In the Buff

Michelangelo's David. Via Wikimedia Commons.

For as long as I can remember, I have always been fascinated by any form of art that has anything to do with the human form. I myself had enjoyed trying to draw my Dad playing Tevye in a local production of “Fiddler on the Roof” — back when I was in kindergarten, in my clumsy but earnest stick figures. I went on to drawing my favorite cartoon characters, a fictitious girl band, my classmate’s faces, Tom Cruise’s and David Duchovny’s. and the random figures in magazines ads that struck my fancy.

As a subject of art, nothing captivates me more. The textures of skin and hair, the hills and valleys of bone and musculature, the grace and symmetry – I love it all. I wrote my very own version Pymalion and Galatea in my head when a high school teacher introduced Michelangelo’s David in my humanities class. And then there was Renoir, Rodin, Herb Ritts, and all who followed.

Several summers ago, a friend of mine invited me to join a bunch of other artists for a series of nude drawing sessions, sponsored by an art gallery. I had never drawn nudes from life before, so the experience was quite new for me. I felt not a little bit uncomfortable at first. But there was a palpable energy crackling about in the room, and it was contagious, so that after a few minutes, the shock of in-your-face nudity wore off, and the sense of beauty and wonder set in, and then it was all about the futile yet wonderfully fulfilling task of trying to get a grasp of the ephemeral and pinning it down in graphite and paper.

Here’s a product of one of those afternoons.

Eroticism isn’t even the point. It is power, movement, balance, form, the wonderful parts coming together to make a wondrous whole. The human body, in all its possible variations, in its perfections and imperfections,  is just an amazing, endlessly fascinating work of nature.

Here are a few of the awesome ways  artists perceive and interpret the human body.

Gustav Klimt

I love how fabulously flamboyant he is. His figures are soft and pale and ethereal, which make a startling contrast against the rivers of fiery red hair, the reflective flash of gold leaf, and/or the funky graphic patterns.

“Danae”, Gustav Klimt, 1907

"Judith I", Gustav Klimt

Enchanted Zaftig

Sitting in the Dark With Red Hair ~ by Juan Alcantara

I regularly receive updates from their Facebook page to remind myself to appreciate my very own zaftig-ness, and how art-worthy it is.

Fernando Botero

A Dama e o Cavalo by Fernando Botero. Via Wikimedia Commons.

BenCab

Nude By Bencab. Via O Emma Top.

Matteo Pugliese

"La Promessa" by Matteo Pugliese. From the artist's website.

I saw this yesterday on Facebook, and it’s already one of my favorites.

Nu Project

I recently discovered photographer Matt Blum and I admire his passion for the real, and I admire even more the many women who have put themselves out there and showed the world their beautiful uniqueness.

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