings us to the Internet where many experts believe that over 40% and as high as 70% of all Internet traffic is pornographic by nature. Here every form of sex act imaginable can be acted out by those who care to indulge their wildest fantasies. Live action and with any race or ethnic background one could desire along with everything in between.

Many of the suppliers of these websites consider themselves performance artists and have as much right to practice their arts as a painter or photographer, and sculptor. Since no real contact occurs between performer and client is not considered a crime as no physical touching of genitalia or penetration is possible.

However, in Japan, this is changing as well. Types of "art forms" have taken on new meaning. Electronic virtual reality skinsuits transmit stimulation during a computer simulation between an Amine Character or real live sex partner that you feel their touch, and you can even be brought to orgasm. The Japanese are billing this as the next form of computer graphics technology that will replace reality. There is now a 1st generation of sculpted lifelike female sexbots that not only look like a woman but are fully functional as well. There is also a cheaper model that performs sexual stimulation on the male via a robotic hand that is modeled after a woman's. This, too, can be argued as an outgrowth of sculpture.

In all these cases mentioned it is being considered by the creators that even there is full nudity and by western standards pornographic in nature, all of it is deemed to be normal and is only an extension of current art being practiced with the use and help of technology.

In America, there have been experiments where tiny wires are embedded in a person's brain that can stimulate the pleasure centers directly. Who is to say this would not develop into a new art form where a virtual world may be created that looks and all your senses tell you is real. Here a nudist would be typical as everyone you would see in the raw and unclothed state. Computer graphically sculpted perfect forms would be tantalizing, and their very touch would induce sensations in your brain that you wouldn't know the difference from the real thing. Would this be considered, nudity, full nudity, or pornography? Only time will tell when it comes to the future of the arts.

In conclusion
You can see the theme of this article believes that there really is no difference between all three terms. It is just a semantic sorting device that society uses to restrict our activities and control us. Other nations on earth do not understand Western man's hang-ups about nudity, full nudity, and porn. In many societies, all three areas are accepted as a natural human activity and have no stigmata attached to them.

America had reached a milestone when it accepted same-sex marriages. Perhaps the next hurdle is to remove the vocabulary that divides art into various categories that restrict its expression and how it is treated by society. If we are a truly free society, should we not be able to exercise our artistic talents and have them be appreciated as art and not have them called lewd or pornographic?

Japanese and Chinese courtesans were skilled in erotic art, poetry, and music. In China, ancient schools taught women how to pleasure and be pleasured by men. They were recorded by word, sculpture, and in graphic form as well. These activities were considered art, and a practitioner was honored. The same holds true in India, where the skills of dance and love went hand in hand with sculpture and painting. These arts are the forerunners of our own photography and computer graphics arts as well.

So perhaps ultimately you will have to make the final determination as to what your definitions are. What goes on inside someone's home is their private business and the type of art they choose to enjoy is not something that no government or societal judgment should regulate, and it should be up to the individual to make their own choices in this matter.

Perhaps if this were true today, there would be fewer problems in the world.

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Creative Artistic Expression Through The Ages

May 28th, 2019

When you think of the top painting artist of all time, you think of Leonardo DA Vinci, Pablo Picasso, Michelangelo, Vincent van Gogh, Claude Monet, Rembrandt, Renoir, Raphael, and Masaccio just to name a few. These are some of the most famous artists, but there are numerous talented individuals, who express artistic values, and have been doing it for some time now.

Did you ever wonder when the first creative expressions of what we call modern-day artwork appeared? Also, have you ever wondered who the artist was, what were their different styles, and what movements did they start? There have been symbols drawn on cave walls and etchings found in remote areas around the world, which had to have been drowned by indigenous people in specific areas globally. To them, their particular work of art probably did not have artistic value, but probably was more of a means of communication, for their particular period.

I would venture to say that individuals living in caves were more interested in utilizing any types of drawings and figure making talents as a form of supplemental expression for survival. It is hard to imagine a member of an early age family sitting down and consciously engaging in primitive drawing or sculpturing, expressly to create an art piece. However, since I did not live in the day of early men and women, I can't say for sure that there was not an actual artist on the scene. However, artistic merit could be assigned to expressions of creative works of this period by certain period historians.

Through the ages, the artwork has been characterized by different periods of work and art expression. The periods that I have discovered include the Impressionism, Post Impressionism, Fauvism, German Expressionism, Abstract Art, Cubism, Futurism, Suprematism, Constructivism, and De Stijl. Each period just mentioned had its specific well-known artist, like Pierre Auguste Renoir of the Impressionism period. Vincent Van Gogh was the work of art stand out during the Post Impressionism period. Henri Matisse showcased the Fauvism Era. Ernst Ludwig Kirchner was the stand out during the German Expressionism period. The Abstract Art Era had great Georges Braque. The world famous Pablo Picasso did more than one famous art piece, during the Cubism timeline. The Futurism period was graced by the artistic values of Giacomo Balla. Kazimir Malevich was the standout of the Suprematism timeline. The Constructivism era had El Lissitzky, and finally, Piet Mondrian was the standout during the De Stijl era.

Famous Painting and Authors of Genuine Artwork
Below you will hear about famous painters from different periods and the unique paintings that they contributed to society. Even though many of the artists had some notoriety at the time that they created their works of art, their creations depicted below had certain qualities that placed them into a select category. Their paintings capture the viewer and grab their attention in their own special way. Each style was different, and each painting listed below had that extra eye-catching element that would hold the viewer's attention and make them take a second look.

In my opinion, if the paintings listed below were placed in an art gallery in any country, with a combination of additional paintings, showcasing different persuasions, the ones listed below would command the second and third looks from art critics with different eyes for talent. Every single painting listed has eye appeal elements, attention-grabbing qualities, and many have shock value resignation, that qualifies them for the title of a unique work of art. Their artistic merit and creative expression definitely activate the sense perceptions of admirers, whomever they are.

Below you will hear about ten works of art by ten unique painting artist.

Girl with a Watering Can
This was painted by Renoir during the Impressionist era. It is an eye-catching chapter of Mademoiselle Leclere. She is wearing a blue dress while holding a watering can. It is very attention holding because she resembles a doll posing. Renoir created this painting in 1876. The Impressionism period was from 1870 to 1890. The artistic values established during this period was where his growth originated. Girl with a Watering Can, too many viewers, may seem simplistic. However, they will stare and watch it, mainly due to the image of the girl.

An emotional Vincent van Gogh painting that is very striking and noticeable. This painting was done in his early years. It is a painting of Clasina Maria Hoornik, who was 32 and pregnant at the time. Given her set of circumstances, when the painting was created in 1882, it took courage from both parties to complete this work of art. This was done during the Post Impressionism era, which was from 1885 to 1905. Much artistic merit was attributed to painters from this timeline. Sorrow condors up feelings of remorse in individuals, which holds their attention for periods.

Woman in a Purple Coat
While viewing this Henri Matisse painting, you observe the persona of his assistant Lydia Delectorskaya. This was an oil painting that captures the essence of their companion relationship, which they carried on for many years. She is captured while wearing a Moroccan costume, which is very exotic. Matisse was part of the Fauvism period, from 1905 to 1910. However, he painted Woman In A Purple Coat towards the end of his oil painting career, in 1937. He started creating paper cutouts in 1950, and at this time stopped oil painting completely. Woman in a Purple Coat has an alluring attraction, which sparks many second looks.

Standing Nude with Hat
This work was done by German Expressionism artist Ernst Ludwig Kirchner in 1910. The German Expressionism period was 1880 to 1938. This particular painting immediately grabs your attention. This woman is nude except for a hat; she is wearing shoes and a small bracelet, necklace, and earrings. He aimed to overthrow the conservative German art traditions. He acquired inspiration from German Gothic and primitive art. Standing Nude with Hat definitely has shock value, along with a mesmerizing attraction.

Woman with a Guitar
Done by Georges Braque, who was part of the Abstract Art period, which was from 1907 onward. This particular painting was completed in 1913 in France. Braque utilized visual elements, but he utilized them very independent like. His works were more or less divorced from the actual object itself, but more of a version of it. He definitely mixed form, tone, texture, and shape to construct his own visualization of what he was seeing. A woman with a Guitar is a perfect example of this. Its complexity holds your attention, while your mind tries to piece things together.

