Friday, October 23, 2009

JOEY'S CORNER - Art Through The Lens

“You don't take a photograph, you make it.”
-Ansel Adams
In today's society we often find ourselves surrounded by many forms of art. No matter where you are or what you are doing there is a guarantee that you will be influenced by some type of art. When asked, what is art, many of you will automatically default to some of the magnificent paintings of Van Gogh, Monet, Picasso, or my favorite Leonardo da Vinci (don’t even try and play like the Creation of Adam isn’t hot). However, we often over look many other art forms that are created without canvas and oils; when I say “oils” I don’t mean the ones you use when you usually look at this site.
One stroll down Royal Street in New Orleans will showcase many art forms. You may hear jazz music being played from a hobo's trumpet as you walk pass galleries of art, while appreciating the tap dance that a young Creole boy performs on the street; you, my friend, are encompassed by art. One particular form that we often take for granted is photography. It may be the form of art that we are most surrounded by. Every time that you open a magazine or browse a website you view photos that we all too often pass up without acknowledging the true beauty that is offered to us, that is unless you are looking at the newest edition of UnZipped. Society has trained us to accept what we are told and to follow the guidance provided to us without question. Let us use our own brains and ignore that training the next time we view a photograph. We often look at a photo but many of us rarely take the time and energy to actually see the photo that is being presented.
Of all the different types of photography, nudes are my favorite (Go Figure!). Nude photography, (and Sean) have been deemed filthy, perverted, and shameful by our society and we have allowed little room for its acceptance. America's puritan beliefs restrict the beauty of our bodies. We are told that nudity is not pure, and is pornographic and vulgar. I mean really? Last time I checked “Adam” wasn’t created wearing Marc Jacobs! I’m actually not fond of the idea of Adam being created; I think we evolved…have you ever seen a Bear on Bourbon Street, the proof is in the back hair! How can we allow ourselves to be constrained to such an idiotic thought? Our bodies are structured with different contours, shades of color, and textured by hair and there is nothing more pure than the naked human body. We are each unique and beautiful in our own way... well most of us. Thankfully, there are photographers out there that will not allow their art to be restricted to clothing; God knows there are plenty of queens at Vouge capturing fashion in their lens. Since there are photographers with the balls to do it, thankfully we are blessed with artists who manipulate bodies and capture beautiful raw images. Most of us are not aware of the emotions released when we finally acknowledge how stunning the small of a back or the curve of an underarm can be. Nude Photographers remind us that beauty is not found just in the face, but that a navel, a nipple, a foot, or a penis can be alluring without being sexual. When I first discovered the beauty of nude art, I assumed it would be an erection, followed by the need of a Kleenex, which justified the quality of it. However, I quickly learned that it was the deep, slow breath (calm down, it’s not that type of article) that I took while my heart skipped a beat that separated nude art from pornography.
Photography is a complex beauty that is a far cry from a simple picture. That’s the difference between the photos you see on this site and those pictures you have in a hidden folder on your laptop. Allow yourself to open your heart while you open your eyes to see the photograph, to acknowledge the photographer's vision, and to appreciate the elaborate expression of his or her art.
©2009 - Joey Swinson

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David Costa