Wednesday, January 27, 2010

To own a nude or not to own a nude, that is the question...

I was talking to a friend tonight about who buys my paintings of nudes.  She was asking if the models themselves buy the art.  Yes.  Sometimes they do.  And no, sometimes they don't.  Sometimes they're just doing me a favor by modelling but aren't interested in owning the pieces themselves.

She said her husband was wondering who else would buy nudes of someone else?  She pointed out that most of the famous artists throughout time have done nudes which are now in the museums all over the world.  That's true.  But are they in households all over the world?

That started a discussion about what it would mean to own a nude...  One of my models was worried about buying the painting of herself because she didn't want visitors to see it.  I suggested she hang it in her bedroom.  She said people go in there sometimes too, so that wouldn't be comfortable for her. 

My friend wondered aloud what made her uncomfortable about having a painting of a nude in her home.  What does it (supposedly) say about a person if they display a nude?

One gallery owner told me she doesn't show nudes because they are too confrontational.  She doesn't want people to have to see them if they don't want to see them.  What on earth could be so bad about them??!  What do naked bodies stir up in us that we have trouble being with?

I'd love to take a poll - would you have a painting of a naked woman or man in your home?  Why or why not?  I'm so curious!  I seriously hope you'll respond. 


  1. This became an interesting comment. I came up with quite a lot of thoughts, but here is the summation.

    I would own a nude. But I would have to love it as art, not because it's a nude. Years ago I found an artist in Tidewater who did small pastels of male nudes. I loved his work and wanted to purchase a piece. Female nudes are not uncommon, but male nudes are rare and these were beautiful. Like a serene still life. But I didn't get the one that originally caught my eye, and none of the others spoke to me in the same way when I finally found him again. So I missed my opportunity. But I've never forgotten it.

    Another artist I admire here in Richmond has done a few nudes that I've contemplated taking home. The figures aren't frontal, but read nearly as landscapes. I was fascinated by his composition and color. I already own a piece by this person and love his style, so it was interesting to see the nude when he typically does faces and spaces.

    I would not have a large painting or an "in your face" nude in my home. Partly because I don't want anything large or overwhelming - I don't have the space for it. And if being honest, I really don't want 5 feet of boobs and bellies in my face day in and day out. ( I know, sounds harsh!) It's not about what others think, it's about me living with it.

    I think the bottom line is that a piece of art has to speak to me. Then I need to have a space. All else is secondary.

  2. We have an 8' wide by 5' high nude that I did hanging in our guest room.