Girl Before a Mirror
Pablo Picasso, who was one of the greatest all-time painters of the Cubism period. This period was from 1907 to 1915. This painting was created in March of 1932. When first viewing this painting, one is reminded of earthly pleasures. It strikes a cord of questionable morality. Marie Therese Walter is the women featured in the painting, who was Picasso's mistress during his youth. Picasso presents her in a duel reflection, both fronts, and in profile. This was an oil, canvas creation and is very much frequented today at the Museum of Modern Art, New York. Girl Before a Mirror is simply an attention-generating work of art, as most of the Picasso creations were.

Girl Running on Balcony
A creation by Giacomo Balla, who was one of the great Futurism era painters, which ran from 1909 to 1914. He painted this 1912 visualization of one of the initial forerunners of the Italian movement. You can view this painting today at the Museo del Novecento in Mila. He uses many squares that fragment the image of the girl, which makes the viewers focus on her fragmented motion and not on her form. There is a constant blurred line effect, which is captured in the girl's steps through seemingly nowhere but infinite space. Girl Running on the Balcony is a challenge for the more analytical minded art lovers. If you love puzzles, you are easily attracted to this art piece.

The lady on a Tram Station
This piece was done by Kazimir Malevich in 1913. Malevich was one of the artists of the Suprematism period from 1915 to 1925. He was a Russian painter who utilized a style that was geometric, abstract, with elements of Futurism and Cubism. Lady in a Train Station, when first viewed has the effect of making you think. You wonder what he thought when he set out to construct this oil painting. Many who first view this painting, find it rather bizarre. Malevich had many characterizations, like one of Russia's most prominent modern painters, the founder of the Suprematist movement, an initial pioneer of geometric abstract art, plus art theoretician. The lady on a Tram Station seems to be a combination of many of his dimensions combined. You will find yourself looking at it and not really knowing why.

Data Double
El Lissitzky is a very unorthodox piece of work. Lissitzky was unconventional, he was Russian, a well known modern painter, polemicist, architect, photographer, typographer, and a famous designer. He was from the Constructivism period from 1913 to 1930. His artwork seems to be a mixture of digital mirror reality vs. the virtual world. His Data Double creation seemed to reflect these thought patterns. This work reflected his seeking to explore possibilities between alternative worlds. Data Double definitely attracts the attention of a certain kind of art lover. If you are attracted to this type of art, you have to like this painting.

Gray Tree
This painting was completed by Piet Mondrian, who was a member of the De Stijl era from 1917 to 1931. He completed Gray Tree in 1911, and it is exhibited at Gemeentemuseum Den Haag, at the Hague. Gray Tree is faceted and abstract, with the tree being somewhat oval in shape. This is a practice that the Cubist utilized. De Stijl was a Dutch style that Piet Mondrian developed, and was purely abstract. He was intent on developing a universal visual language free from the nationalism, which reflected the Great War. Somewhere in his mind, the Gray Tree reflected these visualizations. Taking everything into consideration, Gray Tree is very different, out of the ordinary work of art that certain art lovers are attracted to. Many other art lovers need to just stare at it for a while.

The Age of sculpture
Many believe that sculpture is the earliest form of art. Much like the paintings found in early caves, there were carvings of hunters, animal, and of action situations found in prevalent places, during early civilizations times. During these periods, the sculpture was probably utilized as what they thought was some sort of supernatural aid for hunters.

The earliest emerging civilizations, like Mesopotamia and Egypt, reflected strong ancestors beliefs. The majority were reflective of the hear after. Especially Egyptian sculpture art. Most of the art in Egypt dealt with the Pharaoh, sun and moon gods, and half man-half animal gods. As the civilizations evolved, the different sculptures also did. Egypt's claim to fame was the huge slabs of stone used for monumental sculpture. There was a strong emphasis on large and mega creations. Starting with Egypt, moving on to the Assyrian influence. The Assyrians focused on the stone carving of monsters, winged bulls, and five-legged creations with human heads. They were heavily into ceremonial rituals which featured their creations. After that, the Babylonians came on the scene. The Babylonians utilized color in the tiles and buildings. Even their guardian animal gods were colorful. They were noted in one of the wonders of the world at that time. Soon the Persian influence was visible. The Persians were very skilled in creating objects with gold and bronze. They integrated this technique into the formations of their sculptures.

The Greeks were into nude sculptures heavily. They created gigantic statues like that of Apollo, who depict gods and heroes. Nike was the winged female personification that stood for victory. Around the fourth century, the Greeks changed from abstraction to naturalism. They started creating statues in natural proportions. Then the Romans established a style that is most visible in this day and age. The Romans assimilated a lot of the art characteristics of the Greeks and the Etruscans. The main contributions of their artistic sculptors to the art world were portraits. The Roman styles seem to take the opposite track of those of Greek sculptors. They became more simplistic in an abstract way. The Early Christian Sculpture reflected the footprint of the Roman styles, in the Churches in Rome.

Different modern-day countries have sculpture antiquities which reflect their heritage. Many of these different cultural icons have a priceless value assigned to them, reflective of their country's rich history. Unfortunately, many of these priceless creations are being destroyed because of wars. Fortunately, many countries faced with these culture threatening situations are finding ways to protect and preserve their historical art heritages, regardless of country skirmishes.

The Sculpture of Lady Justice
Author Unknown - One of the greatest and most visible sculptures in the world today, but has no specific author assigned to it. However, it is found in courthouses worldwide, law offices, and justice buildings virtually everywhere. This global sculpture has multiple names, which include Lady Justice, Blind Justice, Scales of Justice, and one name that dates back to the Romans and Greeks, which is Goddess of justice and law.

Starting with Egypt, this statue was depicted as the Goddess Maat and Isis. The Greeks characterized her as Dike and Themis. The Romans called her Iustitia, and their image is the one that modern society holds and displays in courthouses and justice buildings. She has a modern duplication of a woman blindfolded, holding scales, with a sword pointing down. The blindfold means blind or fair justice. She holds a sword in her right hand, pointing down, which represents punishment. She holds the scales in her left hand above the sword, which indicates evidence before any punishment is rendered. Truly, this is one of the most meaningful sculptures throughout history.

The author is Michelangelo - This sculpture is of the Virgin Mary holding her son, Jesus Christ after his death on the cross. Michelangelo created this work of art in 1498. It took him two years to finish this masterpiece, which was chiseled from a single section slab of marble stone. The French Cardinal Jean de Bilhères commissioned the work. This work was unprecedented in Italian sculpture. Michelangelo struck a balance between naturalism and the classic beauty of the Renaissance era. Michelangelo's characterization of the Pietà features a younger version of Mary, unlike many other artists, had shown her. Most of Mary's body is covered with large drapery, blending the two figures quite naturally in appearance. Michelangelo wanted to present a positive version of the communion between man and God, being Christ on earth.

Venus de Milo
Alexandros of Antioch- This unique sculpture named Venus de Milo was constructed between 100 and 130 B.C. Its arms and original plinth have been lost. It is believed to be a sculpture of Venus Aphrodite. The marble statue was discovered by accident in the field of a farmer. The Greek farmer who discovered this treasure was called Yorgos. This happened in 1820 while he was digging on the island of Milos. After news got out of his discovery, the Choiseul archeological expedition from France arrived, purchased it, then took it to France where Louis XVIII named it Venus de Milo. Today it is visible in the Louvre Museum in Paris.

Photography As Artwork
When we talk about photography as having artistic values, we need to take several things into consideration. During the early days of the initial emergence of photography, photos were just a way of dabbling into something new. You might even say that they were just a new fad experiment. The field of photo artist is basically an extension of a regular artist who simply utilizes a camera instead of a brush.

The Steerage - By Alfred Stieglitz
In the year 1907, the very first photo that could be considered, a photo work of art was created. This photo happened to be done by Alfred Stieglitz, and it was called The Steerage. The photo was of a mixture of passengers on board a steamship, who were traveling in the lower class section of an international cruise. They were traveling from New York to Germany. This photograph was labeled as one of the best photos of all time. History analyst says that it captured the first works of modern art in a photograph. To many, this was the start of photography as an art piece.

