Nudity is not always pornography

Michelangelo’s David

I’ve taken two college drawing classes where I’ve had nude models. Most of the models seemed to be students attending the same school, earning a few extra bucks that the modeling job provided. What I liked about that was that they were real people with real figures and not model perfect. While I look at them almost objectively to find the angles, shading, coloring, proportions, I also find a lot of beauty in the form. I highly enjoy painting and drawing flesh. (I also have a small obsession with hands.)

Personally, I would never model nude for artists. Not because I think it wrong or shameful, actually quite the opposite. I would image that being a model for artistic purposes would be liberating. Besides, these art students are immortalizing you, albeit maybe not very well, but you are part of their development to become an artist. I find that something special.

I can’t remember which site I posted some of my art, but with it I had one nude model painting (the last picture in this post). As you can see the painting is not complete, but that wasn’t necessary for the assignment. Anyway, I was forced to take it down because the image had been reported. I was shocked that someone could be so offended to report it. Did they think it was pornography? I could understand if it was in a crude position or even a full frontal, but my painting was neither.

It made me wonder if some people think anytime there is nudity, it must be pornography. Are we still so Puritan that we can not praise the beauty in the body? Are we trained to believe that we can only display and see naked bodies for indecent purposes? Can we not look at others and see life and beauty and admire it? For women it is a little bit accepted, but lets not even talk about admiring people of the same sex.

Nudity in itself is not always pornography, even if pornography is inclusive of nudity.

So, without further ado, here are some of my drawings I did for my drawing class (most from 7 years ago!).

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About Inner Love

I want: Passion. Desire. To create Cosmos. I want: Expression. Depth. Meaning. I want: Joy. Laughter. Love. I want: Life. View all posts by Inner Love

12 responses to “Nudity is not always pornography

  • Jacky Cheng

    suzanne! you have an abundance of talent in your pieces! i’ve never drawn a nude piece, so i’m not sure how you go about it haha. would you say you put some emotions into it?

    i’m actually in china right now, and can’t get on blogger (thank you, censorship…) so i can’t open my own blog! luckily, i read your comment via e-mail, so thanks! i’ll definitely try to post my progress of drawing 🙂

    • Suzanne

      You should definitely take a drawing class if you get the chance. I don’t know about the emotion part, lol, the teachers mostly told us to focus of the lines.

      China, awesome! Not so awesome that you can’t get to your own blog though. You better post when you come back!

  • shoutabyss

    For some reason the blog surfer showed this post containing a photo of David but this page doesn’t. Weird. Anyway, for some strange reason that photo reminded me of former Attorney General John Ashcroft who was so modest he had to hide body parts on statues. Seriously.

    I love the one of the woman laying on her stomach. That is very moving.

    • Suzanne

      Wait… this post does have a photo of Michelangelo’s David. It is the first (very large) thing you see on the top. Why would that be censored, it is Michelangelo’s David?!

      Anyway, that one is my favorite too. I was going to do a painting of it, but just never got around to it yet.

  • Jessica

    I agree with your post. It’s always interesting to see the different perspectives from each individual artist.

    I don’t think I could pose because I’m too insecure and modest with my body.

  • Simon Tolhurst

    I’m an artist and Life Drawing tutor, I used to use msn spaces as my main site for showing my work but recently had the same problem. I refused to remove the work (all drawings and paintings) saying that they were artworks and not pornographic material. All of the images were subsequently blocked (nudes or not) for over a year until I was able to transfer my blog to wordpress just recently where I’m still restoring the images to the pages.

    I’m not sure if there were any complaints, I did ask but I didn’t get an answer, no negative comments were left on my blog.

    Regarding the sexual content of the nude, it all comes down to the person individually. For some people, experience of other people’s nudity is usually sexual and therefore always linked to sex. For artists with a tradition of life drawing, (and I would guess a number of other professions dealing with the body), nudity is part of the context of our work but unless the subject is overtly erotic or pornographic, the work should not be so easily associated with sex.

    • Suzanne

      I agree with you. I think it is hard for many people to feel natural about the body and the beauty of it since nudity is mostly associated to sex.

      I glanced at your page and loving your stuff. Will have to come back to get the full tour when I have some more time.

      Thanks for responding, hope you don’t have trouble with wordpress.

      • Simon Tolhurst

        Thank you Suzanne, it’s a tricky subject when your work includes the nude because of those attitudes to sex and nudity. I was a little disappointed with msn but in the end not surprised.

        So far so good with wordpress and I’m enjoying the way it shows the images in high res even if it slows the page load times a little.

        Thanks again for the kind compliment and please do take a longer look when you have time. Best wishes too with your artwork, are you still attending a class?

      • Suzanne

        Not sure, think I will try to just make an art area in my new place since my first priority is to get out of debt.

        And I do have some paintings in mind to start on, so I can hold off on taking something in another medium.

        I will certainly come take a longer look and let you know what I think 🙂

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