How does the Photographers attitude of an ideal nude compare with those before the industrial revolution?, (has the perception of the nude changed since the invention of the camera).
Pablo Picasso was born in spain, however he lived most of his life in france. Picasso was a Genius, he was a master of almost any median. He ventured in many styles and with fellow Artist, Georges Braque, created cubism. I feel that his strongest paintings, (those leaving lasting interest), would be his unusual and unique paintings of females. With the exception of his pornographic-like pieces, all of the poses that the females are in are classical and harmonious. In the painting, THE DREAM FIG 1-1, Picasso has added an extra finger on each hand and the left side of the face, (that wouldnt normally be seen from this profile). Not unlike Callahan Picasso here is illustrating that he knows a part of this woman that can only be seen through his eyes, subsequently he is showing us this view.
In Picassos painting titled LES DEMONISELLE D AVIGNON, (THE YOUNG WOMEN OF AVIGNON) FIG 1-2. The mask like faces resembling Egyptian art were inspired by primitive African sculpture. Compare the female pose of the two centre and left centre with FIG 2-1, (taken out of a womens fashion magazine). The poses are very similar, I feel that this classical type of pose is still recognised to portray the female as confident. It is interesting to note Picasso has not included pubic hair on the women, this could be recognised as innocence, (where as pubic hair is portrayed as sexual dominance/power).
Greeks created the natural human image in art, their statues consisted of highly detailed and realistic figures. The Greeks made their ideal male and female, Male being in the form of Apollo a very muscular god-like man. The female being Venus, however unlike Apollo, Venus was not show fully undressed. When creating the somewhat chubby Venus a child bearing stomach was taken into account and to be included in the perfect body.
Duane Michals was born in McKeesport, Pennsylvania in 1932. In 1956 he inrolled in Parsons School of Design, New York. He worked as a graphic designer before he began his photography as a tourist in 1958. Since then his photographs have appeared at the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Delpire Gallery, Paris amongst many others. Michals attitude of an ideal nude differs significantly from the other two Photographers discussed, in relation to this issue he wrote, When I work with the nude, I prefer the figure to be traditional and classic. I am a victim of the Greek ideal. I like the idea of searching for perfection, the idealised form. I dont like the women to be too voluptuous or the men to be too muscelled. The figure that is unexaggerated in proportions is very beautiful and it has great potential for mystery and tension in a drama. The nude figure implies both vulnerability and sex. I would say that the nude woman is more vulnerable then the nude men …
There is a pleasure in looking at the body, being aware of the presence of the body, of working with the choreography of the figure in motion. It is even possible to make an ugly body beautiful, merely by finding the right angle. (Michals, Duane, 1979, pg133).
The most photographed people in todays society, (all though most of the photos are not considered art), would be celebrities and super models. Namio Cambell and Kate Moss, (todays perfect bodies?), are a far cry from the Greeks well built Venus and other perfect bodies portrayed through out art history. It is far more common to find a nude picture of a female today than a male. Does this mean that the female is considered more beautiful or are women reluctant to view naked men? The attitude of an ideal nude body hasnt differed since the camera, however the ideal naked body may have changed.
The invention of the camera changed the face of art, new possibilities. The skill of highly detailed drawings became almost unnessary. However the perfect nude could be considered more complex and difficult to define, because of the lens showing exactly what the artist sees at a particular time. In regard to pose the traditional arch in the back and other classical poses are often implemented in everyday photography, whether it be an advertisement in a magazine or a photograph displayed in gallery. With the introduction of the camera followed pornography, (although over the years some highly explicit paintings have existed), this well and truelly crosses the line between nude and naked. Have the photographers attitude towards the nude evolved since the industrial revolution?
Manuel Aluarez Bravo was born in 1902 in Mexico City, Mexico. Bravo bought his first camera in 1924 and by 1930 he was teaching photography at the Academy of San Carlos. In 1959 Bravo became a co-founder of El Fondo Editorial de la Plastica Mexicana, (Editorial foundation of the Mexican Plastic arts), for the purpose of producing books on Mexican arts. When talking in relation to the nude Bravo commented, I believe that the nude is a genre like any other, like landscape, street photography, or still life. These are all themes subject to the expression of the individual. In my case, the nude is photographed in the same manner as for example, the land scape. on the spur of the moment, an opportunity presents itself … One must open the eyes to find whether there is, or is not, an interaction of the individual with reality at the moment. The results are determined By the baggage of human experiences of the artist.(Bravo, Manuel Aluarez, 1979, pg 7-8).
THE POWER OF ART, Richard Lewis & Susan I. Lewis.
PHOTOGRAPHY AND THE BODY, John Pultz.
NUDE:THEORY, Manuel Alvarez Bravo, Harry Callahan, Lucien Clergue, Ralph Gibson, Kenneth Josephson, Andre Kertesz, Duane Michals & Helmut Newton.
FAMILY TREASURY OF ART, Samm Sinclair Baker & Natalie Baker.
FIG 1-1 Picasso, P. (1932), The Dream art original
Mr & Mrs Victor W. Ganz, New York, N.Y.
FIG 1-2 Picasso, P. (1906-7), Les Demoiselles d Avignon art original
The Museum of Modern Art, New York, N.Y.
FIG 2-1 Marie Claire Magazine, (July 1997), Advertisement for Joannes Tango Briefs.
FIG 3-1 Callahan, (1954), Eleanor, PortHuron.