The Superstar of The Visual Art Movement
Andy Warhol was one of the most famous modern day photography icons ever, in addition to being proficient at painting, drawing, sculpture, music, film, printmaking, and silk screening. His photographs were very different in several ways. He did a lot of studio-based portraits. Some of his clients included Keith Haring, Maria Shriver, Pia Zadora, and Joan Collins. He loved to work with Polaroids, plus take a lot of black and white photos. In addition to Fine Art Photography, Andy Warhol was proficient in Portrait Photography, Black and White Photography, Color Photography, Landscape Photography, and Still-life Photography.

Fine Art photography
This is when an artist reaches the point of creating something with their camera, which happens to bring all factors together, to create a super unique photo. The elements of lighting, focus, and composition go into the capture of such a photograph. The end result of exceptional photos perhaps at the moment may not be placed in museums or historical places, but more to the tune of office decor, rooms of a house, or even to show in photo galleries.
There have been, and still, are, numerous photo artist, who have established themselves in the six fields just mentioned. Compared to painting and sculpturing, photography is still a changing and evolving form of creative expression. Not too long ago, a photo artist was developing their shots and negatives in dark rooms. Today they utilize the most advanced digital cameras on the market, to create the shots that stand out from mediocrity. It is almost as if a new form of art has developed right before our eyes.

Whereas Andy Warhol utilized Polaroids, today's photo artist have access to some of the most advanced photographic equipment ever devised. The new types of advanced equipment have taken this field of art to a new level of production and creation. However, we still have the past, present, and the future.

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A History Of American Censorship Laws, Nudity In The Publics Eye

May 28th, 2019

The origins of "American Censorship Laws" relating to nudity are vague at best. There was a time when America had no federal laws either for or against nudity. The First Amendment actually protects your rights in this area, under the right to freedom of expression. However, local laws are another story. Local laws take precedence over nudity in public, such as federal parks, lands, beaches, and other areas. So under local and state laws in America, you can be arrested for nudity in public. To top it off, nudity is against the law on a person's own property, if it can be observed through the windows, in yards, or any area visible to the general public. There are times when these local and state laws conflict with a citizen's constitutional protections for freedom of expression. This may be the case when the nudity is related to a performance of the arts or even a political demonstration.

Special situations are tolerated in certain states of America, where going nude is tolerated or allowed. These cases have special requirements, being that they are with private facilities, and not visible to the public outside of the private facilities. Nudity laws, for the most part, were built-in the culture of the earlier settlers in America. It appears that the aversion to nakedness has religious undertones. In early trials of the colonist, several judges have pointed to the Bible for reference against nudity.

There was a case study dating back to 1877, where the Supreme Court of one of the states reflected on how Adam and Eve were compelled to wear fig leaf clothing. They pointed out that this was done so that they would not gaze of each others nakedness. In the early 1900s in the USA, women were required to wear layers of clothing while swimming at public beaches and swimming pools. Annette Kellerman, an Australian swimmer, in 1907 was arrested in Boston for wearing a one-piece bathing suit. Local officials labeled this as public indecency. There was a backlash from the public in regards to this arrest; The end result was worldwide acceptance of the one-piece suit by 1910.

American Censorship Laws

In the year 1842, the first federal obscenity law in the U.S came about. This law was brought about by the US Customs Service, to seize what it deemed as immoral and obscene visual material. This was done even though the service did not actually define those terms. Several individual states had already enforced these laws early in the century. They zeroed in on illustrations, books, and other printed expressions with sexual content. This was done without any accurate legal definition of actual language describing immoral, lewd, or obscene material.

In 1873 Anthony Comstock was an American grocery clerk that became a social activist. He persuaded Congress to expand the federal obscenity law. The major enforcer of this corrupt and depraved standard was The new Comstock Law. This law barred sending any classified obscene, deemed lewd, or lascivious type book through the mail. Also, hand pamphlets, clear pictures, graphic print, or other clandestine publication of degenerate and morally indecent character were forbidden.

Anthony Comstock was deputized as a special agent of the U.S. Post Office. He had a 40-year tenure as head of the New York society for the suppression of vice. During this time, Comstock seized and destroyed thousands of books. He also did the same to various magazines, illustrated material, and what he considered contraceptive advertisements, sex devices, or anything of this sort.

When Did They start?

Basically, every since civilized men and women started forming groups of different sorts, various governments and powerful religions have made attempts to crack down on any type of expression, that posed a serious threat to their order of things. This would be in the form of books, what they considered as blasphemous speech, certain songs, the sexual expression of any sort, various jokes, pictures, old wives tales, just plain old sexual information, and most definitely going nude.

Around the end of the 16th century in Europe, there was a movement noted by Philippe Aries, in which certain pedagogues refused to let their children be exposed to indecent printed material and books. During the middle period of the 18th century, the notion of sexual childhood innocence fueled an anti-masturbation mania in Europe, as well as America. By the same token, literature and sexually stimulating art were lumped into this category, also.

This way of thinking grew and festered into a movement. During the late 19th century, there was a fusing of anti-vice grips, anti-youth corruption groups, and certain religious factions, which generated the political infrastructure for a massive crackdown of sexual speech and expression in America.

Where Did They Start?

You might say that ground zero of American censorship laws, and the way that nudity is viewed in the public eye had a start in 1868. During this time, there was a case called Regina v. Hicklin. This was started in the English courts, but the American courts soon adopted the rulings. The English coined a definition of obscenity, which was deemed criminally punishable.

The so-called Hicklin standard became the new moral kid on the block. American courts embraced this ruling. Now fast forwarding to 1930, some more reasonable courts rejected the Hicklin standard for interpreting morality. Mary Ware Dennett was a birth control proponent and author, who stirred things up a bit. She was involved in a case about her sex education pamphlet called The Sex Side of Life. Her material, along with a book was written by James Joyce called Ulysses was blocked by the U.S. Customs Department. They refused to let the material come through customs, stating that it was obscene.

Mary Ware Dennett was convicted under obscenity laws, but they were later reversed in 1930 by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. The court realized that there should be a clear and reasonable version along educational lines, for children to learn about sexual matters. They reiterated that clearly everything with a sexual coronation is not lewd and indecent. Three years later there was a reversal of the Ulysses verdict rendered upon James Joyce. This was pushed by John Woolsey, who was a federal judge. He ruled that her work did not initiate deprave and corrupt thoughts in readers' minds.

In 1957 The Supreme Court made an obscenity ruling in the case Roth v. the United States. In essence, the justices stated that if the material has no redeeming social value, it is not protected by the 1st Amendment. What this did was to open up the field to interpretation experts, who would tie up various rulings in court litigation for years. Some might say, that even though a ruling was rendered, everything related to censorship laws and nudity, was just circumvented for the time being.

Why Did They start?

These actions were started for numerous reasons. The main one being, that first one person, then a group of individuals puts their heads together, then they decided what is best for the public in general. The initial pretense was for the protection of the children. However, using this premise, when does well-balanced thinking enter the scenario? The children need to be told what they need to know in life, to function in a reasonable, responsible, mature sexual manner.

The Brennan verdict created controversy for the next sixteen years. Courts kept on trying to figure if the material had any redeeming social importance. In 1973 the obscenity law took on a new twist. The Supreme Court announced a new obscenity criteria test that empowered local communities to set their own individual censorship standards. This took the monkey off the back of prosecutors. They no longer had to prove if material had to redeem social importance or not.

Below is the three-part test that was to be applied to potential obscenity law violations.

First - Is there an overt display of sexual organs in a lewd or suggestive manner, plus does any material describe or depict activity in an offensive way or manner. Also, if the body shown or described as an attempt to educate the viewer or reader, there was no violation.

Second - Can the average person view or read the material without taking offense to the contents. Also, if contemporary community standards are applied to the material in question, will the average person receive the redeeming value of the contents.

Third - Is there universal artistic, scientific, political, or literary value of the material, when viewed by the average citizen.

Also, certain states went in one direction and others in the opposite direction, about what they would enforce. Certain states located in regions of favorable climates, were more lenient on nudity, for the simple reason that it brought in revenue to the state and local governments. Nude beaches, for instance, would generate more money for the local governments than building community centers. This may seem ridiculous, but the lure of revenue pouring into a strapped local government's economy can alter the thinking of many people.

Do Other Countries Have Them?

There is a plus-minus factor when it comes to other countries and their censorship laws. Every single country has some sort of law of this type. To be reasonable, the ones which will be presented here are the ones to the left and right of the United States. Plus the field will be narrowed down a bit, and deal with the nudity element of obscenity laws. Those countries include Brazil, Canada, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Scandinavian countries, Spain, and the United Kingdom. You will find that their laws are at opposite ends of the spectrum.

