The living model, the naked body of a woman, is the privileged seat of feeling, but also of questioning… The model must mark you, awaken in you an emotion which you seek in turn to express. (Henri Matisse)
It took me many years to return to the study of the nude figure in art. I was trained as a painter and it was customary to have nude models in the studio eight hours a day. It was very natural for me to be in the presence of nudity; there was never anything taboo or sexual about the human form. As I began to work figuratively, studying and celebrating the poetry of asana, I wasn’t inspired to work with an unclothed model. I love the added dimension that fabrics bring to an image, and without clothing, I feared portraying the body as a sexual object. I was more interested in evoking sensuality through the use of clothing, bodily gestures, and facial expression. This felt right to me. There are some artists in our community who respectfully portray the nude human form as sacred. I have admired their work for many years – mainly, Jasper Johal. I made a promise to myself that until I could learn how to honor, respect, and portray the figure as such, I had no place photographing a human being doing asana without clothing. The above image is an exploration. It is my first. Thank you for taking the time to view this potential new direction and for reading this statement…
P.S. – I thought this was the most ridiculous comment I have ever seen—in reference to Briohny Kate Smyth’s heartfelt pregnancy article:
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A dedicated yoga practitioner himself, Sturman's work has increasingly focused on capturing the timeless grace and embodied mindfulness of asana. His portraits, whether set in the lively streets of Manhattan, the expansiveness of Malibu's beaches and canyons, the timeless elegance of Walden's New England, or the bleakness of San Quentin Prison, remind us that there is beauty everywhere. In Sturman's own words "I often think of Rumi: 'I can't stop pointing to the beauty.' That feels right to me." ...... Excerpt from Dearbhla Kelly's article: