Sunday, December 31, 2006

Art News: Startup website with 100,000+ hits celebrates the art of the nude.

Virtual exhibition attracting more traffic launches N*des-of-the-Month for January 2007.

New York, NY – December 31, 2006 -- announces the publication of N*des-of-the-Month January 2007, the fifth virtual calendar cum art show, as site traffic grows exponentially. The exhibition was curated by Chelsea art dealer, Miyako Yoshinaga, founder and director of M.Y. Art Prospects. The calendar is in previews to members only and viewable to the public beginning January 1, 2007.

“I’m really pleased with the traffic. Attitudes toward the nude are sometimes ambiguous, often hostile, but almost always culturally charged and significant. There is taboo and controversy surrounding the nude,” says CEO Ilene Skeen. “We’ve had 100,000+ hits in December alone, and over a quarter million since site inception in late July. That’s wonderful growth, considering this is a very small niche. The N*des-of-the-Month is creating the excitement – and the idea of an online marketplace dedicated to the art of the nude, with no limits and no commissions is a real promotional incentive for many artists to get their work out there. Of course, not all of the artists get into each calendar, so some are disappointed – but that’s the nature of the competition. I want to make the N*des-of-the-Month the most sought after art contest on the internet.”

For the complete story, click here

Friday, December 29, 2006

Letter from a Member & Answer is approaching 100,000 hits for the month of December and the announcement of the January calendar brought a letter from a disappointed member. Here are excerpts from the letter:

Congratulations on reaching 100,000 hits for December! The site is
taking off!

I've been wanting to tell you something about the site.... I think the site
has come a long way and is much more usable than it was in the beginning.
The site itself is great, but there is something strange about the
selection process for the nudes-of-the- month.

I personally dislike that certain artists are represented by multiple
pieces per calendar. December's calendar had many artists with 3-4 works.
I thought it might be a fluke, but now that January's calendar is out, I
see the trend has continued. I thought the barebrush site was about exposing a
wide array of figurative artwork to the public, and I was happy to
participate in that endeavor. If variety and exposure is your goal, then
allowing more than one work per artist is counter intuitive. Then again,
I don't know your goals for the site, all I can do is comment on
my perception. After I saw the repetitious selection for the December
calendar, I was no longer interested in participating in the competition.
I would surely change my mind if the selection rules were changed such
that a calendar can feature only one work per artist. Until then, I'll bow

The author of that letter certainly raised some very important and valid concerns. I'm sure the member is not alone in feeling this way, so that is why I am sharing it with you. Here is my answer:

I really appreciate your taking the time to let me know your feelings on

As far as the selection -- I have not made any rules and I have not made any of the selections either. For my taste, some artists appear with multiple works and others, whose works I judge to be far superior, appear with only one or not at all. I think your idea of only one selection per artist is a good one, which would let more people into the shows. However, there has to be a threshold of about 300 pieces (and probably at least 100 artists) before that becomes feasible, because otherwise the curators will just be complaining that there isn't enough work to select from (and the worst thing of all for any of us would be an unhappy curator).

Frankly, because this is a monthly show, it is also very hard to predict how many pieces will be submitted -- as people who are not in get upset and decide to give up on the concept. Each of these curators is independent -- no one -- not even me-- has had any influence over how many pieces of each artist they chose. I can tell you that I had one piece of mine picked for December (only because it was a xmas theme), and one for January which the curator did not realize was mine until after she picked it (and she did not include any of my others, one which I thought was better). Also, there is one artist who has had one piece in December and one piece in January. If it were up to me, I would have included 3 or 4 or hers, as I really love her work. But it is not up to me.

Barebrush is about giving artists a venue to show and sell the art of the nude. Membership in the site is free and the 30 day posting is free. These things will not change. If you post your work on barebrush, you can write to your friends, contacts, collectors and colleagues and tell them to look at your work there. I have recently added some reasonably-priced optional features which make it easier and more effective to promote your art -- but these are optional.

Here's the bottom line -- if you give up on barebrush, that's fine -- [if you're in a past] calendar [you] will still be there. No one can take that away from you. But if you give up, then you will never know whether any other pieces of your art would have been selected -- since every month there is a different curator & a different
chance to succeed.

Just like the old saying, you've got to be in it to win it -- it is my goal to make barebrush the MOST competitive art exhibition on the internet. No matter what, there are never more than 31 days in a month. Since the curator gets two spots as jury of selection, the maximum number of artists, even if I restricted the show to 1 piece per artist, is 29. That is not a lot. With 100 artists, restricting the show to 1 entry per artist, still would leave more than two-thirds of them disappointed.

The saving grace is that each month is a new contest. With the 100,000 mark approaching, I feel that barebrush will be able to get sponsors and offer cash prizes, so that the competition will get even more intense, not less.

Finally, as a participant in the barebrush, sooner or later, there will be a 'live' show at a brick & mortar gallery. Also, there will be other opportunities which promote the art in the calendars.