More liberal countries tend to have less harsh censorship laws. This type of law usually reflects the will of the people. The countries of Spain, Canada, the UK, Scandinavian countries, and Brazil are more relaxed with their views towards the human body. Hence, their views and laws towards nudity and how it is viewed through the public eye is less suppressive and more mainstream. In the countries just mentioned, under certain circumstances, individuals can indulge in nudity on certain beaches and other similar activities, without being out of place or receiving any threat of censorship.

On the other end of the spectrum are countries like Qatar, United Arab Emirates, and virtually all of the countries located around the two just mentioned, have harsh laws and penalties to match. Public nudity of any sort, and even the women revealing anything but their eyes, in some of these countries, is punishable by extreme measures. Nude sunbathing, skinny dipping, or anything of this sort is condemned, based on religious, cultural, and extreme points of view.

How Were These Laws Passed?

These laws were passed because the individuals of society put their heads together, and formulated a general governing law for an entire group of people, of which they were a part of. However, when challenged, they were tried and tested in the courts. Many of the laws were upheld by the lower courts, but quite a few made it all the way to the Supreme Court. Once this happened, universal rulings were handed down, and whatever was decided became the law of the land.

In America, it only takes one person to get something in their mind, which they feel passionate about. Now this something in their mind can be real or imaginary. Next, they start a petition and get a lot of other people on board and converted to their way of thinking. In progression, they utilize various forms of media, to draft the general public to their way of thinking. Once their agenda is in the minds of the public, they will try to place their idea of a voting ballad for the general public to vote into law, or they will attempt to get their legislators to bring the proposed law up for a vote.

Now if the proposed laws are the type that no level headed official would vote on, based on its own self worth, they will try a different tactic. This tactic is to attach the proposed bill to a valuable piece of legislation, as an attempt to get it passed as a rider. This is also known as a tag along or a worthless piece of legislation that could not stand on its own, but as a rider, it passes and becomes a law, regardless of its civil worth.

What Was Their Reasoning For Such Laws?

The reasoning behind the formulating of such laws was religious in nature, based on suppressed sexual urges, and also based on insecurities related to their fear of change. One of the main reasons for the attempted control of sexual expression is fueled by politics. Many ambitious individuals view this field as an open slam dunk case for them to ride into a political office. They construct their jargon and campaign around any obscenity issue and use it as an attack mechanism for publicity, votes, and eventually a political office. This type of person will just as easily look the other way on issues of this sort if enough money was donated to their campaign war chest.

The problem really gets complicated when several of the politicians who think this way form alliances. They will protect each others legislation, regardless if there is any redeeming social value or not. When looking into individual laws on the books, one quickly realizes that many should never have become laws in the first place. However, once they are on the books, anyone who opposes them will soon find out that they are in for a painstakingly rough time to remove them.

Reasons Why We Don’t Need Them

When you see other more progressive countries, with virtually limited legal constructs regarding their sexual mores and Folkways, you have to question the ones staring you in the face. These other countries established systems seem to be surviving and not falling victim to moral degeneracy. Therefore, this is a true indicator that change is possible. Instead of relying on censorship to fight suppressed urges and pent up frustrations, honest, and frank discussions might be a better alternative.

Every now and then someone or some group will challenge some oppressive sexuality, nudity, or obscenity laws. When challenged, many of the facts that were accepted in the past are exposed as nothing more than a ridiculous piece of legislation, with no value whatsoever to the general public. When this happens to one piece of legislation, it makes you wonder, how many more ridiculous pieces of legislation are on the books around the country, that are obsolete.

How and Why They Should Be Abolished

In America, as I mentioned earlier, the federal government does not generate American censorship laws. This control is mandated to individual states and local governments. The legislatures make the laws, the other branches ratify them, then they are enforced by law enforcement. Now, depending on the part of the country that a person lives in, they will encounter more or less opposition to these laws.

For instance, parts of Florida, California, and Nevada are very laid back when it comes to enforcing laws of this type. The reason being is that much of the economy in these states depends on little or no enforcement of laws of this type. Florida and California have merchants that thrive off the ability for beach nudity and related events that accompany it. In Nevada, the city of Las Vegas with its casinos and adult entertainment, generates a huge amount of revenue. The revenue generated in this state and the other states just mentioned is a major proponent of abolishing many of the censorship laws that are on the books.

Now it stands to reason that all laws of this type, simply won't be abolished, simply because in every state there is a segment of the population who are opposed to any sort of change. In America, the law is based on majority rule and minority rights. As long as there is money coming into the treasuries of governments, derived from sex, nudity, or that which is classified as obscene, the local governments will turn their heads and collect the money. However, to pacify the more moral elements of the different communities, the various local governments will straddle the fence very carefully.

In Conclusion

Many segments of the population are in favor of the obscenity laws, just the way that they are. However, many feel that a reformation is long overdue. American censorship laws, diverse forms of nudity, and how everything is viewed through the public eye is a complex issue. In America, the roots were formed in Europe. Once America got on its feet, it planted its own seeds for censorship and nudity laws. After the seeds took hold and started to sprout, there was an emergence of individuals who were bent on establishing the same sort of censorship laws that they had left in Europe. Through a series of growing pains, legal battles, and the emergence of proponents for each side, the individual states set up their individual laws and enforcement degrees for their own individual interest. In essence, you might say that the bottom line of censorship laws is based on revenue.

Also, about one-fourth of the laws on the books, relating to censorship are antiquated, and would not even be laws if they were not attached to popular legislation as a rider. One might ask how this can happen; the answer is very simple. Public officials tend to look out for constituents in their particular district if they want to get reelected. With this in mind, every legislator is in the same boat and need to form alliances with other politicians. They utilize a tactic commonly called, if you scratch my back, I will scratch yours.

So if a bad or ridiculous piece of legislation comes up for a vote, prearranged deals between politicians ensure its passage, regardless of its value, oppressiveness, or inconvenience to the general public. In essence, many of the obscenity laws exist solely because politicians exchanged favors, to pacify some sexually repressed and irrational constituents.

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A History Of Erotic Photography And How It Has Developed Over The Years

May 28th, 2019

Erotic photography is a form of photography which has supporters of the idea that it is a distinct form of art, and indeed should always be regarded as such. Then there are other people, unfortunately usually in influential positions, that either believes it should be heavily censored, or banned completely. When photography began, it was in many respects easier to censor the arts, printed media, and not long afterward cinema than it is now. Erotica is a theme that easily lent itself to both the static imagery of photographs and the moving images of cinema motion movies. Present day technology means that it has become more difficult to censor this genre of photography, or other far worse things, which governments aim to keep under tight control. Technology also means that things can be done differently, yet the basic concepts of the genre have stayed the same. Changes have mainly altered the speed at which erotic photographs can be produced, and how quickly they can be spread from one place to another.

As a type of photography, there is no doubt that erotic photography has been around for almost as long as cameras and films have been invented themselves. Basically, it has been around since the early 1840s as French studios started to produce such prints. A precise measure of how many erotic photographs were taken, kept, and viewed in the early decades of such photographs existing will probably never be known. To avoid censorship, and possible legal proceedings, photographers and their customers would keep the fact that erotic pictures had been taken and subsequently brought a secret. Who made such photographs, and where the pictures could be purchased from soon spread via word of mouth. The early published photograph would have been considered tame by today's standards.

One photographer known to have produced erotic photography was one Alfred Cheney Johnston. He was a photographer almost by accident. Johnston began to use photography rather than canvas to make greater amounts of money via his ad hoc form of art. For he originally trained to be a portrait painter, before discovering the figures that proved that photographic stills of aspiring actors, as well as actresses, made him more money. At first, Johnston had only used a camera to use the resulting photographs to paint run of the mill canvas portrait pictures as soon as his customers had departed from his art studio in New York. This seems to have been one of the main cities for erotic photography to be the most developed in the early years of the 20th century. Before that, most of this genre of art was dominated by the French, with pictures from the likes of Julian Mandel proving popular. Not too many things were known about Mandel, and most people at the time assumed that he was using a fake name to hide his real identity. Other French photographers that made large amounts of money for producing erotica included Jean Agelou and Alexandre-Jacques Chantron.

