Tag Archives: nude

What does a nude do?

An answer to this question is vital. Drawing the nude in any form, good or bad, traditional or contemporary can only survive where there is an answer . Sentimental allegory and symbolism expressed in almost photographic academic realism is not , well, “edgy” enough to cut it. Deliberate or unwitting childishness and crudity are just,( sorry) childishness and crudity. Shocking perhaps, but high angst does not excuse adults behaving badly.

A naked figure can reasonably be expected to be doing a limited range of things. Bathing, dressing, sunning ,or sex are about it. Pretending to be gods, standing up as “Virtue” or “Truth”, or engaged in a historical or legendary battle( even with contemporary linkage by erudition) , all these options are fraught. As surreal as nudes at the bus stop or checkout counter.

I think I saw the beginnings of an anwer. I was reading a book about the Art Students League at the time.

” The function of the nude in art, is to render the artist naked.” And there, is a tale to be told.