Rather than focusing on whether you get into the calendar or not, it would be more productive to make barebrush a part of what you do to promote your art, put in 5 or 10 pieces a month & don't obsess over the result -- you win some, you lose some, but you only progress if you keep moving forward.

So there you have it -- the problem & the response. What do you think? I'd love to hear from you. Either way, for or against, my very best wishes to all for a happy & healthy New Year.


Ilene Skeen
ILS Designs, LLC
dedicated to the art of the nude

Plenty of downtown drama in '06

By Lon Medd

The downtown areas of Livingston County [Michigan] didn't disappoint in 2006 when it came to producing plenty of news.

Art in both Brighton and Howell took center stage this year with public art gaining its share of supporters and opponents in Brighton, while the effort to renovate the Howell Opera House gained momentum heading into 2007.....

To the delight of many residents and the displeasure of others, the outdoor sculpture exhibit known as the Brighton Biennial arrived in downtown Brighton.

The Brighton Mayor's Commission on Art in Public Places, at no cost to the taxpayers, came up with a plan to display public art in the form of 27 sculptures placed in key spots throughout the city. Brighton Mayor Steve Monet said the goal of the Biennial is to promote Brighton and all its attributes, including its pedestrian access, pubs, restaurants and the Mill Pond.

But some of the sculptures created a bit of controversy. One piece in particular called "Decision Pending" was a nude male sculpture in front of the Mill Pond.

Some people thought the sculpture shouldn't have been placed so close to the Imagination Station playground.

To read the complete article, click here

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Picasso to Pop: Aspects of Modern Art at Wadsworth

HARTFORD, CT.-Approximately 60 rarely shown paintings, watercolors, drawings, collages, and sculptures are featured in Picasso to Pop: Aspects of Modern Art, an exhibition at the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art through November 18, 2007.

Drawn from the extensive holdings of the Wadsworth Atheneum, Picasso to Pop charts the museum’s history of acquiring works by twentieth century innovators as well as the diversity and international reach of modern art.

The exhibition begins with a powerful Picasso drawing of a head dated 1906. Then come a variety of experimental works by George Grosz, Paul Klee, Georges Roualt, and Wyndham Lewis, who represent some of the advanced artistic movements of the 1920s. Concurrently, Paris was the stronghold of the Surrealists, among them Salvador Dalí and Yves Tanguy. By the 1930s and ’40s they cast their spell as far as Latin and Central America, influencing the artists Rufino Tamayo, Jesús Maria Galván, and Mario Carreño. Meanwhile, the neo-Romantics, now an often-overlooked movement, were in full stride. Although the Wadsworth Atheneum is famous for its Surrealist paintings, its acquisitions of works by the neo-Romantics Pavel Tchelitchew, Kristians Tonny, and Eugene Berman are equally important.

To see the complete article, click here

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Open Studio Sessions over the Holidays in NYC

The Salmagundi Club Monday night open studio (Zoran's class) is in hiatus until February. The Salmagundi Thursday night (Louie's class) meets until January 4th, but then it too goes on hiatus.

The School of Visual Arts (Peter's class) is on intersession until the end of January. Uptown folks can go to the League, which closes briefly, or to the Society of Illustrators (which is Tuesday night, but closed on Dec 26th).

However, for maximum flexibility of times & variety (also great models & friendly people--it should go without saying), the choice is Spring Studio (Minerva's).

Spring Studio Holiday Schedule:
Last class before Xmas: Sunday, Dec. 24, 10 am - 1 pm (nude sketch).
Resume classes: Tuesday, Dec. 26, 9:30 am (nude sketch).

Last class before New Year's Eve, Sunday, Dec. 31, 1:30 pm to 5 pm (portrait).
Resume classes: Tuesday, Jan 2, 9:30 am (nude sketch).

CALL: 212-226-7240

Regular Schedule:
Times of sessions are 9:30 am, 1 pm and 6 pm, Mon thru Sat; and twice on Sun: 10 am and 1:30 pm.

JUST Walk in Spring Studio at 64 Spring Street, and take a table, chair, or easel.

Instructed classes:
FIGURE: tues, wed, thurs, fri, sat 9:30 am-12:30 wed 6-9:30 pm and
PORTRAIT: Sun 1:30-5:00 pm (with instruction)

SEE schedule at:

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Ruth Bernhard -- photographer of nudes and still lifes

San Francisco Chronicle

Sabin Russell, Chronicle Staff Writer

Ruth Bernhard, a legendary San Francisco photographer who captured sculptural images of the female form and inspired generations of artists, died Monday at her Pacific Heights apartment. She was 101.

She was a black-and-white photographer who thought of herself as a still-life artist, who caught on film images that moved her and reflected her vision of the interconnectedness of life. She had a natural eye for compelling shapes, and her masterpieces ranged from seashells to often evocative portrayals of the female body.

Ansel Adams, a contemporary, once called her "the greatest photographer of the nude."