Other cities that were attractive places to produce adult-themed photographs included Paris, London and also Berlin. In parts of those cities, people could go to an adult theater to see shows with showgirls performing in. These girls were more likely to make an appearance in erotic photography as they would have fewer reservations about posing in these pictures than other women did. Celebrities were content to appear in milder versions of such photographs, perhaps wearing swimsuits to earn extra money and publicity. The film studios were not averse to such pinup pictures being put on public sale to coincide with the release of their stars' latest movie releases. The pinup was a form of erotica that was boosted in popularity by the Second World War as men were away fighting and wanted things to cheer them up.

Perhaps if Johnston had only had the urge to avoid risks and thus stuck to portrait painting many art critics and customers would without a doubt never heard of Alfred Cheney Johnston. If that had been the case all along, there would have been less information available to us concerning the genre of erotic photography, and how it was developing while Johnston was still working in New York. Might have taken longer to have emerged. One of his contemporaries also liked to have his erotic photographs recorded for posterity, was Arundell Holmes Nicholls. All of his main works are kept in the Kinsey Institute, and he always paid meticulous attention to detail to ensure every picture he took matched his exacting standards.

There are two reasons why there are details about and more information concerning the number and kind of photographs that Johnston took during his time working as a photographer in New York. When he moved his business away from New York, it would seem that he stopped taking erotic photographs, or pictures with even the merest hint of nudity. Maybe he still did take those types of pictures, but he referred to them as publicity whenever he did so. There was no doubting the prolific number of photographs he was responsible for taking.

The first reason for knowing about his portfolio of photographic work was his book. It was during the year 1937 when Johnston published his one and an only book full of photographs. He named this book of his Enchanting Beauty. However Enchanted Beauty was tightly edited with any serious hints of erotica or nudity toned down. The photographs were thus edited in order not to fall foul of the United States censorship rules of the Inter-War era. In many respects, Enchanting Beauty was more about Johnston advertising his abilities as a more mainstream portrait photographer than anything else. By that time, his main source of revenue was publicity shots for Hollywood want to be's. His photographs arguably made it possible for his customers to make it big in Hollywood yet that is not an area of concern relevant here.

The second reason why Johnston's photographic work is more well known than most of his contemporaries was due to him donating 245 photographic prints to the Library of Congress. He made that donation during 1960, which was shortly before his retirement. It is still possible to view these prints, for anyone curious enough about his style to visit the Library of Congress, though some are included in books and online blogs about erotica.

There was a financial incentive in producing such pictures, yet both the models, the photographers, and the buyers of these photographs apparently regarded them as holding artistic, and possibly even sentimental values for all of them. Above all, they could be intrigued by such images as they appreciate the form and shape of peoples' bodies. As photographers became more confident about letting people know who they were, the likes of Mandel and Johnston seemed to raise the standards of the picture quality markedly. The high quality and the care put into creating such pictures has, without a doubt, helped the case for the argument that erotic photography is a distinct and serious form of art.

Photographs were, and remain another way of displaying the human body erotically. The people that partake in producing such pictures are attempting to do so in the most artistic ways, which they can possibly find. A fascination with the human form is something that has passed on from one generation to the next one over the centuries. That fascination has tended to remain, although depending on where and when people have lived, they have not always felt confident enough to share it with others, or make that interest known widely in public. Some people can be outgoing than others and will not be bothered about breaking censorship laws or showing their tastes to others. Several decades ago, the likes of Agelou were setting the quality standards for erotica, in the present time, Jean-Christophe Destailleur is setting the modern benchmark.

Then again, it is the most outgoing individuals like actresses and glamour models that are the most likely to be in the pictures in the first place. Pictures that do not have to take long to be taken at all these days, so people do not have to take so long been filmed unless they want to of course. For celebrities, their glamour pinup posters, calendars, and picture shoots for any of the leading magazines can earn them as much money as doing their day jobs. The extra money goes a long way in explaining why male celebrities are as happy as women in becoming pinups in the last forty years or so. Since then such photography has often be termed as glamour photography although for all intents and purposes it remains erotica.

Sometimes, people, have themselves pictured in such ways because they have been curious about erotic photography, and would like to find out how they appear in such pictures. Other individuals just know what they like to view. However, not everyone shares exactly the same views about what is erotic, everyone has slightly different tastes or preferences. The world would be a less interesting place if everybody liked exactly the same things, all of the time. Yet enough of us like roughly similar things for massive amounts of the milder forms of erotica to sell each and every year.

Undoubtedly erotic photographs are development on previous art forms, in the same general way photographs are a continuation of personal portraits or landscapes. In that respect, they continue to do for people what earlier artistic forms had already done, prove erotic to some but maybe not all the people that view it. Erotic photography in some cultures and societies is art that has been openly embraced, while in other countries, it has been banned outright or censored. Despite attempts to control it, erotica, as well as nudity, have been themes running through art for at least 2000 years or so. The continuation of depicting nudity and people in erotic poses should not really be a surprise. It has happened whenever, and wherever people have felt free enough to express themselves and to share that self-expression with other a similar frame of mind. Improvements in technology do not often alter how people feel, what they think, and what they like to do. However, enhanced technology does increase the chances of people depicting, expressing, or sharing what they want to do to as large, or as small an audience as they want to do.

Therefore in that sense, at least it was no real surprise that the genre of erotic photography soon began to develop. It started to develop as soon as the equipment for successful photography became available. When it was developed photography was immediately popular as people could have pictures of subjects and portraits of people they wanted much sooner, and with less expense than having a picture painted on canvas. However, once erotica became more firmly established, then the more productive or famous photographers knew that they could charge more money for taking pictures.

Of course, most people paid to have family photographs were taken or individual portraits. Erotic photography was not something that many people would have got involved in. Yet photographers and their buyers did start to take, and pay for erotic photography, though they often kept it to themselves. When such pictures were taken, the photographers would invariably have their own studios so that authorities would remain unaware of the type of pictures they were printing. This was especially the case in the countries, which had higher levels of censorship.

The invention of photography meant that images of any kind could be created faster than ever before, while improved transport links meant things could travel further from one end of a country, or indeed right across the globe faster than ever. The invention of photography, as well as steam travel, meant that pictures could potentially be seen by a much wider audience. It meant that photographs of the American president, the world's fastest train, or a nameless scantily clad woman could all be seen by many thousands, if not millions of people.

Furthermore, putting photographs in books, magazines, and newspapers was one way of making them sell more copies, and they also looked more realistic than illustrations do. That could be with the possible exception of Walter Crane whose illustrations of naked women looked almost as real as photographs would have done. Photographs did not replace illustrations immediately, but they did replace them in the majority of publications in a remarkably short period. They would prove the inspiration for magazines that solely concentrated on such pictures, take Playboy and Penthouse, for instance.

As the market for books, magazines, and newspapers grew, then some photographers wanted to be used regularly by the editors and the writers of such publications to maximize their earnings. After all, photographers could make a good living out of taking pictures for private customers, yet if they could get pictures printed in newspapers could earn even more money. Shoots for private photographs could include boudoir pictures when couples could have pictures taken for their own private viewing. Sometimes a mistress might have such a photograph taken to remind the man she was having an affair what he was missing when he was not spending time with her, instead of being with his wife. Other times a man would pay for his mistress to have such a picture taken. Other times spouses paid each other to have such shots taken.

In the 19th century and the early decades of the 20th century, there was a medium which was popular when used in conjunction with erotic photography, and that was postcards. Not only could postcards be mass produced, their smaller size meant that they were more discreet, especially useful in places where nude images were subject to bans, or censorship. Just think of them as the 1900 equivalent of a dirty text message. Generally, the models in such postcards and the photographers responsible for taking them often chose to keep their identities hidden, apart from in countries with the most relaxed censorship laws.

People contend that erotic photography is art as it does not depict anything of an overtly explicit nature, and models often have some clothes on rather than completely naked. In that respect, it does differ markedly from pornography, which is far more explicit and leaves absolutely nothing to the imagination. Those that do not regard erotic photography as a distinct and proper form of art often state that it is like pornography without knowing that there are notable differences between the two, in terms of explicitness. Generally, there are greater restrictions on access to pornography than there is to erotica as it is a whole lot more explicit.

