I know very little, if anything at all, about the history of photography. It is something I plan on studying more deeply. Recently someone told me about Edward Weston, one of the early pioneers of artistic photography. Weston lived between 1886-1958 and he produced some wonderful nudes between the 20’s and 40’s. One of his nudes actually sold for $1,609,000 in 2010.
The above image by Weston might either get you fired from your job if seen in the wrong setting or make you a millionaire if you were fortunate enough to own it. Such is the schizophrenic nature of our world when it comes to the artistic depiction of the human body.
I myself have often been labeled a heathen and pornographer by the more holy members of different religious denominations for my posts containing nude images. To some, the two images above are pornography: vile, filthy, evil and to be not only shunned but even destroyed. To others, these images are works of art, deserving the same respect as an ancient Greek nude statue or a painting by Rembrandt.
Art is often fascinating because of the responses engendered by the viewers, whether hostile or appreciative. Weston’ s works are an illuminating example of those stark dichotomies inherent in our natures when we are presented with nude or erotic imagery.