Hyacinth over at A Dissolute Life Means... has resolved to post every day in June and is inviting others to join her. Separately, I had also felt a need to push myself this month and decided I wanted to post every day in June about the subjects of nakedness and nudity. I'm calling it Naked June and I'll fold it into her challenge.
I've been thinking a lot about these naked pics I take and the whys and wherefores. Artists have always painted and photographed the female nude but while previous centuries worth of female nudes are considered "high art," now the naked selfie is derided as low class.
How did we switch up so easily?
Is it the sheer number of naked pictures online or perhaps the degraded quality of most of them? Is it the derogatory term "thirst trap" and with it the idea that seduction and sexuality are shameful? Perhaps it's all of these things plus the easiness of access that has blurred the lines of art and commerce. Sometimes it's hard to tell with an online naked picture if someone is promoting themselves, selling themselves, admiring themselves or inviting everyone in their audience to do any one of those things.
I started my own photo project for very personal reasons that I wrote about here and it's since evolved into something I call Ekphrasis Inverted.
Ekphrasis is a Greek term for the practice of using colorful language to describe a visual piece of art. Essentially, creating a piece of art that describes another piece of art. I used the ekphrastic ideal in an inverted way by adding text to my pictures to describe, define or further expand on them and then I offer the text and picture combo up to an audience for commentary of their own.
In many ways, this is what all bloggers do. We all put pieces of our art online and invite commentary. But what is so compelling about nakedness and nudity? And is there a difference between those two things?
I'm thinking on it this month.