January 2, 2013

My First Nude Since The Art Academy. ~ Robert Sturman

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:

“Seems like the goal of elephant journal is to show as many yoga teachers naked as possible.”


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