Friday, March 28, 2014
Lighting is spotty in this apartment. It looks gorgeous in front of the windows, but then you have these dark corners. I put a large mirror against the wall to reflect the light and shine it into one of those corners (where the bed is strategically placed). I didn't think there'd be enough light to get a decent picture, but look how it turned out. Surprisingly bright, and very clean and white.
I was in a picture-taking mood, and started wondering about a thing that's been on my mind. Namely, how does one go about shooting a subject that is blatantly and explicitly pornographic, in a way that makes it "artistic", and maybe even beautiful? I'm not sure if I succeeded this time around, but I am very happy with the result either way.
Basically, I came to the conclusion that it would depend primarily on the light used (hence my acrobatics with mirrors). This light may be a little too harsh, and not dynamic enough for a truly "artistic" portrait - it even looks kinda flash-y, though a bit prettier than your typical head-on flash.
But where an amateur pornographer would only be concerned with exposing the subject and getting the audience's blood pumping, I, as an artist - in addition to those goals - am concerned with posing my model in an aesthetically pleasing way that is as flattering as possible.
Success or failure is ultimately going to be a matter of subjective opinion. Obviously, there are some who would curl their nose at the most artistic depiction of human sexuality, and others who think the raw act is the very definition of beauty itself. Me? I'm content to produce an image that I think covers both goals of being aesthetic and erotic. That's what separates me from the non-erotic artists and the non-artistic pornographers.
And I'm not concerned, either way, with whether my art is suggestive or whether it is explicit. There are merits to both approaches, and I see no reason why an artist should limit himself to one or the other. "Going all the way", so to speak, does not prohibit one from continuing to appreciate subtlety. It's not quite like tasting the apple and being expelled from the garden. I see it as more of a revolving door.