Perceptions of Nudity

As I began my research for this project, I started to
think about my own perceptions of nudity, not only in art,
but also in society.I have sat through countless hours of
Art History lectures and never really considered the vast
meaning behind all of the nudity.More than anything, that
fact really disturbed me considering I have been studying
art extensively for about two years.I have overlooked the
most basic subject matter in portraiture and dismissed
nudity as just something prevalent in paintings and
On the surface, art is what makes the difference
between nude and naked.If I see a painting or photograph
in a gallery of an unclothed woman, I look past the
nakedness and see the beauty in the piece.On the other
hand, I find absolutely no appeal in a Playboy or anything
of a pornographic nature.However, on a fundamental level,
it could be considered the same thing.Just like if an
undressed person decided to take a walk outside, they would
be arrested.But, if they painted their body and called it
art, they have absolutely no problem.
John Berger's chapter in Ways of Seeing was, to say the
least, enlightening material.Berger describes men and
women as opposites that work together in a virtually one
sided relationship.Men get their type of life force from a
show of power, or how much they can achieve or provide.
Women are pretty much an impression, and anything she thinks
or feels is merely expressed in her appearance (Berger 46).
Men and women fit together like a sentence.Men are
the subject and they do something that causes them to
interact with the object, or woman.Even though this
partial reality is disheartening, it does hold a substantial
amount of truth.In many cases, the man would ask a woman
to dinner, or a man is the one to be in charge of an entire
nation of people because they are believed to have the
natural gift for power…

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