Erotic photography is not meant to shock or provide immediate gratification, unlike pornography. Indeed people who have a liking for erotic photography tend to like this type of art precisely because it does leave things to the imagination. That tends to be why erotic photographs do not have to depict or show totally nude people. Pictures might show nudity or just glimpses of it, yet they do not have to show any at all. One method of making pictures erotic is to cover up naked parts of the body, for instance, let long hair down, or place an object in front of certain parts of the models' bodies. Things are covered up to suggest that at some point they will become uncovered, not to please the censors, should there be any at all, the suggestion is more tempting than actual sexual activity.

It should be remembered that what exactly makes something erotic differs from person to person. In other words, what exactly constitutes erotica is actually a matter of personal opinion and is open; therefore, to a fair degree of variation. Naked does not always equate to erotic, for instance, a naked model in a bath of ice would not seem erotic, it might just make the viewer think the model is too cold instead of looking sexy. For many fans of erotica, it is the hint of, or indeed the promise of exciting things, which are to follow that is what makes photographs erotic. That is more erotic than uncovered flesh being right in front of people's eye. Perhaps it works on a similar line to an unopened box of chocolates been more tempting than a box of exactly the same brand, which is already open, and that has been half eaten too. On the other hand, some people want to eat chocolate all of the time, every single day of the year.

Erotic photography is really similar, but not the same as Boudoir art and also images, and it is easy for anyone that is not a fan of either of them to confuse them with each other. Erotic photography can only be done on a camera, either with traditional film or digital cameras. However, Boudoir art and images can be done as a photograph or painted on to a canvas. As a rule Boudoir images and art are also intended to be used for the benefit of specific people that it is given to. Boudoir images have also been used for advertising items such as lingerie or even perfumes.

On the other hand, erotic photography can be appreciated by anyone that views it. Therefore it could be just for the eyes of a few carefully selected individuals. Conversely, such photographs if published, or put on public display can potentially be viewed by a much wider audience. Erotic photography in many respects can be the logical development of erotic painting, the images are simply on film instead of being on canvas. In the early decades of this specific genre of art there was a strong French influence, partly because cameras were a French invention, and partly due to the French in the 19th century producing more erotica than anywhere else in the world.

There have been changes to erotica over the decades that is for sure. Today's erotic photography tends to show more flesh than would generally be the case a hundred or ninety years ago. Technology has, without doubt, increased the demand for erotica and glamour photography across the globe, with people been able to access it instantly if they know where to look for it.

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Censorship Laws And Free-Spirited Activities Centered Around Nudity

May 28th, 2019

The ancient Greek philosopher named Protagoras was very popular around the time of Socrates and Plato. He proposed a theory that can be utilized as the basis for all progressive thinking individuals to date. His theory was that all things are in motion (meaning in a constant state of change). This premise is very true when applied to the evolution and modification of nudity laws in America. Starting with the barriers being broken down on American beaches, by the interjection of the one-piece bathing suit, a slow, methodical movement was started. Eventually, Styles got a little more daring when men stopped wearing tops on the beaches, and women became bold enough to put on two-piece bathing suits.

As you stand back and think about Protagoras' theory, a little light goes off in your head, making you think that maybe he was right. Things and events are in a constant state of change, but the speed in which they take place is totally up to the will of the people. Referring back to the bathing suit evolution, next up is the bikini movement, followed by the dental floss type bathing suits. Along about the time that the bikinis came on the scene, nude sunbathing, nude clubs, nudist colonies, and a multiplicity of counter culture clubs and groups sprung up worldwide, in progressive thinking countries only.

At this point in time or in this day and age, like-minded individuals who like the nude lifestyle, find it necessary to put their heads together. Having met, socializing, and engaging in personal activities that people of this persuasion like to do, find it necessary to do these things behind closed doors, or at least within a sheltered environment.

The inventions of the Internet, smartphones, and various other communication devices make it possible for like-minded individuals to communicate, organize events, and exchange personal material in real time. This technology also provides a hedge of protection from law enforcement agencies who frown on free-spirited activities centered around nudity.

Various social and cultural norms regarding nudity.

There are different social and cultural norms regarding nudity all over the globe. This is a very important fact! Nudity is a normal condition, and this condition has existed for the majority of mankind's occupation on planet earth. Starting from cave dwellers, through the Greeks line, down through Roman civilization, and even through the Middle Age civilization. Right up until today, you will find naked societies in remote regions of warm climate countries. Their members don't wear clothes and go about their daily activities, happy and carefree. When you look at the societies and compare their attitudes to ours, there seems to be a conflict in values, in addition to what is important or not.

How to protect yourself from getting arrested, while engaging in nude activities.

The best way to carry on your desired activities, which are provided to you under the First Amendment is to first consult legal advice. This should definitely be the case if you are a part of a group who engages in a formatted club type of an organization. A civil attorney will provide you with an itemized list of things you can do, in addition to those that you should not do. This is also an excellent leverage device for discouraging interference from law enforcement, especially if legal permits are required. Always make sure that documents are filed before nude activities commence.

How to bend the rule? Pushing the nudity limits.

When looking for so-called push the limit situations, it is imperative that the people who will be involved do their homework. You must know if there are any laws in place that will hinder your activities. In certain states and cities, you can actually hire law enforcement to act as security for your nudity based events. When this is possible, they will act as protection and chaperons for your activities on a paying basis.

What are nudity related people and groups doing?

Believe it or not, there are literately thousands of nudity based groups and clubs worldwide, statewide, and citywide. The Internet makes it possible to make connections, join groups and clubs, and follow activities. Before the Internet, it was somewhat hard to make contacts in an expedited manner. However, with the growth and expansion of the world wide web, individuals can use their smartphones, laptops, tablets, and home base computers to make contact and interact with individuals of the nude oriented community.

Different ways to practice nudity anywhere safely?

It is possible to practice nudity in a variety of ways. First, you need to realize that nudity is a natural expression. This is how you came into the world, and simply speaking, it is a natural state of being. According to the Bible, Adam and Eve walked around naked, before they disobeyed God. According to this line of thinking, we were never meant to wear clothes but only did so after having done something that they were not supposed to do.

People do require clothing at specific points in time. However, there are other times when you should have the option to wear them or not. There are many cultures in underdeveloped areas of the world, where people wear little to no clothing period. It is almost a direct correlation between forced civilization and a reduction of natural living.

If you are thinking about diving into the nudism culture, it might be a good idea to get to know what nudism is all about. To most people indulging in this lifestyle, being nude is drawing closer to nature. Quite a few individuals feel that choosing this type of lifestyle will propel them to a new level of life enjoyment. Many feel that just because you are nude, you don't have to engage in sexual activity. Many nude goers indulge in sports like volleyball, jogging, swimming, body contest, body artwork, yoga, and even storytelling. These participants just indulge in the events just mentioned, without clothing, while feeling good doing it.

Various ways to voice your opinion about nudity.

I would venture to say that every single human being has had thoughts about what it would be like to go around naked. However, I bet that only a minute quantity of individuals ever got up enough nerve to visit a nude beach or attend a nudist resort. With this in mind, I would say that the best way to find out what individuals think about nudity, is to ask them. Virtually everyone has an opinion about nudity, but will not express them unless asked. The following are the answers that were received, when random individuals were asked their opinion about nudity.

“Nudity should be allowed everywhere; God gave us our bodies, so what is there to be ashamed of. We always hide it, because that is what society expects. The human body is beautiful and should not be hidden. It's ours, and we should be able to show it.”

“If you just sit down and think about it, there is absolutely nothing wrong with being nude in public. Doing this is a self-expression. I am open-minded, and I enjoy sunbathing nude, nude hiking, playing sports nude, mowing the lawn nude, riding my bike nude, and swimming nude. I'm lucky because I live out in the country with the nearest neighbor five miles away. If I lived in the city, the proximity of people would really put a damper on my activities.”

“This is what I think; If you don't like the thought of public nudity, all that you have to do is to keep your clothes on. Those individuals that feel the desire to be nude should be allowed to if it doesn't hurt anyone, and the place is private. As for kids seeing it, don't you think that they are naked at home plus see their parents naked. What's the big deal?”

“As long as kids are not involved, where is the harm? Now there are many nudist colonies, where parents bring their kids. They have been doing this for so long, that it is the norm. The clash comes in when outsiders want to impose their own personal beliefs on individual private groups. Who is right?”

“Public nudity is a healthy way to live and is no way a bad thing. I think that fear is the basis for those individuals as opposed to nudity. Public nudity is not a sexual thing when people are just trying to be free and one with their body. The average person worries too much about clothes, plus what others will think about them. In today's culture, nudity is seen as sexual; however, it's not. It's just people who want to be one with nature.”

