June 6, 2015

Nude modelling: A Woman's World?

A superb editoral written by Ivory Roswell
Art-Model, Writer and Uda Art Editor 


I can name around thirty talented and respected nude models.

 When I look at a casting I’m not suitable for, I can usually recommend someone who would be. These people are different sizes, with a varied spectrum of hair colours and styles, and range from Amazonian to pixielike. But they all lack one thing- a Y chromosome.

It isn’t that photography featuring the male nude doesn’t exist, for it does; but where are the subjects of these pictures and why aren’t they internationally renowned for their work? Why don’t we know who they are?

One reason is that for many of them, nudes are a “once in while” thing and they mostly focus on other work as there is such a low demand for nudity (certainly this is true of the male models I spoke to on networking sites). Others are fitness professionals or dancers modelling in between rehearsals- which appears to explain the lack of diversity among men in nude photographs. While skin colour differs, the men often have similar physiques and photos tend to be dynamic action shots with a focus on musculature.

Even while searching for photos to illustrate this piece, I found many nude men(!) but comparatively few good images of them; and of those, the only body type depicted was athletic. Several photographers even state in their profiles that they don’t photograph men. Ever.

And to be fair to them, I have seen my fair share of shocking “art nudes”- mostly the ubiquitous ‘grabbing crotch’ shot, and for the daring, the ‘close up penis-through-pants’ shot. With so little imagination and variety in photographs of this type, it is not surprising that the demand for prints and coffee-table books featuring the male nude is much smaller compared to ones with female nudes.

Some believe that female curves lend themselves to art better than male bodies. 

Some feel that male genitals must be covered or concealed in order for the image to be artistic, as opposed to pornographic. Not long ago, a man with photographs of nude men in his house would be assumed gay and judged unfavourably based on this. The prejudice is lessening, but the assumption is not gone entirely.

These are just some of many possible reasons why ‘top nude model’ lists never include men, but I can’t help but think that they would be discarded immediately if a model with talent, unique looks and ambition enough to make his name known emerged.

Are you out there?

1) Photographer: Ekaterina Zakharova
2) Photographer: Gregory Prescott Model: Branden Mitch
3) Photographer: Ekaterina Zakharova


Alex said...

Thanks Roswell. Very thought provoking

Christian Pélier (Chris St James) said...

Bravo Ivory !!!!!!!!

KathTea Chin said...

I love this article. My sister specializes in drawing/painting nude art on her deviantArt page and she notices the lack of actual artistic nude males in photography. She ends up having to get inspiration from stock photography, which frankly, isn't the same. It would be nice to see more men in artistic nude photos. While I enjoy seeing the great variety of women already, it would be pleasant to see a great variety of men for once ;)

PS: I am so sending that Branden Mitch an FR on MM XD And I would forward this article to my sis as well.

Jeff said...

Concur - well stated article. I usually tend to prefer women (I do prefer their curves to the lines of men) when viewing a nude model image BUT nude males can offer a lot to a creative image.

And the notion of photographing the genitals is an issue that creates a reaction. I don't see anything wrong with images of an erect or flaccid penis BUT I've (and I guess we) seen too many crotch shots (as mentioned above) which due to the lack of creative male images compared with female; creates a greater preponderance of what some might find unappealing. If the volume of variety increased than that stigma of "penis though the pants" shots might decrease.

C'est qui? C'est quoi? said...

Merci beaucoup pour cette superbe découverte.