To read the complete article, click here

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Edinburgh shows naked ambition

[The Sunday Times - Scotland]
Mike Wade

FOR more than a century its echoing halls have been decorated with paintings of the great and the good of Scottish society.

However, the po-faced monarchs and artists displayed in the Scottish National Portrait Gallery are about to be joined by an altogether more salacious collection of subjects in the world’s biggest collection of nude portraiture. More than 150 images of naked men and women will be displayed across two floors of the Edinburgh gallery in one of the most provocative exhibitions ever staged in Scotland....

“The idea of The Naked Portrait is quite unconventional and an exhibition like this has never been mounted anywhere in the world,” said Martin Hammer, the exhibition’s curator and an art historian at Edinburgh University. “There will be penises and pubic hair and it will shock some people. But there is nothing sexual going on.”

To read the complete story, click here

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Naked City

Austin Chronicle News

Tamara Hoover, the former Austin High art teacher who was forced out of her job after appearing in nude art photos online, will soon be back in the classroom. According to her MySpace blog, she'll be teaching two continuing-education courses this spring at Austin Community College: "Urban Art," which is for students interested in the art movement that includes street art and skate art, and a mixed-media art class, which will include three-dimensional works. – Michael May

Here's the link, but this is the whole piece.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Great Art!

The art of nude music...

From Middle Earth News

"I've always had the desire to play (the cello) naked," said Ms. Jesse Hale, a music major at Austin Peay State University (Clarksville, Tenn.) and member of the CJ Boyd Sexxxtet of nude cellists who play their experimental, chant-like songs in concert around the country. Hale, who says she's been playing naked since sixth grade, explained to Austin Peay's newspaper in September that cellists "make full body contact with (their) instrument," and their legs even "wrap" around it so that "(i)t just feels natural." [The All State, 9-6-06].

For source, click here

Saturday, December 09, 2006

The Forced Exile of M. F. Hussain

Barkha Dutt
Hindustani Times

He’s an auctioneer’s delight, a style statement for the elite and a genuine inspiration for those who love ‘Art’.

The country’s rich and famous trip over themselves to buy his work; countless international magazines have eulogised him as the single most influential artist from India and while his cinematic prowess may be somewhat dodgy, even Bollywood ripples with excitement each time he unveils his latest female fixation.

MF Husain is a national treasure. So, what in the world is he doing living like a fugitive in London, pushed into virtual exile by the same country that has breathlessly feted him in the past?

And why has there been such muted public debate over his forced absence from India?

Should we not be ashamed that the country’s most celebrated artist — an ageing 91-year-old man — is left wandering the world even though, as he told this paper, he is “extremely homesick and yearning for Mumbai”.

Controversy is an old companion on MF Husain’s journey through life. But the turning point came this May after the Home Ministry advised the police chiefs of Delhi and Mumbai to take “appropriate action” against the artist. His crime — India symbolically captured as a nude woman in the shape of the map of the country. The painting’s caption — Bharatmata — was the final trigger for volatile protests across the country. Effigies of the artist were burnt, an art show was disrupted and death threats were issued with unnerving alacrity.

The painting was meant to go on auction to raise funds for victims of the Kashmir earthquake. But gallery owners were eventually forced to withdraw it from the bidding process. Husain apologised if he had hurt religious feelings and his lawyers clarified that he had not, in fact, christened the painting, and that the name Bharatmata had been given by the gallery, and without his knowledge. But the goons leading the brigade of professional protestors were in no mood to listen.

Ironically, the Husain controversy coincided with another debate over artistic freedom. Cartoons of the Prophet by a little-known Danish artist had propelled extreme violence on the Muslim street. In India, members of the loony Right used the occasion to slam the orthodoxy and intolerance of Islam but failed to see the obvious contradiction of their own response. Bizarre justifications were found for why the mobs hounding Husain were legitimate, but the street protests against the cartoons were somehow barbaric and foolish.

I said it then, and I will say it again: it’s dangerous and dishonest to be selective about creative freedom. Yes, we are all entitled to our religious sensitivities, but equally, a strong, democratic society must allow space for satire, irony and personal interpretation of religious beliefs....

To see the complete article, click here

Friday, December 08, 2006

Cuban Exiles Can Breathe Sigh of Relief as Miami Gets Nude Britney Spears Giving Birth Sculpture

If I read this correctly, the nude Britney Spears giving birth sculpture is marginally less offensive than the "deathbed" portrait of Fidel Castro.

by Tabitha Berg
Neotrope News Network

MIAMI, Fla. — The “deathbed” portrait of Fidel Castro that outraged Cuban exiles everywhere in part for a scheduled display in Miami this weekend has been replaced with “Monument to Pro-Life: The Birth of Sean Preston.” The renowned nude of Britney Spears giving birth atop a bearskin rug appears at Fountain Miami, courtesy of Capla Kesting Fine Art, from December 7th to 11th in Wynwood Gallery district during Art Basel Miami.

