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Submitted on
November 1, 2011
Mature Content


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Good Nudes vs. Bad Nudes?

Tue Nov 1, 2011, 2:57 PM by techgnotic:icontechgnotic:
''Athena's on the Qui Vive'' by erwintirta

The argument for the nude in art:

Our visual perception of the human face and then the human body has set the basis since the beginning of human history for our sense of what is beautiful and what initiates all our seminal ineffable sublime feelings about the nature of love, life, desire, destiny, eternity, ad infinitum.

The curvatures and symmetries of the human body even lay the geometric basis for the artistic structures of all our art forms, not only for the visual arts but also for literature and architecture.

Given the primacy of the body as the beginning of all that we are in life, and given the eye as the primary receiver for the collection of all information in our lives, how could the artistic nude not be a massively represented art form on a global arts forum like DeviantArt?

And besides, nudes are something people enjoy looking at—and art needs no other justification than being something that brings some small amount of pleasure into our lives.

The Kock In

You mean men enjoy looking at nudes.

You mean men enjoy looking at nudes. And women not nearly so much—because they have to endure the daily indignities of being treated like mindless “objects” by clueless men. Nude art in any media will always teeter precariously on a very fine edge separating the “empowering” from the “demeaning.” It’s all in the context. Helmut Newton famously photographed a model on a bed wearing a saddle. Is this erotic fine art or just high-gloss perversion? Is it the artist’s intent to audaciously exercise his adoration of the nude form or to merely indulge misogynistic darknesses? And you, viewing Newton’s photograph, will have to make your own decision as to the worth of the piece, based in the unique context of everything you’ve experienced in your life.

We don’t really know the artist’s intent—and we’re left with our own reaction to the artwork for judging its artistic worth and merit. That’s the problem.

It’s so intimately

One person’s erotic art is another person’s worthless sensationalism.

There can be no ultimate judge or definer – and thankfully the majority of people in the world have recognized this fact of life and are against most censorships. This leaves us with the vexing debate as to how much nudes is too much nudes on DeviantArt.

The only thought I can offer is that, because men (and women) photographing, painting and sculpting nudes is not going away. We know better than to try to censor art or empower bureaucratic “judges” to set limits, it is imperative that we keep the current conversation going about what is good and beautiful and what is bad and dangerous about our ubiquitous nudes situation.

If only we can remain ever mindful and considerate of—and always remain in dialogue about—the good and bad possible side effects of the nude art we enjoy, then maybe we can have our erotica and our feminism, too.

Kind of like enjoying alcohol, but knowing to never drive drunk. Art is never entirely stand alone. The context is always present, transformative, and as important to the experience of art as the art object itself.

For The Reader

  1. Do you think there is too much nude subject matter on deviantART or is it a non-issue for you?  How much do you think your gender or sexual preferences might influence your answer?
  2. When is censorship of art permissible?   Where would you draw the line?  What rational rule could you offer as a practical guideline?
  3. Have you ever had a work of art you created censored or banned in any way?
  4. If an artist really believes in what he or she has created, how should the artist respond to censorship of that art?  Have you been made aware of an instance of “art suppression” via the Internet?
  5. Would you ever suggest to another artist that he or she should tone a work of art down or agree to the censorship of an art object in a specific situation?


Good Nudes vs. Bad Nudes?by hq

Journals / Personal©2011-2014 hq
Mature Content
Add a Comment:
Elizabeth425 Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2014  Student Traditional Artist
I find it intriguing how many of these comments classify good nudes as "tasteful and artistic" and bad nudes as "poorly planned and without artistic merit".

Although I agree with these people, we can't judge nudes based on their creator's artistic talent.

I've seen (and yes, created) plenty of awful , emotionless and meaningless "art" that is perfectly acceptable simply because the subject is non-offensive.

Perhaps we need a way to differentiate between bad art and bad nudes.
Yokaimoon666 Featured By Owner Nov 25, 2014
Nudity is not an issue for me. I enjoy seeing it being expressed on artistic manner however, and not the crappy cam-whore nudes I see...with mature filter on (might want to start enforcing that rule).

I would like to address the following though: should artist be told to tone it down or be censored?

I believe censorship in any form is wrong UNLESS the subject in question is doing or will do harm, in which case it is justifiably protecting the majority and not person(s) of interest.

People hide behind artistic freedom to get their way and don't think about what happens afterwards. If my friend started walking around naked in my house because he was 'expressing himself', I would kick him out because, he may have this freedom to do this, but he has to deal with the consequences of his actions. He walks around nude, he gets kicked out, now he can go home and be naked there.

Point is: no one can tell you what to draw/take pictures of/think/act, but when you're pictures get taken down and you get banned don't be a little emo bitch about it and complain. Don't turn on the art site because you failed to abide by their TOS which you AGREED to when joining. Don't use 'obstructing creativity, freedom of whatever' when you're breaking rules you agreed to, to use this site.

TL;DR? Keep doing what you're doing you attention seeking piles of crap. I hope you can deal with what comes afterwards.

As a side note: dA, why don't you open up a sister site where people can post all their crappy nude pics and leave people who want to appreciate art here? I have a great name and slogan to suggest: dAporn. Tired of feeling like your nude pictures are underrated? Want people to see you and your natural beauty through a .5 pixel lens? Come to dAporn where your body will be appreciated by thousands of strangers!

