My First Nude Since The Art Academy. ~ Robert Sturman

Via elephant journal
on Jan 1, 2013
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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.”


Follow Robert Sturman’s work on Facebook. Daily posts to inspire.


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8 Responses to “My First Nude Since The Art Academy. ~ Robert Sturman”

  1. Beautiful and eloquent – both the photograph and the statement. Mission accomplished I'd say.

  2. Cami Rice says:

    This is exactly the sort of thinking when some thought some of your Yoga were a bit “race6.” Not so. I would suggest those people go too some museums. The human body is a beautiful thing–and especially when expressed so tastefully.

  3. Cami Rice says:

    The human body is a beautiful thing, specially when exhibited in such in such a such a magnificent; way;.. Ever been some museums? The body is revered and should be honored in such a beautiful way–not gratuitously but but with taste and honor.

  4. CKincaid says:

    Thank you for such an insightful quote and accurate view of how art and nudes are such an open canvass to explore emotions through artistic mediums.

    My passion is nudes; drawings, watercolors, oil doesn't matter the medium. The complexity of light, motion and beauty the human form evokes is so stunning sometimes in its purity and simplicity of the moment I feel so deeply compelled to capture it and forever show it to the world through my hands. 🙂

    I can't wait to see your viewpoint through your lens.

  5. SavvyTX says:

    I LOVE it! I also took life drawing classes and felt completely normal being int he presence of nudity. I don't see it as taboo, i see it as natural and beautiful! I think we have created this fear of nudity in our culture by masking it, i feel that women wouldn't be so 'sexualized' if simple nudity was more common.

  6. Irene says:


  7. This is art in it's most simplistic and beautiful form, the human body. This is how we come into the world, fully naked. The irony of it all- what is yoga? The union of mind, body, spirit. Some would say the same of art, just ask the artist. This is just lovely. If anyone sees this as "sexual" or deviant, perhaps it's just a projection of what is deeply hidden in themselves. Art speaks and generates responses in each and everyone of us. That is the gift and beauty of art. Continue to share, inspire, and even create a little ruckus. They say, eARTh without ART is just eh, hahaha!!! xoxo