Capla Kesting exhibited “Monument to Pro-Life” in April, prompting a “shocked and dumbfounded” Britney Spears to say, “They can show it anywhere they want, just not in my beautiful home!”

The Britney sculpture drew thousands of angry emails, “though not quite as passionate as those regarding ‘Fidel Castro’s Deathbed Portrait,’” said a spokesman. Concerns poured in from Cuban-Americans protesting the Castro portrait, originally scheduled for unveiling in Central Park, for its partial inspiration from Harlem’s acclamation for Castro’s contributions to civil rights.

To read the complete story, click here

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Call for Entries: BAREBRUSH.COM Celebrates the Nude in January 2007 Virtual Show

Art News: Deadline December 19. All artists are encouraged to submit art of the nude to the for selection by Chelsea gallery director and art dealer, Miyako Yoshinaga of M.Y. Art Prospects for the January 2007 N*des-of-the-Month exhibition.

New York, NY – December 6, 2006. announces today that Miyako Yoshinaga, director of M.Y. Art Prospects in NYC, will select and curate the January 2007 N*des-of-the-Month virtual exhibition. The entry deadline for the January 2007 calendar is December 19. Art must be uploaded to on or before December 19th to be eligible for the January exhibition.

Miyako Yoshinaga
was born in Japan, and has lived in New York City since 1991. She holds a MA in sociology from Keio University, Tokyo, and was awarded a New York State Certificate in Museum Studies from New York University's Museum Studies Program. Between 1992 and 1996, Miyako was a Research Associate specializing in Asian art collections for the Brooklyn Museum of Art. In May 1999, she opened her own gallery, MY Art Prospects. As a contributor to several Japanese art journals, including Gekkan Bijutsu, she also writes reviews, essays, and analyses of market trends in both Japanese and English. In 2002, she curated "ConversAsian in Cayman" at the National Gallery of the Cayman Islands. She is the member of the Art Table, a national arts organization for women in leadership in the visual art field.

When asked for a personal note regarding the selection process, Miyako wrote:

“When I was very young, I was fascinated by Cezanne's Bathers. Three decades later, I professionally promote the imageries of naked bodies with the same fascination. I am honored to review and select fresh, exciting, and provocative work with this tireless subject to be featured in the first month of the coming new year!!”

To read the complete press release, click here

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Most Viewed Nudes on the barebrush Calendar pages


The results are in. The question was: Which are the most viewed pages on the 'N*des-of-the-Month' calendars? Here are the answers so far:

For the September 2006 calendar -- with three months of results.

Most viewed date: Sept 5th, 'Claudia' by Jon Rettich, graphite and colored pencil
2nd place: Sept 23rd, 'Woman with Carnations' by Geoffrey Gneuhs, oil
3rd place: Sept 10th, 'Nude Standing' by Moon Hi Lee, oil

For the October 2006 calendar with two months of results.

First place honors are shared by two artists, two dates -- Oct 2nd, Sandro LaFerla, watercolor and Oct 28th, 'Julie Leaning Back' by Arkady Roytman, watercolor.
2nd place: Oct 1st, Sandro LaFerla, watercolor
3rd place: Oct 9th, 'Nude Standing' by Moon Hi Lee, oil painting

For the November 2006 calendar with one month of statistics.
1st place: Nov 1st, Sandro LaFerla watercolor.
2nd place: Nov 30th, 'A good model' by David Shuldiner, ink
3rd place: Nov 3rd, Sandro LaFerla, watercolor

Congratulations to all of these artists for their fine and popular work!

The December 2006 calendar is now live on, dedicated to the art of the nude.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

A ‘cover up’ in art department?

By Adaeze Elechi

Belmont Vision
The Student Newspaper of Belmont University [TN]

A nude statue on Belmont’s campus was part of the estate of Adelicia Acklen in the 19th century and remains on view today. But the artist who created it, who most likely used a nude model, would not be allowed to do that in a campus art class. Belmont’s policy does not allow nude models and according to Provost Dan McAlexander, the policy will not change.

Since its establishment in 1951, Belmont University has not allowed the use of nude models for drawing and painting classes in the art department.

“It is a long-established policy… [that is] representative of our Baptist heritage,” said Belmont University provost Dan McAlexander. “The university’s position on this will not be changing.”

But students such as Eric Wilkey, a philosophy major and studio art minor, would like to see a change.

“It seems in some way the administration must find [nude models] in the art program as harmful to students,” Wilkey said.

To examine the issue, Wilkey put on a convocation in which he participated with two faculty members who have opposing opinions on this issue, interim chair of the art department, Dr. David Ribar, and assistant philosophy professor, Dr. Ginger Osborn.

Wilkey carried out some investigation for himself and talked with a number of people around campus concerning his speculation. He came away with two main arguments.

To read the complete article, click here

Friday, December 01, 2006

Competition Heats Up as Artists Celebrate the Nude at

Virtual exhibition attracting more and better entries as artists submit their work for the N*des-of-the-Month.