“Clothing should be optional; The way we came into this world is the way we should go out. Until the government pays for everyone's clothing, it should be our option to wear clothes or not. How many sets of clothing do you feel that the government will purchase for everyone?”

“History has revealed that nudity does not harm society. However, clothing has made our bodies, sexual Objects. Going nude has physical, social, and psychological benefits. In your opinion, is natural nudity more offensive than body modifications such as tattoos or piercings? We embrace these elements openly and freely but condemn the beauty of the male and female body.”

Some other examples of various social and cultural norms regarding nudity.

In Alexander The Great's time (356-323 B.C.) there were several ascetic sects in India whose members walked about completely naked. This activity was considered part of their spiritual discipline.

Buddha used to be a naked ascetic before he founded his own religion. The Ajivikas used to demand complete nudity of all disciples until they completely disappeared.

The body of the Western world inhabitants, from the Middle Ages entering the nineteenth century, was not known for sanitation. Since these people viewed the unclothed body as sinful, the habit of bathing in bathhouses was unthinkable, unlikely, and unacceptable. Simple sponge or wipe down baths were the rule and custom.

For over two thousand years In Japan, nude family and mixed-sex communal bathing were approved by the dominant religions. Many public bath houses in Japan to this day have private rooms of various sizes where families or social groups can experience the steaming pools in privacy, while completely nude.

There were five groups in the history of Christianity: the Carpocrations, Adamites, Adamianis, Encratites, and Marcosians. These groups had several ministers and priests in the contemporary nudist movement. Many religious leaders used as their justification, the many parts of the Bible, which speak of accepting the human body without shame.

Also, throughout history, nudity has been used as a form of protest. During the Middle Ages, Lady Godiva rode a horse through the town square naked, except for her long hair, as a form of protest. If one's aim is to get noticed, in a clothed society, stripping is certainly the most effective way to get noticed. St. Francis of Assisi: "Who was rebuked by his bishop," removed his clothes and proceeded to take a stroll naked through the streets.

Benjamin Franklin is reported to have been seen swimming in the Thames in London without clothing, in addition to a nude cold-air bath each morning while reading or writing.

Writer Henry David Thoreau and poet Walt Whitman were very cognizant of the repressive attitudes regarding the human body, which existed in America. Their work expressed intense feelings for a back-to-nature, innocence, and body freedom movement.

In the day and age that we are living in, the naked body is still looked at as being unnatural. But with all of the advanced technology and diverse TV selections, anyone can view anything at the time of their choosing. This can be done with TV blocks that protect children from being exposed to overt nudity. However, viewing or participating in any overt physical nude activities, must be done with extreme candor.

In conclusion

There are people all over the world, who are really attracted to the nude lifestyle, but there is an equal number of individuals who could care less. If you are attracted to this lifestyle, make sure that you read up on it, to find the ideal spots to visit, the type of people that you would feel comfortable around naked, and the safest and most ideal spots to practice your new lifestyle.

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Abstract Art History, It's Theory, and It's Composition

May 28th, 2019

Abstract art is an art form which implements the use of lines, colors, and shapes which, while independent of true reality, remains representative of the same reality. When referring to a painting or sculpture of any kind, abstract art is one of three main categories typically referenced, with the other two being figurative art and representational. These two forms reflect works which are very near reality, while abstract art itself has been taken from reality and worked into the artists own vision, and this vision is usually very different from the real thing, though the subject is clearly recognized for being what it is, if indeed there is a subject that the piece is based on. It is also important to keep in mind that abstract art can be partially or completely abstract; in other words, the work can depart from the reality of the subject minimally, or it can appear so far from the truth that the subject cannot be recognized at all. Therefore, there are different levels of abstraction in this form.
Here we will discuss abstract art in deeper detail, including the history of the form, various abstract artists and their works, the theory of abstract art, and differences that are found in this genre when comparing works from the past to those of present day. We will also consider its contributions to the art world and the differences in its past and present, as well as the reasons some of the changes have taken place. This will aid in clarifying all of the primary points which make this form one of the most popular in the world today, setting it apart from traditional, or more realistic, forms of painting and sculpture which are commonly exhibited. It will also provide a better understanding of what works fit into this extraordinary category and enable you to begin to see how abstract art itself it a major necessity to the world of art and free personal expression.

The History of Abstract Art
Abstract art is a form which communicates mostly using different use of lines and shapes, and the color is used freely by the artist creating the work. This can be clearly seen all throughout history, and even more clearly when we look closely at items found which date back to ancient history. Hieroglyphics are perfect examples of this; people and things were clearly represented in the drawing, which used stark shapes. One with an angular skull had their faces portrayed as a simple triangle, for example.
Abstractive art took a much more solid position in the world during the 1800s, with it being embraced as a true art form which stood on its own. It came about through three specific forms which were its predecessors, so to speak. These forms included Expressionism, Romanticism, and Impressionism. As the public began to embrace these forms on an individual level, each evolved in its own manner, resulting in the abstract art form being born and embraced as well. During this time it also should be noted that the church began to turn its back on such works, and this had a direct impact on the opinions of others when it came to pieces of the abstract.
Post-Impressionist art led to the abstract works which were contributed in the 1900s. By this time artists had not only taken the form from expression through shape and color, but they also began to successfully experiment with surface texture, using the look and feel of the paint itself to generate an emotional response while conveying the message they wanted to send. The artist Cezanne made a clear point that all things can be portrayed in painting using only three basic shapes: A cone, a sphere, and a cube, and Picasso ran with this in some of his most famous works during this time. His piece ‘Les Demoiselles d’Avignon’ reflected this clearly and depicted five prostitutes in a brothel, each painted with what is described best as ‘violence’ using this exact technique. It is highly inspirational of emotion in any viewer who is to truly observe the piece and is a perfect example of the female form being represented through abstraction.
The early 20th century saw many abstract artists perfecting the development of Cubism, the very form of abstraction discussed above, and there are several other related forms which were developed as a direct result. All of these sub-genres take root in the abstract category itself. European and American abstraction became much more closely intertwined and relational during this period because of the changes which were so rapidly taking place, as well as the variety of artists who were expressing themselves with this form. ‘Modernism’ became the focal point, and exhibits and books enabled all artists to compare notes and take the form to new heights altogether. These resources allowed for ideas to be shared and artistic experimentation to take place, which would otherwise never be possible. To put it simply, abstraction was, and is, taken to personal levels which no other art form permits, regardless of what is being painted, and because of this fact it is often referred to as the only ‘pure art.’ It is completely untouched by reality and is entirely dependent on individual vision and implementation. It is thought to be one of the purest forms of artistic expression in existence, and as it grows and evolves more and more doors open for abstract artists the world over.
“Modern art,” which is a sub-type of abstraction, and is the common reference to the abstract, plays by absolutely no rules. There are no lines the artist must color in, and there is no dictation as to what should or should not be done when it comes to expression. Nazi Germany influenced this on an excessive level, as raw emotion played out the world over, enticing artists to take abstraction and all of its categories to places they had never been before, creatively speaking. In essence, abstract art in all forms is emotion on canvas, and emotion cannot be chained or dictated to. Today we see that some of the finest abstract art in existence makes absolutely no sense to the mind, but the heart can follow it precisely, and that is exactly what the form has always been about, since its birth all the way to present day.

