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Two quotes Quotes (from a posting thread on Flickr):
'An artist friend of mine told me years ago that no matter what you portray in a nude, the face is what makes it beautiful, sensual, erotic or interesting. Without the face there is no reference of pleasure, sadness, pain, or feeling. A nude needs a face.'

And in response: '...I agree. Most nudes tend to be either academic or pornographic without a face.' (name is redacted with the ellipsis)

Comments?

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( 15 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
madshutterbug
Jun. 11th, 2009 01:46 pm (UTC)
Consider as well, the number of recognised art pieces which comprise only portions of anatomy, no face? Torso, either anterior or posterior. Thighs/legs. Silhouettes.
(Deleted comment)
merimask
Jun. 11th, 2009 01:47 pm (UTC)
I don't know...sometimes the way light and shadow and curves comes together (especially in black & white or sepia-toned pictures) is more artful than a highly detailed naked portrait that includes a face.

Like, these are beautiful compositions of curves and lighting:
http://www.dejavuphotographic.com/web/photo_details.asp?ProdId=228
http://www.dejavuphotographic.com/web/photo_details.asp?ProdId=227
...and not at all pornographic to me.

But these:
http://www.nu-photos.com/
...really do look like something you'd see in Vogue or Playboy or something like that. Less like art, more like portrait photography of naked girls looking seductive.

I guess it depends on whether your intention is to create an art piece or a portrait. One is universal, and the other is highly representational.
(Deleted comment)
madshutterbug
Jun. 11th, 2009 04:25 pm (UTC)
Probably ironic, considering I posted the subject for discussion, since I'm following this in free moments at work I'm not following links just yet. I am looking forward to seeing the examples.

And your points are some of the things I thought about when reading the 'response' comment in the Flickr, in particular. Stipulating one of my applied definitions to determine Art vs Not-Art, if there is an evocation of an emotion we open the door to Art.

Given that premise, I may see where inclusion/exclusion of a face may make a difference between erotic art/pornography, it still does not make an argument about inclusion/exclusion making it art/not-art.
wedschilde
Jun. 11th, 2009 02:35 pm (UTC)
a nipple is never academic.
madshutterbug
Jun. 11th, 2009 04:19 pm (UTC)
Well, potentially, if the examples shown are related to reconstructive surgery.

Otherwise, I'm right there with you.
firesmithsghost
Jun. 12th, 2009 01:31 am (UTC)
a nipple is never academic.
yeah
aineotter
Jun. 11th, 2009 02:56 pm (UTC)
I've seen beautiful nudes that resemble/evoke landscapes, and once series of paintings of nudes as landscapes, complete with sky, that are compelling and evocative. The face does no hold the sole claim to expression of emotion.

I think these photos are both expressive and beautiful: http://www.paulpolitis.com/bwgallery/nudes/photograph.asp?photo=28
(photos artistic, but not really work-safe)

Edited at 2009-06-11 02:59 pm (UTC)
madshutterbug
Jun. 11th, 2009 04:26 pm (UTC)
As mentioned above, will be looking when I'm not at Hospital. Ironic, probably, considering I'm the initiator of the discussion. *G*
selvatica
Jun. 11th, 2009 03:52 pm (UTC)
Obviously a man thing as all the pictures shown here are of the female form.
I have no interest in nudity in pictures, male or female :)
madshutterbug
Jun. 11th, 2009 04:18 pm (UTC)
A legitimate point that personal interest in the subject comes to bear. Possibly less so as to gender, though I may agree if 'orientation' is included.

What piqued my curiosity/interest is the second statement quoted, the response. I fail to see where inclusion/exclusion of a face makes any representation either academic, pornographic, or art. This need not be restricted to nudes; as someone once pointed out to me someone who has a shoe fetish will likely find footwear advertisements as being titillating and potentially pornographic.

Thank you for commenting.
aineotter
Jun. 11th, 2009 07:57 pm (UTC)
I dunno, I'm female and I enjoy female nudes. I like drawing/painting them, and I used to sit for life drawing classes. I think bodies can be portrayed in a way that is beautiful and has nothing (or very little) to do with sexuality.
firesmithsghost
Jun. 12th, 2009 01:34 am (UTC)
I think it depends on the artist. But I disagree that any artwork missing a face has to be something other than beautiful. I will agree a woman's face is by far a better feature than those aforementioned, but we're speaking of art here, not women.

Venus without the face is still beautiful, but is no longer Venus, as we know.

A photo of a naked woman with her face hidden by shadow is a mystery, depending on the skill of the lens, and I think you could pull this off with great effect.

( 15 comments — Leave a comment )

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