New York, NY – December 1, 2006 -- announces publication of its fourth virtual calendar cum art show, N*des-of-the-Month. The exhibition was curated by former museum president, artist, writer, and collector, Bob Mueller. “There is a lot of quality work on the site, and a great variety,” said Mueller during the process of selecting the show.

“Each month we’ve had more and better art on the site,” says CEO Ilene Skeen. “The artists’ response has been enthusiastic as the nude genre is an under-represented art form. The nude is news, the nude is controversial. The focus on the nude has serves as a meeting point for these artists, most of whom also do other types of work. The monthly exhibition keeps the site fresh and interesting.”

To see the complete press release, click here

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Indecent exposure?

'Toned down' version of Basil Watson's 'Balance' expected to be an international hit

KERIL WRIGHT, [Jamaica] Observer West reporter

MONTEGO BAY, St James -- A potentially contentious nude sculpture by well-known artist, Basil Watson is expected to enhance the international appeal of the century-old Doctor's Cave Beach in this north coast resort city, its management said.

The life-size bronze scuplture, which was unveiled at the beach's 100th anniversary celebrations this month, depicts a naked man balancing a nude woman above his head in the palm of his hand.

Anticipating objection from some beachgoers who might be offended, Doctor's Cave asked Watson to tone down the original sculpture, said general manager, John McDonald. "It was toned down...we had thought of putting on him a little Speedo (swim trunks) but then we thought no," he said....

There are two images on this link worth seeing, so don't miss them: click here

Monday, November 27, 2006

Is it child porn or censorship?

Uncertain of the legal risks, Saskatoon-based periodical BlackFlash left out the illustrations for a story on Canada's child pornography legislation

From Monday's Globe and Mail [Toronto, Canada]

The fall issue of Saskatoon-based BlackFlash magazine, a small-circulation tri-yearly about photo-based digital and electronic art, should finally be on Canadian newsstands and in the hands of subscribers in the next few days -- two months later than scheduled and minus seven illustrations its editors planned to include in an article about childhood sexuality and child pornography.

In what BlackFlash managing editor Lissa Robinson calls "an act of self-censorship," the magazine's six-member editorial committee agreed earlier this month to eliminate the reproductions of two 19th-century paintings of children, four photographs, including one 1879 pre-pubescent nude study by Alice in Wonderland creator Charles Dodgson, and a 1995 advertisement for Calvin Klein clothing. The decision came after a time-consuming search failed to turn up a printer willing to risk a test of the Child Pornography Act passed in July, 2005. The debate over the images also resulted in the resignations of four members of BlackFlash's volunteer board of directors.

The actions highlight what critics call "the lack of clarity" in the controversial act and its "overall chilling effect" on artists and arts organizations in particular.

To see the complete article, click here

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Nudes that got the boot are back


By Jennifer Hewlett

Three photographs depicting nudes that were removed from a photography exhibit at the Kentucky Horse Park have been returned to the exhibit.

"It was just a failure to communicate on many people's parts," Kentucky Commerce Cabinet spokesman Chris Gilligan said of the decision earlier this month to remove the photos.

The photos are part of the Lexington Creative Camera Club's annual competition and exhibit, held in conjunction with the Kentucky Horse Park Foundation's Southern Lights display of holiday lights. The photographs are displayed inside; the light show is outside.

To see the complete story, click here scooped this story on November 19th, to see the scoop, click here

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Botero's Strip-Poker Scene Leads $14 Million Latin Art Auction

By Lindsay Pollock

Nov. 21 (Bloomberg) -- Fernando Botero's painting of a strip-poker game, ``Card Players II,'' sold for $1.7 million last night at Sotheby's New York, headlining an auction of Latin American artworks. The sale totaled $14 million, just below the $14.4 million presale high estimate.

``If not extravagantly high, it has been a solid sale,'' said Pablo Vallecilla, a sales director at Marlborough Gallery, which represents Colombia's Botero....

Boteros Prevail

Four of last night's 10 most expensive artworks were Boteros. The 1989 ``Card Players II,'' a 5-foot-tall canvas of four pudgy figures seated around a wooden table clutching cards, includes references to the Colombian flag. The two pink, fleshy women are nude while the men are fully dressed. All appear to be engaged in some sort of cheating, a hint of guilt suggested by shifty eyes and pursed lips. The painting is said to have been inspired by Paul Cezanne's famous ``The Card Players.''

To see the complete story, click here

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Naked Justice Embarrassed

by Ilene Skeen

On Wednesday, Nov 15th, I posted a story about the photography banned from the in the Kentucky Horse Park's Southern Lights promotion.

Well, you've heard it here first folks, word from the grapevine is that the state of Kentucky may have seen the light after all and has asked for the photos back to restore them to the exhibit.

Stay tuned.

'Eros' anything but chaste

By Hanns Neuerbourg
The Associated Press

BASEL, Switzerland - “Art is never chaste.” That Pablo Picasso dictum is a motto of a comprehensive exhibition that focuses on sexuality in modern art.

