Nude portraits are not just a thing of our times, even as early Daguerre‘s invention of photography, and despite of the strict morals of that time, nude portraits have caught the eye of the artist and the public. So as to make these nude images more acceptable to the general public, the photographs had to look as though they were intended to be part of an artistic study. Therefore, in order to avoid the shock factor, photos needed to somehow remind the public of what they would expect visiting galleries with Greek statues. Since then, erotic photography has often followed an (at times) narrow path that divides what is considered to be art and what is simply pornography. But as women bodies fill up each exhibit and magazine, we ask ourselves: Where are the males?
But if men still reign in the high ranks of many working fields, nude artistic photographic is definitely a women’s world.The term “Glamour photography” was coined in the 60s to describe a style that most people would tag as tasteful: Semi-naked girls, sometimes clad in bikinis or lingerie, usually joyfully bathing on the beach or being sexy in the streets. The hand-bra position, when a woman covers her nipples with her hands has become an ultimate cliché. Although our morals have changed, the erotic photography rules are still overtaken by some others clichés. When it comes to full nudity, the urge to fit it in the box of art only allows photographers to explore the female figure in classical poses and lazily choosing a vintage aesthetic with sepia tones or black and white.
Male models might have not been the most popular ones for erotic photography, but they didn’t escape the list of tasteful guidelines. Muscular men imitating Greek statues poses are tolerable, as long as no penis can be seen. Male genitals have been banned from erotic art for years. If they appear erected, that’s even worse, enough to instantly label it as pornography.
Male models might have not been the most popular ones for erotic photography, but they didn’t escape the list of tasteful guidelines. Muscular men imitating Greek statues poses are tolerable—as long as no penis can be seen. Male genitals have been banned from erotic art for years. If they appear erected it’s even worse, enough to instantly label it as pornography.
Luckily, new attempts have been made to re-locate the position of the male body inside the erotic art world. This is the case of some photography studios like Exterface or the online archive Homotography. It’s also the goal of Pornceptual, a website created in Brazil but now based in Berlin, that publishes unusual male nudes. The following pictures, made by the Pornceptual photographers, show that the male body can be used too to create art.
Painting All Over – by Eric Phillips:
[You may find the rest of this series here]
And there you have it. The male model can also offer a lot to erotic art. While we do enjoy feminine curves, we also enjoy seeing some balance between the sexes on the erotic art canvas.
Article by Chris Phillips
Editor’s note: This story originally appeared on Artparasites in August of 2012.
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