Artistic Nude or Pornography?

Is this photo (Edit: link is gone, domain expired!) pornography or an artistic nude? I think it’s an artistic photo of a nude but some people scream and shout whenever even a bit of leg or shoulder is shown.

Thankfully 400 people emailed him and agreed that it was not pornography. Check out the description of the second photo linked above. Jessyel definitely is crazy, but also a great photographer! The nude bookmark on photoblogs.org has more photoblogs on the same subject.

It goes without saying, that the photos above may not be suitable for a work environment. You have been warned. Artistic endevour has very little place in a litigious environment.


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Comments

  • timethief December 19, 2006 Reply

    IMO the nude photos you linked here are “artistic nudes” or “erotica” and not pornography. And as an experienced nude model I feel qualified to make this call. Keep up the artistic work and don’t let the prudes win the day. :)

  • Niall December 19, 2006 Reply

    I’d agree that it’s an artistic nude and not pornography, but I’d also argue that it’s not a particularly good piece of art.

  • Joshua December 27, 2006 Reply

    Jesus said, “You have heard that it was said, ‘Do not commit adultery.’ But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell.”

    My friends, would you sell your right eye for $1 million? How about both of your eyes for $100 million? Then why on earth would you trade your soul for a fleeting glance at a woman? Please, turn from your sins today that God may grant you everlasting life through Jesus Christ His Son. Then read your Bible daily and obey what you read. God never fails to keep His promises.

  • Donncha December 27, 2006 Reply

    Joshua – thanks for commenting, but I have to wonder about someone who goes searching the Internet for pornography just to preach? It is good to know you’re only human like the rest of us!

    What do you think of the Venus de Milo or Michelangelo’s David?

  • Joey December 30, 2006 Reply

    I agree with timethief on this one. I’m a photographer, and I posted some of my artistic nudes on tagged.com and they removed my work saying that it was pornography. Check out my site and let me know what you think… As for Joshua,… I also believe in God, but I think you are being a fanatic. I mean come on! Nudity is a beautiful and natural part of life and God brought us in this world in that state. So i don’t agree with you on that.

    Thanks,
    Joey

  • timethief December 31, 2006 Reply

    As I revealed in my first post I have spent many years working as a nude model. I have worked primarily for photographers and painters, but also for medical students as well. I’m over 50 but if you saw me you would guess me to be 15 years younger than my true age so when I speak of experience I’m referring to decades of it.

    I examine the portfolio of anyone who approaches me to model and they examine the portfolios of the photographers who have worked with me previously. I am extremely selective about who I will work with and have a contract that clearly states to photographers “no identifiable face shots” and no “genital shots”. This means photographers must be creative when they use me as a model and they are. I am also creative when it comes to my end of the deal. I don’t think in terms of “cheesecake” and don’t position myself in a manner that projects it. I married and have always been faithful and my husband accompanies me when I’m on a shoot.

    One of the most “artistic” series of shots that I was privileged to model in was done entirely on a beach with extremely unusual sandstone formations, caves and pockets. I was simply asked to choose my own poses and the photographer used a hand held camera in most shots, a tripod in some shots, but also hung down from a climbing harness over a cliff to get the best three shots of all. The series layout began with me in a fetal position in an sandstone circular shaped pocket where erosion had caused a boulder to become dislodged. It progressed into yoga poses that were harmonious with the rocky shorelines’ natural features. It ended with me in a tree pose shot next to a 200 year old tree bent by the winds and waves into a similar shape.

    Prior to my father’s death 4 years ago, I showed him for the very first time ever nude photos of myself. When he viewed the series I described above on the exact same beach he had held dear since his childhood he wept. Then he said it was absolutely beautiful and I had nothing to be ashamed of. This was contrary to the idiotic position his fundamentalist christian has always held.

    Although Niall has a point, and the shots are not the best art I have ever seen, the question put to us was “artistic nude or pornography”. And although Joshua has bullshitted himself into believing that he’s doing the Lord’s work by deliberately searching the internet for things he claims should not exist, I have no doubt that he’s deriving a a sick and twisted payback between his ears and in his crotch for his perversion.