The show, titled “EROS in Modern Art” after the god of love in Greek mythology, puts together more than 200 works, produced by some 50 American and European artists since taboos on sex began breaking after the mid-19th century. Top billing goes to Picasso and French sculptor Auguste Rodin as the protagonists of erotic art.

Some exhibits merely allude to sex, but others are highly explicit, possibly shocking some viewers. “Eros is not always sex, but it is in no way pornography,” comments curator Ulf Kuester. Organizers of the show, mounted at the Beyeler Foundation Museum at suburban Riehen, say it is the first ever to present such a range of erotica.

To see the complete story, click here

Friday, November 17, 2006

Namibia: Nudity in Art is Part of Realism


Frederick Philander

A photo of a self-censored nude model as part of an exhibition on women and child abuse, is causing quite a stir among conservative members of the society, resulting in withdrawals of support to well-known entertainment company, Avalon.

"As a matter of principle, we did not want to compromise the photographer's creativity. That is why we were prepared to find an alternative venue to display his works. Initially, the Franco-Namibian Cultural Centre agreed to avail its venue for the exhibition and other activities of the programme for a week," explained co-owner of Avalon, Natasha Lamoela, yesterday in an Art/Life interview....

In support of Avalon's stance with regard to nudity in art, Committed Artists of Namibia's organizing secretary, actress Felicity Celento, responded as follows on behalf of her organization:

"My word! Do these objectors still think we are living in the Dark Ages with nudity in Namibian arts? This is the 21st Century. They must stop trying to influence free-thinking and freedom of artistic expression. We live in an open society, unlike before independence when we, as the first Namibian actors, were crucified for appearing semi-nude in our play 'The Beauty Contest' for the sake of realism in arts. This kind of double standard can cause irreparable damage to true arts," Celento asserted on behalf of Committed Artists of Namibia.

To see the complete story, click here

Blurring the lines

[The Age,]

Gallery openings have become a platform for networking, deal-making and "being seen", but Peter Hill questions if this commercial focus is enhancing our perception of what is and what is not art.

NEW YORK'S ART news magazine had a cover story this year on "The Top 10 Trends in Contemporary Art". These ranged from artists who did one or more of the following things: used junk off the streets, created strange fictional situations, made heavily politicised works, built model worlds, resurrected painting in all styles, were green and eco-friendly in their politics (although uber-capitalist in their sales pitch), or made retro moves in the direction of psychedelia, spirituality and eccentric craftworks....

Flick through contemporary art magazines from Artforum to Photofile or Artreview and you could be confused as to whether you were instead browsing a fashion or soft-porn magazine. A nude woman with a cigarette dangling from her mouth and a lipstick heart drawn across her torso and containing the word Versace, is in fact a Juergen Teller photo-artwork.

Peter Hill has just been appointed Associate Professor, College of Fine Arts, University of New South Wales, Sydney.

To see the complete story, click here

Cheek on high street

The Jerusalem Post

It's difficult to miss the large painting of a nude in the window of Tova Osman's Gallery on Ben-Yehuda Street in Tel Aviv. This eye-grabbing yet well-crafted oil - the latest in 20-year-old painter Tal Slutzker's oeuvre - forms a one-painting exhibition called Tova Tahat Tova. ...

For the painting in the gallery window, ... Slutzker didn't study a painting in a museum or even his own, observable three-dimensional reality. Instead, the oil painting that Tova Tahat Tova is based on is an image that Slutzker found on an Internet porn site.

This painting, which Slutzker renders primarily in black and white with almost indiscernible hints of yellow, blue and red, features a female nude lying face down in a bathtub. Pushing into the foreground - forcefully projecting closest to the viewer - is a relatively large but lovely tahat, or derriere.

To see the complete article, click here

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Say What?

Nude model goes on strike at art class


A nude model who poses for still life art classes [say what??] has gone on strike because the room where she works is too cold.

Debbie Jackson said she had been left with a stiff neck and sore shoulders because of a faulty air conditioning unit at Derby College.

The 44-year-old from Tutbury said she had "never encountered such difficult conditions", and she was refusing to pose again until the chilly problem is solved.

Nigel Gell, college vice-principal, told the Derby Evening Telegraph: "We've provided heating and I'm not sure what else we can do."

Yep, here is the link

Auction Record for Bacon Painting Is Set

By CAROL VOGEL [New York Times]

After Christie’s sale of nearly a half-billion dollars’ worth of Impressionist and modern art in a mere two and a half hours last week, almost any auction would seem anticlimactic. So there were only sporadic bursts of energy last night as Sotheby’s held the first of the week’s three consecutive evening sales of contemporary art.

The auction total, $125.1 million — was the second highest in the department’s history, setting records for 15 artists, and squarely in the middle of its estimate, $109 million to $148 million. Of the 83 works, only 7 failed to sell....