Cause....that seems to be a viable solution. Your name would be all over that but hey, your standards already sunk low, why not milk it for a while? (insert sarcasm everywhere)
Theneoseraph Featured By Owner Nov 24, 2014
Just my two cents. I don't so much mind the artist nude portion, but the extreme fetish porn that is on this site is a little much at times. Naked lady/guy OK. Close up of naked ladies vagina with really no thought put into it just BAM look at my vagina! Not so much. Also the amount of (and I know I will get shit for this) of furry/inflation/fat/vore/scat/fart/etc "art" *cough porn* is a little overwhelming. I know that everyone says use the mature filter, but seriously, that's not the issue for those of us that want art. It is the extreme stuff that we don't want to see. I don't mind an artistic nude, I don't want to see Disneys Kim Possible with her head shaved getting and enema (yes it is on here). On the same note I don't want to take away from peoples ability to post weird stuff like that. Maybe a third filter labeled deviant?
city-of-chicago Featured By Owner Edited Nov 24, 2014  New member Hobbyist Writer
"Maybe a third filter labeled deviant?"

Or just "porn." The meaning is conveyed, without the company seeming to pass judgment.

Not that I'm saying that I love porn, or that you should, but if DA can avoid drama with a simple choice of words, without giving up anything important in the process, why not? Agreed?
city-of-chicago Featured By Owner Nov 23, 2014  New member Hobbyist Writer
Let's point out the proverbial 800 pound gorilla in the room. Yes, I'm going to bring up a practical, real world issue. Yes, I know, as we saw below, Matthew Lane doesn't believe that we should be living in the real world, but some of us have insisted on taking up residence there.

Presumably, most of you would like to have your work be seen. Otherwise, why are you posting it? If viewing porn and viewing artistic figure studies goes on being the package deal it has been on DeviantArt, then viewers are going to go on doing as I and others have done, and opt out on viewing mature images on this site, at all. If you've been producing non-pornographic figure studies, you would do well to think about the consequences of that. The people who are here to see porn aren't here to see your image of a woman walking through a field of flowers. They're here to see the image of somebody violating herself with a broken flower bottle. Or something like that. Lose the part of the audience that is open to viewing tastefully done artistic figure studies (but isn't interested in porn), and bit by bit, you can say goodbye to your traffic and your sales.

Are you willing to do that, just to go along with a little hipster posturing? If so, your loss. Seriously. It's a big Web out there, a lot bigger than DeviantArt. The viewer who finds that DeviantArt (and its community) are determined to be stupid and stubborn on this point can easily find what he's looking for, elsewhere, without any need to change the nature of what he is looking at by choice or to accept any diminishment in quality. He can just go over to Flickr, and set his account to allow viewing of moderate (but not restricted) material, and he'll almost certainly enjoy something akin to the choice Lane made so much drama over. In fact, even if he sets his account to allow restricted material, he'll probably not have to deal with the gynecologist and proctologist shots for which DA is becoming known.

Your choice, and your company's and your community's funeral if you insist on making it foolishly. Which, by the way, I'm absolutely in favor of you all doing, if that's what you want to do. When the choices people make are truly informed ones, and they are undone by their own vices, I don't tend to find that tragic, at all. I usually find that hilarious. So go for it, kids!
taiji-tu Featured By Owner Nov 22, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
The "DA Ghost" extension for FireFox has been specifically written for DeviantArt to block artists whose work you don't like.

Currently I have almost 500 "artists" blacklisted; mostly for posting low-quality, cheap porn.
city-of-chicago Featured By Owner Nov 23, 2014  New member Hobbyist Writer
Tsk, tsk ... this has all been discussed below, and Matthew Lane has spoken! There is no such thing as porn. Or, probably, quality either, because there is no objective way of defining or measuring that, and if there isn't an algorithm for finding something, it really isn't there. Matt wouldn't lie to us about that.

Pain-Damos Featured By Owner Nov 22, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
It is a non-issue for me. I don't really think my gender or sexual preferences influence my answer, because I couldn't care less. An artist needs to, how some would say, "breathe a little." An artist has a right to share what they want to share, regardless of what it is. Censorship should only be permitted based on the model, and the artist. I MIGHT go as far as censoring something that causes harm to the viewers, but frankly, it's the viewers fault for looking, in my opinion. Me, being an aspiring author, I try to put censors in some of my posts that some might find offensive. (I post everything a chapter at a time.) So, yeah, I made posts that were censored. No, I haven't had that situation. The only way I might say that they should tone the work down is if I thought it might be offensive to a model for the artwork, or if it puts her in a situation that degrades him/her, or if it ruins the model's reputation, etc.
FinalFatalFail Featured By Owner Nov 21, 2014  Student Artist
1: It is a non-issue for me. 
    I don't think my gender or sexual preferences influence my answer,
    I just feel like people have the right to share what they want to share unless
    it causes real harm to the viewers. And I don't think artistic nude does 
    not harm the viewer.
2: Censorship of art is permissible when the art hurts the model in the art or hurts their reputation against their will
    I personally would set the guideline to no harm to model.
3: No, never happened.
4: The artist should look at things professionally instead of sentimentally.
5: Well,  I think I would if I were to find the art in particular offensive or if I
    know it's offensive to the model.
2xHelix Featured By Owner Nov 21, 2014
There is too much saucy art being featured in the What's Hot section. Honestly though, that's the user base's fault, as guys tend to have a hard time not clicking on something that looks attractive.
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