    Scripture indicates God created a naked Adam and Eve and as I was raised in the faith from birth, I’ve had lots of experience with being in the company of christian men, like Joshua, who are sexually troubled voyeurs inclined towards who exhibiting troll-like behaviours online. IMO comments such as his should be “moderated” into the spam bin.

    As Joey says “nudity is a beautiful and natural”. And how the nude form is presented in any shot is key to determining whether we are viewing an “artistic nude” or “porno shot”. The most challenging assignment a photographer intent on presenting the naked human form as a subject ever has is to honour the model’s humanity.

  • Arturo January 5, 2007 Reply

    I think it´s a beautiful nude art pic, i agree that nudity is beautiful and natural

  • Graziano January 29, 2007 Reply

    For me is not pornography, photo is very good, and is artistic nude.

  • Andy February 6, 2007 Reply

    In response the Joshua, the verses that you refer to deal with lust. Believe it or not there are some people (albeit probably not the ones that quote those verses) that can look at a nude photograph and see it for art as opposed to a lustful thing. To me, thats when the line is crossed. If an image provokes lust, then to me it becomes pornographic. The human body is an awesome sculpture so appreciate it!

    • Joel September 19, 2010 Reply

      What did Paul mean when he said that our body belongs to God? Many people say they have the right to do whatever they want with their own bodies. Although they think that this is freedom, they are really enslaved to their own desires. When we become Christians, the Holy Spirit comes to live in us. Therefore, we no longer own our bodies. That God bought us “with a high price” refers to slaves purchased at an auction. Christ’s death freed us from sin but also obligates us to his service. If you live in a building owned by someone else, you try not to violate the building’s rules. Because your body belongs to God, you must not violate his standards for living.

  • S April 12, 2007 Reply

    This is an artistic image, nothing more. We were all born naked. Society creates these ridiculous labels and frames of mind that dictate we should see things in a twisted way.

  • David April 14, 2007 Reply

    The photograph is a very well taken piece of artwork. The human body is by nature a work of art. There are undertones of lesbianism, which will get the “right and the true” getting astride their wild horses. If this is pornography, then their are 500 year old paintings being sold for millions that must be pornography themselves.

  • Andrew Kong May 30, 2007 Reply

    I don’t think it is porn at all. A lot depends on the ethos of the image, as influenced by the intent (to arouse luse or seduce another) of the model / photographer / artist. The ethos of the viewer is also to be considered. To the pure , all things are pure. If the image causes Joshua to lust, then indeed it is good that he exercise custody of his eye and look away. However he must not impose his own fallen standard on all although he might want others to exercise prudence. The Sisteine Chapel is full of nudes that are able to glorify God and creation. Pope John Paul II has written much on this aspect in his Theology of the Body.

  • Thom June 15, 2007 Reply

    Ask the question: “Is the photo to artistically enrich or to exploit and debase?”
    The photo in question might not be very good in some folks eyes, mine included, but it certainly is not aimed at exploiting and debasing. Indeed, one could see it as part of a series in terms of the photographers skill development over time.

    Dear Joshua
    Have you considered looking at the image, first as an image, then as a nude person, then at the pose and surroundings etc etc, or do you just leap straight to naked=lust=bad=burn?

    Have you also thought that Jesus was actually referring to the sin of depersonalising and objectifying women?

  • Dave September 20, 2007 Reply

    thanks joshua- i agree with you. while i think it is sometimes natural to look at nude pictures, i also believe that Jesus wore clothes for a reason. Adam and Eve wore clothes because we are supposed to possess a modesty that befits God’s image of us. why sell our souls to look at nude women when we could look at other pictures without nudity?? it all depends on the person’s view but i think it safer to look at more thought-evoking pictures. as for objectifying women, thats exactly what ur at Thom because u say to look at women as images firstly before lookin at te as a person…

  • Nicholas January 10, 2008 Reply

    I’m christian, just wanted to say.
    I think that Joshua has some good points, but his missing the head point in the entire religion of christianity, even if you look at it with lust, you will not burn in hell for one sin, or two, or ten thousand, grace is the main messange.
    Also, even though I don’t know how many of you who are christian, many of you seem to have reached to the point aldready, if you see it with lust, then it’s a sin. If you don’t, I don’t see how it can be so.
    And to Dave: no Adam and Eve didn’t wear clothes. They put clothes on after they ate the fruit, God didn’t tell them to, it was one of many things human has found out on their own. (Though what Joshua quoted is still true, but is so even if the woman wear clothes.)

