28 May 2014

"Implied Nudes"? No..Not So Much


Art Model, Panda © 2014 Terrell Neasley
Nude — adj
1. completely unclothed; undressed
2. having no covering; bare; exposed

So this latest few series of blog posts have gotten a little attention. First, I started out with Why I don't do nudes for money. I followed it up explaining how I'm waiting on the right time, venue, and circumstances. I then covered details about my private sessions because I do charge for those. And after this I got a few questions regarding implied nudes, but presently I felt it necessary to decline those requests. Work for hire gets you whatever you want, of course. But integrating it into my regular artistic nude work for no charge is not as doable for me at this time.

Art Model, SuzN © 2013 Terrell Neasley

Implied nudes are just what it sounds like. These are images of women taken that give the appearance the the model is nude, however they are still covered...just not with clothing. This can take the form of using the hands to help cover the goods or strategic angles to keep everything hidden. Sometimes models might use a boa, fabric material, or any type of prop that can be used to cover the breasts and genitalia. I've seen some great work from several photographers who do implied nudes. They are Facebook friendly and can be used in more widely acceptable venues. They can still be considered adult in nature, so placement should still be a consideration. You can see this all over the Las Vegas strip and downtown area, but you'd be less likely to see it on a billboard next to a school.

Art Model, Christina © 2013 Terrell Neasley
I just choose not to do it. At least not for free as I might my other art nude work. I shoot the nude. I have a dislike for hiding or censoring my work. I started out doing this with my own work and it was actually a model, Sara, one of my original art nude models, who practically scolded me for my own self-censoring practices. She articulated to me that there will be enough people in the world who will do this for me that I need not add to their efforts. She reminded me that I am an artistic nude photographer and that is where my passion lies. So why then should I take pictures whereby the elements that qualify a work as art nude are eliminated from the composition?

“It’s the invention of clothes, not nature, that made “private parts” private.” 
― Mokokoma Mokhonoana

Over the years, I have received negative feedback and foul opinions for my work. I like to think that I respect people and their opinions about me. Sometimes I take it personally. In some cases, people may criticize my art, which is fine. Other times, they take it a step further and form an opinion about me personally because I am the author of what they feel to be obscene, improper for moral consumption, and otherwise simply disgusting. At times, I can't say I blame them. Artists have historically pushed and challenged the ideals that society hold dear. I have been disgusted myself by some expressions of artists who use the "art" moniker very loosely. Who am I to define loose, though? Some of my work is way more explicit that what many would be comfortable with despite my artistic editing techniques.

Art Model, Emily © 2013 Terrell Neasley
However here is my deal. We are talking about the human body. I have never understood why society needs "protection" from depictions of a penis, a vagina, or breasts especially when these depictions are non-sexualized. Our most famous art pieces and artists we consider to be masters utilized the nude form as the norm in their work and kids can see this in a museum anywhere. I take issue to the fact that we can be subjected to advertisements that imply nudity or are sexually sensationalized, but breasts in art are morally unlawful. Since when did boobs become taboo? I don't want to use this blog as a soapbox to debate why America would be better off if we were not afraid of the naked body. That's not even the purpose of this post. But I feel like I've addressed well enough on my particulars on why implieds are of less interest to me. I mislike the notion of being afraid of the nude. And if I have any last issue with the implied nude, it is simply the fact that I enjoy shooting the nude...the whole you. The nude you. I would much rather be inclined to shoot a clothed model than an implied nude.

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