I’m working on an idea to do with anonymity and nudity. As a life model i work mostly nude, and yet even now people like to have a joke about it, at times quite insulting, and some struggle to deal with seeing a human naked. This is something i’ve not really understood from when i was at school, it just doesn’t make sense to me. My feelings about nudity are a part of why i tried being a life model, and why i use myself in photos from time to time.
Recently i’ve been thinking about the human body as art in its own right, some artists use the body in art installations. Having taken part in a Spencer Tunick mass nude photo installation earlier this year, my ideas were starting to form. I like the idea of the naked, or near naked body being used like a living statue, not a new idea, but one i want to incorporate in my work. For a brief time the body is the art and is imortalised in a photograph. Then the photograph also becomes art.
Nudity in society is often frowned upon at best, and condemned at worst, with people being prosecuted for streaking etc. But why is public nudity frowned upon in modern society? Who knows! Clothes optional beaches struggle to remain that way as local councils try to close them down. To me there’s something wrong when a society condemns the naked human body. It’s not always sexual! My life modeling work shows just how nonsexual nudity can be.
Trawling the internet for art nudes has brought me to many photos made at home. Strangely enough many people want to show off their bodies. It’s amazing how many photograph themselves naked, or near naked, in front of a mirror. It’s also amazing how many will do this, but also cover their faces, and so keep their anonymity.
So i started thinking about combining this anonymity with nudity, and the body as art in the same way as a statue. I have ideas on how to do this, and i plan to take photos during the coming year to try and make a series that i hope will be interesting.
Walking in the snow the other day i couldn’t resist trying a few shots of this type. So i stripped down to wellies, hat, and scarf. The hat was pulled down over the face to show anonymity. The wellies and scarf provided two things. One is the irony of how people go out in the cold with flimsy summer clothes, but wear a big scarf thinking it’ll keep them warm. Naked with a scarf is just the extreme of this. I also had in mind the idea of being like a snowman, which is really just a sculpture.
The photos didn’t really work very well (i really need an assistant!) though there were a couple i thought were ok, not quite as i planned, but ok none the less. So here’s one of them.