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NSFW News – Nudity Pertaining to Photography: Is It Really Necessary? (NSFW)

NSFW News – Nudity Pertaining to Photography: Is It Really Necessary? (NSFW)

NSFW News –

Nudity in photography is sometimes an overused tool to make a statement.

I’m not a prude. I love nudity — too much, some may say. But when it applies to photography, I’m more analytical about the use of nudity and its purpose in the overall message. The Phoblographer was recently sent a press release highlighting the work of Spencer Tunick. The work looked at isolation and togetherness, and all his subjects were nude. Tunick is a seasoned photographer; his credentials speak for themselves. But while reviewing the project, I kept asking myself one question: why.

NSFW News – Nude Photography Helps You Stand Out

The photo industry is exceptionally competitive. It’s even more competitive today when you consider that anyone with a camera can build a fan base online. It means we’re constantly trying to stand out from the pack in order to gain attention and admiration. I have no problem with that. In most cases, competition leads to better quality of work, but sometimes it leads to having to go for the shock factor, with very little substance underneath.

One of the tried and tested techniques is the use of nudity. No matter how many naked bodies people have seen, when one crops up, it’s sure to make a person glance twice at it. For a variety of reasons, whether it’s sexual gratification, being able to see behind the curtain, or to compare one naked body with another, nudity will always appeal to the human eye. Photographers know this, and they use it to their advantage.

“One likes to believe that, as creatives, we can explore unity in times of isolation without having to ask anyone to take their clothes off.”

I know of people in the industry that have openly admitted they don’t enjoy doing nude shoots, but they do it because it’s the quickest way to gain popularity. Go look at popular Instagram accounts and you’ll soon see that sexualization is a sure-fire way to gain lots of followers.

NSFW News – The Lack of a Meaningful Message

In the case of Tunick, he’s not trying to sexualize people: he’s trying to humanize them. The artist statement reads:

“Tunick is creating virtual art actions featuring nude bodies – often 25 at a time, – from different parts of the world. Through the use of a virtual chat platform, participants are directed to pose under Tunick’s direction and stand in unison to reaffirm the resilience of community and human connection in times of isolation.”

In theory, I like the idea. But in execution, I’m unsure how nudity adds to the conversation and concept. One likes to believe that, as creatives, we can explore unity in times of isolation without having to ask anyone to take their clothes off.

“Would as many people care about the solidarity created during a pandemic if the subjects were fully clothed? Would they stop for a moment to listen to the deeper message, if they were not able to see a pair of breasts or a chest?”

Even if his subjects did not conform to certain body standards promoted by the mainstream, and this project was a way to promote love for all body types, we’ve seen that many times before. There’s only so much you can do with nudity, and like most things over time, its usage becomes stale and overused.

NSFW News – Nude Photography is Losing Its Value

When looking at the project, considering the nudity, I conclude its role is to grab people’s attention. Would as many people care about the solidarity created during a pandemic if the subjects were fully clothed? Would they stop for a moment to listen to the deeper message if they were not able to see a pair of breasts or a chest? While it would still appeal to some, overall, the answer has to be no.

Of course, away from nude and glamour, no photographer would admit to using the naked body as a crux to gain wider attention. Instead, they have to mask behind cultural standards, using terms like “challenging the public perception” in order to project a more intellectual approach to having people take off their clothes. Sometimes it works, but often if you scratch beneath the surface, you’ll quickly discover the role of nudity isn’t as meaningful as we’re told to believe.

So let’s call a spade a spade: sex and nudity sell. There’s no need to wrap it up in some faux philosophical package. People will eventually work out its motive for themselves.

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Written by BurrowBoss

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