Friday, January 11, 2008

My philosophy on Fine Art Nudes

I think going into detail of my philosophy on my work I would probably need to write a book instead of a blog post. Therefore I will not go in great detail but often I do feel misunderstood and have a need to attempt to start putting my view into words.

Why Nudes?

Though I touched many themes through my younger years, I started moving towards figures and eventually nudes during my late teenage years. Living in a conservative community this immediately provoked conflict. ‘Why are you painting naked people?’ I would be asked and surprised I’d respond, ‘I have never painted a naked person! I am capturing pure moments in raw honesty’ Even today I often feel like I am not really doing nudes. I am reflecting on the most sensitive, powerful, and truthful. I am drawn to organic form and line like a magnet and it is nowhere to be found quite like in the human figure.

My model friend Ben once described his point of view so well. In short it was about him believing that by making piece with our bodies, we make peace with who we truly are. He said that we are able to connect with our inner being on a higher level if we accept and embrace our physical selves. (Ben, if you read this please feel free to jump in here)

Then I have to mention the emotional side. It has been said that both my work and myself bear a high level of emotionality. When writing a review about one of my exhibits, one reporter aptly noted, ‘…utilizing mainly the emotionality of the female as a theme’. Michel Keck once said that her artwork is as much a part of her as her organs. I knew exactly what she meant. And I guess my artwork is as much a part of my emotional roller coaster as I am. I think I better leave that there since now I am touching a second book… But before I move on, I have to mention, though I love all forms of art, personally I have never been able to experience the same emotion or feel quite as moved by another subject matter.

Nudes and eroticism.

I do not know why those two concepts cannot be set apart. As much as I am drawn to the human form, I am repulsed when it is not treated with dignity. I’ll go as far as confessing that I dislike most provocative and erotic work. Sadly this is often where I find my work categorized.

Since I met my soul mate, I have often been working on the theme of love. Once again my aim was to touch the theme with the highest respect. Strange as some may think, I still do not see these works anywhere near erotic. Rather as intimate, pure, reflecting the ultimate closeness… and several other concepts my vocabulary cannot put into words.

Regarding my first paragraph about feeling misunderstood; Just this week a model contacted me saying ‘I would like to work with you. Can we do a sexy lingerie shoot?!’ …Ouch!

Here I share ‘Words to surface…feelings to life’ –one of the first nudes I ever painted.


Issy said...

Dearest Antoine, your work speaks volumes on one thing and one thing alone (speaking for myself of course!) - the Soul! It has nothing to do with the sexy and erotic, and has everything to do with seeing the light and dark, and all shades in between that make up our souls. You are beautiful (and you know what I mean when I say that) and that is why you work is what it is! Don't ever stop capturing and bearing that which you have inside! xoxo

binky said...

I understand what you mean by line and form, and not ertocism. I admire your philosophy on your work! That is why your work is great!

Antoine said...

You guys are the best. Thank you!

Ben said...

Wow, I feel very honored to have been quoted in your blog, and especially on this topic. I really enjoy reading your blog, it's great!

As we talked about it for many hours when I visited your neck of the woods, I think we feel VERY similarly about artistic nudity. Your genuine and closely held respect for the human form screams at me from every image I've ever seen you create. It is a great honor and privilege for me to have been and be a part of that.

Many thanks,


Andrew said...

Good post. Our views are very much in sync.

I believe the nude is an expression of authenticity, revealing one’s true self without hiding behind a fa├žade. It is sad that so many people are incapable of appreciating nudes on this sort of level, as opposed to automatically lumping it all into a category of eroticism.

The irony is that sexually oriented imagery is pervasive in mainstream media, and people are numb to it, but tasteful nudes still shock a great many people.

Antoine said...

Ben & Andrew,
I really do appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts here. This really is a matter close to my heart and hearing from like minded people is just wonderful.

Ben, I hope I quoted you correctly :-)

“expression of authenticity” -well said.