Abstract Art: Its Theory
The process of defining the theory of abstract art is really very basic and simple. The artist cannot truly create art if they are forced to adhere to realism or rules. True art is a direct expression of the emotion of the artist, and it knows no bounds. While realism and traditionalism in the painting may be admired for its physical beauty in conveyance, abstract art, in and of itself, is considered beautiful because it takes what is inside and places it in the hands of others, allowing for the literal soul to be held, viewed, and appreciated. Abstract art is about expression through representation, using shape, color, and line to get the point across, and as modern artists have clearly shown, this has been done with great effect, backing up the above theory without question. Does this make the traditional realist any less an artist? The answer is no, but it can be definitively stated that some of the greatest artists who have ever lived are indeed the ones who have dared to be themselves, completely, on canvas. The act of ‘abstraction’ literally means ‘to draw out of.’ This is possibly the best way to put the form, as well as its theory, into words.
It is by grasping the theory of abstraction that one discovers how to appreciate the art form. Once an understanding is possessed by the observer a realization that the heart and mind of the artist are before they assist them in getting in touch with their own personal emotion as it relates to what they see before them. Now the door is open for each one to understand themselves.
The Embracing of the Abstract: Its Popularity
In the early year's abstract art in its many forms was kept at further than arm’s length, as the public viewed it as not only messy but as complete ‘non-art.’ If painted subjects did not look as they should, the work in question could not possibly be art. This prejudice, while making problems for the genre, succeeded to drive abstract artists only deeper into their desire for personal expression through their works. All it would take was the opening of minds, and souls, for the form to be accepted, and painters continued to strive harder and harder to show this to the world. Slowly, but surely, this was accomplished. Today the modern art of yesterday, which could not sell due to the misconceptions of its time, is greatly loved and recognized. Its expression is embraced easily today, as society is much more open to raw emotion and the conveyance of it in any form. There are still those who look at modern art as merely ‘kindergarten’ in implementation, showing little to no talent on the part of the artist. The fact is their talent lies in their ability to express. The same individuals with this mindset are unable to appreciate this fact, as it is not traditional to their thinking.

Abstract Artists and their Works
Here is a generalized list of some of the most well-known and recognized abstract artists, as well as some of the works they have contributed to the world. While each one’s work is attributed to varying sub-forms, each is considered to have given work that is abstract in theory and implementation.

Paul Cezanne, 1839-1906
Cezanne produced works which included “The Large Bathers” and Madame Cezanne in a Yellow Chair.”

Wassily Kandinsky, 1866-1944
Paintings Kandinsky is known for include “Improvisation No. 30” and “Houses at Murnau.”

Henry Matisse, 1869-1944
Matisse is much loved for works such as “Woman with a Hat” and “Blue Nude.”

Marsden Hartley, 1877-1943
Considered one of the greats, his contributions include “Madawaska” and “Movements.”

Paul Klee, 1879-1940
“Angelus Novus” and “A Young Lady’s Adventure” are among the works of Klee.

Pablo Picasso, 1881-1973
Picasso is one of the most loved of the abstractionists. His works sell for millions and include “Les Demoiselles” and “Girl Before a Mirror.”

Mary Swanzey, 1882-1978
Referred to as the first Irish Cubist, Swanzey gave us works like “Woman with White Bonnet” and “Reading the ‘Employment Offers.’”

Hans Hofmann, 1880-1966
The works of Hofmann include “Kaeidos” and “Table-Version II.”

Jean Metzinger, 1883-1967
“Two Nudes in an Exotic Landscape” and “Femme Au Chapeau” are attributed to Metzinger.

Josef Albers, 1888-1976
Included in the works of Albers are “Growing” and “Study for Tenayuca.”

Paul Nash, 1889-1946
Paul Nash contributed several wonderful paintings, including “The Menin Road” and “Existence.”

David Bromberg, 1890-1957
Bromberg did more than one self-portrait, and also painted “Mount Saint Hilarion and the Castle Ruins” and “At the Window.”

Jean Arp, 1887-1966
Works by Arp include “Nuit Recachetie” and “Before My Birth.”

Mark Tobey, 1890-1976
Mark Tobey contributed “Red Man, White Man, Black Man” and “New Crescent.”

Andre Masson, 1896-1987
“Battle of Fishes” and “The Kill” are only two of the fine paintings created by Andre Masson.

Evie Hone, 1894-1955
Hone gave “The Dining Table” and several stained glass pieces to the world. Evie Hone was and Irish Cubist.

Adolph Gottlieb, 1903-1974
“Flotsam at Noon” and “Man Looking at Woman” are among some of Gottlieb’s known paintings.

Barnett Newman, 1905-1970
Newman was adept at using lines and color together and had a large impact on the abstract form referred to as Post-Painterly. His works include “Voice of Fire” and “The Wild.”

Jackson Pollock, 1912-1956
“The Key” and “Easter and the Totem” are only two of the many paintings by this well-known artist. He is also considered the catalyst behind the ‘action painting’ movement.

Franz Kline, 1910-1962
Kline was known for frequently using the sharp contrasts produced when shades of white and black are used together. An American artist, two of his works are “Chief” and “Le Gros.”

Roy Lichtenstein, 1923-1997
Lichtenstein may have gained fame through his production of pop comic strips, but he was also a fine abstract artist, contributing works such as “Modern Painting with Clef” and “Modular Painting with Four Panels, #1”.
•Antonio Saura, 1930-1998
This Spanish painter was born in Huesca, and he had a style which was referred to as ‘semi-abstract.’ His works include “Mutacion” and “Perro de Goya.”

Gerhard Richter, born 1932
The German abstract artist Richter is known for Neo-Expressionism. Two of his contributed works are “Mrs. Wolleh with Children” and “Christa and Wolfi.”

Frank Auerbach, born 1931
Here is a British artist who is also considered semi-abstract, and his contributions to the form include “Head of E.O.W. IV” and “Looking Towards Mornington Crescent St.”

Georg Baselitz, born 1938
Baselitz is probably best known for the way he would feature his painted subjects in a transposed fashion. This can be seen in the works “Bottoms Up” and “Dinner in Dresden.”

While the above artists are some of the most well-known and loved, there are too many who have contributed incredible works of abstraction, and each one has impacted the various sub-genres for which they are associated. With research, one can find complete lists of artists who have worked in any movement which was or is considered abstract, and you can easily look at any of the pieces contributed by them by browsing online.

Changes in Abstract Art over Time
With each new artist comes a new perspective and fresh forms of expression. Personality, talent, and experience all play a vital role in each individual’s contributions. Other factors which play a part in changing the face of abstractionism include cultural and political influences, as well as the varying mindsets which surround each as the years go by. In the abstract form’s beginnings, much of what we saw was based on a real subject, yet the work itself seemed to skew off the course of that of the common abstract pieces the world was used to seeing due to the free use of shape, line, and color. The result worked, which consisted of what appeared to be chaos but was indeed expressive to the point of being embraced heartily by the public. Today abstract art is held in high regard under any sub-category, bearing any appearance and form, and completed using any technique. The more abstract the work, the more expressive and artistic it is considered.
It is important to keep in mind that this art form, like any, has literally evolved; changes in the past, present, and future have happened and will certainly continue to happen. A thorough study, even if done simply to learn to love the abstract itself, will show anyone how changes have taken place by the theory of abstraction itself. To fully appreciate the effect of time’s passage on this form, one must observe various examples contributed over the lifespan of abstract art.

The Major Contributing Role of Abstraction to the Art World
To sum up the purpose of abstract art briefly, it is a method of bringing the mind, will, and emotions and making them a tangible, visual part of our existence. This can only be accomplished by finely tuning oneself to a personal level of understanding, which succeeds in breaking one apart from reality, not melding them with it. It enables the individual to think creatively, outside of the proverbial box. This, in and of itself, is a major contributing factor to personal growth, both for the creator of these works and the viewer as well. No longer can an observer of the abstract see the world in black and white; at least, not if they have been touched in any manner by the piece or pieces they are viewing. Suddenly the world becomes full of possibility that has never been recognized before. An understanding of the artist and a means of personal expression through the observation and ownership of their work is a catalyst for the liberation of all.
This is the role of abstract art in the world and on those who inhabit it. So important is its role that it has successfully become an appreciated entity all its own. It is filled with life and color and individuality that is fully representative of the human race and all of its glory, and it also succeeds in helping to convey emotion in a way that no other medium can quite do. While traditional realism in art provides beauty and stability to our world, the abstract forms balance that out by taking things to the other extreme, and it is only through this balance that people can see the differences in each other, while fully appreciating the things which are, indeed, similar.

In Conclusion
The years have given us some of the most incredible works of art, in many forms. Anything created which expresses is indeed an art and however misunderstood abstraction in art has been, it is indeed one of the rawest, purest forms. Its acceptance by the public over time was, and is, inevitable. Even those who naysay cannot deny having seen a work which inspired them to one end or another, and many would be shocked to learn that the motivational piece was certainly abstract. While its form may not be a flavor suited to every artistic palate, it is a strong, strong genre, and becomes more and more popular every day. Cast your own eye over the works of abstract artists past and present, and you will find something that captures you. Study the work and come to understand the artist’s use of shape and color. You will certainly be surprised by the fact that you, too, are a lover of abstract art.

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