By far the star of the collection — and the evening — was Bacon’s “Version No. 2 of Lying Figure With Hypodermic Syringe” (1968), in which the artist turned one of the most familiar subjects in art history — the female nude — into one of the tortured souls that are his signature. The richly colored canvas was expected to sell for $9 million to $12 million. Six bidders went after the painting, and it ended up selling to an unidentified telephone bidder for $15 million, a record for the artist.

To see the complete story, click here

Naked justice: photos must go


By Cheryl Truman

A Lexington [KY] photographer took his photos and left behind his award ribbons after being asked to remove two nude photos from a display available during the Kentucky Horse Park's Southern Lights promotion.

"I'm not angry, I'm just disappointed," Frank Becker said yesterday. "It's a photography exhibit. It's not a pretty picture exhibit."

Both of Becker's shots in the Creative Camera Club exhibit at the horse park involve a nude woman, although both are posed in such a way that there is no full-frontal nudity. In one shot, the woman is holding her arms in front of her breasts; in a second, she is lying curled up with her back to the camera.

One of Becker's photos had been judged best black-and-white photo in the competition.

To see the complete article, click here

Paris Photo Fair Offers Steichen, Avedon as Prices Rise 10.5%

By Linda Sandler and Helene Fouquet

Nov. 15 (Bloomberg) -- Paris Photo, Europe's biggest gathering of photography dealers, opens today at the Louvre Carrousel for previews for collectors including ABN Amro Holding NV, Deutsche Bank AG and groups from New York and Los Angeles. Photos are among the art market's hottest segments, after gaining 10.5 percent this year, said

Works by photographers from Edward Steichen to Loretta Lux will be on sale at 106 galleries and publishers, including 22 from the U.S., 29 from France and eight from Nordic countries. Fashion photographers such as Richard Avedon and postwar figures including Robert Frank and Diane Arbus, whose prices have been rising at auctions, will be offered, too.

Galerie 1900-2000 has Steichen's ``In Memoriam,'' a 1905 print of a nude, for almost 500,000 euros ($641,300), said the Paris gallery's director, David Fleiss.

To see the complete story, click here

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Philadelphia art icon about to be sold

Thomas Jefferson University trustees approved the $68 million sale of Thomas Eakins' masterpiece, "The Gross Clinic." Owners of the 1875 Philadelphia treasure will be the National Gallery and an Arkansas museum funded by Wal-Mart heirs.

By Stephan Salisbury
Philadelphia Inquirer Culture Writer

Thomas Eakins' masterpiece The Gross Clinic - an iconic painting that is irrevocably identified with Philadelphia, where it was painted more than 125 years ago - is poised for sale by Thomas Jefferson University for a record $68 million to a partnership of the National Gallery of Art in Washington and a new museum planned by Wal-Mart heirs in Arkansas.

The university's board of trustees approved details of the sale late yesterday, virtually assuring a controversial departure for what many see as the city's greatest and most emblematic work of art - an enormous canvas depicting a Jefferson surgical amphitheater in bloody mid-operation. The stark imagery repulsed some at the time of its creation, but The Gross Clinic has come to be hailed as a masterwork, one of the finest of all American paintings.

The canvas, which Eakins saw as testimony to the city's educational and medical achievements, has never resided outside of Philadelphia - beyond temporary exhibition-related sojourns - since it was painted here in 1875. Jefferson alumni bought it for $200 and gave it to the university in 1878.

To read the complete story, click here

Friday, November 10, 2006

Sculpture shifting sites

Loveland arts panel agrees to relocate controversial work

By Deborah Frazier, Rocky Mountain News

LOVELAND [CO] - Art took a tumble Thursday when the Visual Arts Commission agreed to move a sculpture of two nude women and a nude man to another site.

After months of protests and political maneuvering by religious conservatives, the commission accepted an offer to move the sculpture, known as Triangle, to the Benson Sculpture Park to end the conflict.

"I hope this resolves the issue," said Jim Baldwin, the commission's former chairman who resigned after the City Council discussed taking the commission's autonomy away on buying and siting art.

The 7-foot-tall bronze sculpture, the work of noted artist Kirstin Kokkin, shows one of the women and the man holding the second woman aloft to represent humanity helping humanity.

To see the complete story, click here

Call for Entries: N*des-of-the-Month Celebrates the Nude in Virtual Show

Deadline November 21. All artists are encouraged to submit art of the nude to the for selection by artist, writer, collector and former museum president, Bob Mueller for the December 2006 exhibition.

New York, NY – November 10, 2006. announces today that Bob Mueller will select and curate the fourth N*des-of-the-Month virtual exhibition. The deadline for entry into the December 2006 calendar is November 21. Art must be uploaded to on or before November 21st to be eligible for the December exhibition.

“When asked to judge a group of works, above all, I look for outstanding quality. Visual impact, composition, and handling of technique are equally important. Each work is judged on its own merits whether traditional or abstract. In addition to appreciating beauty, art is meant to make us think differently. Though a traditional artist and collector myself, I especially appreciate works that open my eyes and allow me to see things in a new way.”