    To the author of this: no I don’t see this as pornography, humans can be beautiful as little else, I think. Nude does not equal pornography.

  • pat - Landscape Artist February 7, 2008 Reply

    God made the human body and it was designed to be functional as well as beautiful. However, since Adam and Eve sinned in the garden of Eden, clothes have been worn since that time and for a good reason.

  • Brittany June 6, 2008 Reply

    Is being a regular model that dosn’t do any nude or sexual things, considered a sin to god?

  • How to draw June 6, 2008 Reply

    We use nude models in our art classes for adults all the time. The human form is art, very easy concept to undrstand. Even in the 15th and 16th century when europe ws under the heavy hand of the Catholic church this was allowed and viewed as art.

    Most important artists and aspiring art students even bought cadavers to dissect to further explore anatomy.

  • Tosee June 7, 2008 Reply

    I agree with Joshua and Dave. Whatever justifications we provide for our filthy needs are just satisfaction for our soul, since whatever Jesus said and showed with the example of his life do not allow this. Its fine to comment on a topic, but with references and examples as Joshua. While being speaking with just own perception is a diversion. If we refer only an authentic manual of life in takings decisions, our job get easier.

  • Jennifer June 17, 2008 Reply

    Its very difficult to decide on whether this kind of image is wrong, on the pure fact that each and everyone’s reaction will be extremely varied. If you were to completely disregard the individual, and focus on the artists message, it was probably never really meant to be offensive.
    Talking from my perspective, I think nudity is bad if it starts to turn its subject purely into an object. I don’t agree in a prude attitude towards nakedness. Sometimes it feels like denial towards our natural state, we weren’t born with clothes.
    At the same time, pornography is a serious issue, sometimes “artistic nude” is just a label given.

    Right and wrong is just subjective, its something built by society/race/religion.

  • Ed October 13, 2008 Reply

    I stumbled across this image while conducting “research” (I hesitate to label cruising the internet for nudes as such) for my class. I am having my students find nude images that would be censored on television but that, in their opinion at least, should not be considered “pornographic” or “obscene.” In the context of a larger discussion of civil liberties, we are attempting to discern what exactly constitutes “pornography,” what constitutes “art,” and what falls into other various categories (a simple photgraph with little or no attached meaning, erotica, etc.). And make no bones about it, someone who labels your artistic nude “pornographic”, though he may be unaware of it himself, is saying that the work is “obscene” and has “little or no artistic or scientific value” and no more than “ordinary significance.”

    I am certainly going to share this link with the class… hopefully a few students can respond w. feedback. Just to be clear, these are of-age college students. No need for boisterous parents here!

  • aaron November 24, 2009 Reply

    I would like to say that I agree with Joshua to an extent. Anything intended to sexually arouse outside the context of marriage or anything which intentionally or unintentionally objectifies a human being is wrong. With that said, not all nudity fits that criteria. On the contrary, in tribal cultures in which public nudity is comonplace, children are desensitized to the “inherant” sexuality of nudity and thus do not lust after nudity. Yet in cultures in which public nudity is taboo, the eye can lust after others regardless of whether or not the subject is nude. Thus, the verse that he quoted (which I belive to be spoken by the son of God) has no application in the context of non-sexual, nudity.

  • Mike Weiss May 2, 2010 Reply

    Ofcouse it’s an artistic nude and not pornography, people will always find some excuses,

    Mike

  • Ellie July 30, 2010 Reply

    The photo did not come up so I cannot comment on it. But as a Christian wife who is 9 yrs older than my Christian husband (and friends say he looks older than me) I was totally heartbroken when he announced that part of his photogrpahy passion was to hire nude models for his “art.” We are not wealthy,so even the idea of girls only 18 wanting $125 an hr x 3, plus 6 girls he found and 3 twice, that was hard enough. But knowing he took “Playboy type” shots in people’s bedrooms was a hurt that nearly destroyed our marriage and totally broke my heart. We’re ok now,but who even thinks about how it effects all of us including the young daughters who pose naked for money?>

  • Joel September 19, 2010 Reply

    “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body,” (1 Cor. 6:19-20).

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