Connecting through nude photographs
Significant themes in nude photography today
A Brief History of Nudes
In the 20th century, the nude photographic format underwent a significant transformation, as photographers began to use it as a medium for artistic expression and experimentation. Unusual lighting, compositions, and perspectives were used to create more dynamic and interesting images, and to explore taboo subjects like sexuality, gender, and the body in relation to social conventions of beauty and normative expectations.
The five collections we studied this month follow this thread in the history of nude photographs to uncover what makes today’s nude photographs different. While some of today’s photographic artists focus on the human body as an extension of nature, others use nude photography as a vehicle for social commentary. Still others highlight beauty in subjects that are not traditionally subjects of the nude photographic format’s “way of looking”, confronting viewers with an exuberant celebration of beauty in all of its forms. Across the board, today’s nude photographers offer a variety of perspectives on the relationship between self, nature, society, and conventional expression, creating alternative ways of seeing the world in the process.
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