Thursday, September 6, 2012

Why are you painting those naked ladies, or what makes me think I can go to a nude drawing session on Saturday and then go to church on Sunday--by J. Kirk Richards



  1. I don't see a problem with it. But I am perhaps the wrong audience.

    Naked time is the best time to me.

  2. I couldn't agree with the author more. Visiting the Nu Project after it was posted here on this blog a month or two ago exemplified this for me: there is no inherent sexuality in the body, especially when it's already fully undressed (rather than wearing something skimpy). There is only beauty.

  3. I could not love/agree with this more.

  4. Such a great article! I think every artist comes to that cross road at some point when they feel like they need to understand what is porn and what is art. About a year ago I did a personal study in the scriptures about the human body and tried to better answer this question for myself. One of the things that I wrote down was this:

    "When people display the human body as art it is often an exploration of how they view their soul interacting with their body. There are respectful and reverent ways to display this interaction that can be very beautiful. That kind of expression IS art. It is when the body is displayed as an object, a lustful thing, or displayed without respect to the spirit that resides in that body that it becomes something of a more pornographic nature...When you get married you become one, both body and soul. Those precious and intricate parts of who you are unite your soul to your spouse. Not just your body and not just your spirit, but your whole soul; who you are. There is a delicacy there that could only be understood through respect and a true understanding of the human body, your spirit, and the gospel as taught correctly. Of course Satan would tamper with and try to destroy this unity of souls because he will never have this experience and he does not understand it like we do."

    D&C 88: 15, 33; 138:17-18

  5. I can actually understand this best from the model's point of view. One of the greatest choices I ever made was to actually become an art model. The art department gave me the job and a speedo to work with. Every other day I stood in front of a large class in a costume much more revealing than anything I had worn before for the express purpose that they would look at my body, break it down into forms and produce a picture. The first two times were the most embarrassing. The professor would point out my unique form and my distinct shapes. He would use terms like, "round" and "solid" All that meant for me was "fat". After a week or so I finally got the hang of it. I never met anyone's eyes. I never talked and I never moved. I was a body. I became a body. When I finally talked to one of the people in the class, they treated me like a person. I was a person when I was clothed and a body when I wasn't. It was surreal.

    It was then that I was asked to do a Saturday Session. It meant that I would go in on a Saturday and be a model for an extra class. No professor was there to help me or give me a pose. That meant that when I stood up a the front of the class I was required to communicate with the students. My speedo disguise was no longer an option. After a few minutes, I asked the students what kinds of poses were going to be necessary and which student would be timing the poses. Instantly I became a person in a speedo. I was both a body and a person and a speedo at the same time.

    It was only after several weeks of doing this job that I was given one of the figure drawings of myself at the end of the class. He told me that it was a pleasure having me in the class for the same reason I agreed so well with the article: My body was very human. I have an imperfect body that is neither too fat nor too muscular nor too thin nor too devoid of muscle. I was normal. He enjoyed having me in class because my body was so real. Drawing a human form is very different from filming or photographing pornography. The art of the human body is gorgeous! Pornography is demeaning. You can either see a body for it's beauty or see it for the carnal viciousness.

    I disagree on one count. Having been a model for BYU in a speedo I disagree with his presumption that very much is missing. To use blatant terms (mostly because the lay man wouldn't really get it otherwise) the butt crack and the nipple are not all that difficult to draw nor are they the most necessary parts of a person. When drawing a nude woman, rarely are the private parts very apparent at all. The male parts are rarely more than add-ons to most nude male artwork anyway. Everything else is accessible. Though the leotard is ridiculous as far as I can tell, the speedo and the bikini are revealing enough. Though I am making a point for nude modeling now, if I am proven wrong in my views, I will accept it.