Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Male Nude Torso

(Because erections are a completely normal and regular occurrence for healthy males).

This would be another good example to file under the heading of "fine art erotica". But I'd also like to use it to talk about the conceptual difference between color and black and white photography. Obviously, choosing whether to shoot in color or black and white (or, in modern terms, whether or not to apply a black and white filter) depends on the artist's subjective judgment. Though there is a presumption among some (a group which may include professionals and amateurs alike) that black and white photography is more "artistic", it is undeniable that great artistic works have been accomplished in both black and white and color, so either choice is legitimate.

Black and white may have certain artistic advantages over color, by emphasizing (for example) things like lines and shadows, but it's not as though color is devoid of artistic potential. Try telling that to a color painter. And while in the past it may have been true that black and white photography possessed an air of sophistication due to it generally not having as much appeal to the amateur snapshot non-artist (I'm speculating here), in this day and age when anyone can quickly and easily apply a black and white filter to a bad shot and call it "art", I am - as a fan of color photography - wary of the mindset that presumes a shot's artistic value based on such superficial attributes as whether it is mono- or polychromatic.

In any case, some shots do legitimately look better (more artistic, aesthetically speaking) in color, while others look better in black and white. Sometimes - and this is not terribly uncommon - I come across shots that look pretty good either way. And generally I like to err on the side of color; although I am certainly not above creating black and white art, and I think there are times when it is definitely called for. But this particular example emphasizes one of the reasons I like color photography so much.

The black and white shot is, dare I say, more artistic. But the color shot has something that the black and white shot doesn't have. And it may not be strictly an artistic quality, but since what I'm producing is not pure art, but erotic art (which, I guess by some standards would preclude it from being designated as "fine" art, although it's no less fine), it is a quality that I find valuable. And that is: the color photograph looks more real, and less abstracted from the real world as the black and white shot is.

In particular, the color of the skin really brings the shot alive, as if to say to the viewer, this is not some abstract object constructed in the mind of an artist; this is a real, live, breathing thing - it's a person that is really naked, and is really hard, and isn't that pretty exciting? So I think that either of these shots could be preferable depending on your perspective - whether you're more inclined toward artistic value or erotic value, and so I couldn't say that either one is objectively better than the other.

Here I provide a closeup photograph of my [flaccid] penis, in profile. Generally, penises don't interest me all that much from an aesthetic point of view (although they do carry strong potential for sexual symbolism). By and large, I generally think they're gross, and unappealing to look at. I have, nevertheless, been told that I have a particularly attractive penis (by whatever standards these things are judged), and I can certainly understand how its standup ability to rise to the occasion could inspire awe and excitement in an interested viewer.

However, I do not present it here so much as an object to be admired (although it is, of course, available for that purpose to those who'd like to do so). I wouldn't present it at all if I didn't think the image had any aesthetic/compositional appeal - surely there are enough poor quality "dick pics" on the internet already. I present it, rather, as something of a challenge to the taboo against depictions of the male genitalia, which is probably in part inspired by the general lack of aesthetic appeal of the organ, and exacerbated by all those poor quality dick pics that probably don't do the subject justice.

I suppose you could say that I'm posting this picture (and the occasional other ones like it that I've taken and shared in the past), to, in a sense, "exonerate" the organ, but mainly just to challenge the taboo. It may be in society's best interest to discourage non-artistically-minded horny males from posting blurry snapshots of their dicks to the internet, but it is definitely not in society's best interest to discourage serious artists from depicting and exploring this subject in their art. And if it's the case that you have to put up with the bad in order to allow the good, well, that's just the principle of free speech right there. So you can consider it a political statement. Dick pics for free speech!

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