To find out more about Bob's background and read the complete press release, click here

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

The art of pain - and suffering

Artist Annie Kurkdjian brings her unusual visions to the French Cultural Center

By Zeina Nasr
Special to The Daily Star [Lebanon]

BEIRUT: The exhibition hall in the French Cultural Center consists of a bare white room, small and rectangular, with just enough wall space to showcase a single and succinct body of work. Annie Kurkdjian's intimate paintings and drawings cover the walls with unassuming austerity.

At first glance, flat backgrounds, vague figures and subdued colors create a visual world of timid minimalism. Upon closer inspection, however, Kurkdjian's vague figures emerge as misshapen human bodies, the flat backgrounds as threatening spaces of emptiness and the monotone colors as a wash of melancholy indeterminism.

Kurkdjian got into art by way of working as a manager for a large corporation.

"I couldn't continue," she confesses. "I felt like I was going to die in that office."

To see the complete article, click here

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Culture skirmish

Art too edgy for some in downtown Durham (NC)

BY DOUGLAS VUNCANNON, Independent Weekly

The Sex Police are back in the Triangle! But, sadly, it's not the glorious 1990s funk/rock band but a morals brigade of a more literal kind, one with a willingness to entertain voices calling for state censorship. Even if it was only the voice of one angry man screaming in a lobby.

On Oct. 21, two police officers arrived at West Village Historic Loft Apartments in downtown Durham and instructed the management to remove artwork on display in the upscale complex's lobby. Assistant property manager Cecily Ferguson, who curates works exhibited at West Village, says that Officer B. J. King told her that a complaint about the exhibition had been received and that after researching the matter he had determined that displaying the paintings violated N.C. law. With a copy of North Carolina Crimes in hand, he reportedly sited G.S. 14-190.14, which states that displaying material "harmful to minors" is a Class 2 misdemeanor. Ferguson decided to turn the paintings around to face the wall until the artist could be contacted....

In response to the police intervention, [artist Cynthia] Grow covered the bottom two-thirds of the paintings with brown paper in order to mimic the treatment pornographic magazines receive in convenience stores. It is a fitting act of self-censorship since G.S. 14-190.14 outlines in detail how to legally display pornography for commercial purposes.

To read the entire article, click here

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Why the Nude? Panel Discussion Gives Varied Answers

by Ilene Skeen

New York, NY. The Art Students League’s October show entitled “Why the Nude? Contemporary Approaches” (October 5-31) was accompanied by an exploratory panel discussion (October 26th) featuring eight of the artists in the show. Pam Koob, the League’s curator, acting as moderator, had explained at the show's opening reception on October 5th that both the show and the discussion stemmed from the idea of examining the relevance of the nude in today’s largely non-objective art world, since so much of the education at the ASL is devoted to figurative art.

Interest was so high in the free event that it was necessary to issue tickets, which were gone within 2 ½ hours of their release on the Monday before the talk. Fortunately, the event was taped and it will be available for viewing.

The panel discussion took place in the gallery among the nudes themselves, traveling walls and sculpture pieces moved aside to make room for about 80 chairs. Ira Goldberg, the League’s Executive Director, introduced the evening by stating that the nude becomes a “grand metaphor though which artists can express the human condition.” The primary objective of the show and the discussion was to present the relevance of the nude to artists of the 21st century.

To read the entire article, click here

Monday, October 30, 2006

Accidental Nudity

This is from a blog called the nonist

by JMorrison

The following is essentially an accidental edition of In Search Of (a feature here in which I choose a subject, for instance the narwhal, and go buck-wild with the linkage) which began with a simple search for info on the Gymnosophists but which lead me much further afield:
Gymnosophists, Plutarch: Alexander & the Gymnosophists, The Digambara, Daily Routine Of a Digambara Monk, The Naked Saints of India, Skyclad, Skyclad Druidry

To go to the blog entry, click here

The Seattle Erotic Art Festival Announces Its Call for Art for 2007

The Seattle Erotic Art Festival (SEAF) will be held March 16-18, 2007 at the new Fenix in SODO. SEAF features an impressive collection of contemporary fine art from around the world, including painting, sculpture, photography, assemblage, prints, installations, performance art and film.

The CALL FOR ART is now open. Artists 18+ are invited to submit work that explores the diversity of erotic art - explicit, subtle, unconventional, beautiful, shameless, and beyond - to SEAF's fifth annual Juried Exhibition, Auction, and Festival Store. All media will be considered; art is selected based on quality of execution, originality of subject, and depth of emotion.

Submission deadline is December 11, 2006 via . Be a part of this pre-eminent event celebrating freedom of expression, creativity, and sexuality. Produced by the Seattle Sex Positive Community Center.

Call for Entries: UNCLAD 2007

Here is another opportunity to participate in the art of the nude

The sixth annual UNCLAD show featuring the nude figure in art is scheduled for March 10th - 18th, 2007 in Stanwood, WA and then April 5th - 8th in Portland, OR.

Last year, the show featured works by 85 artists from across the United States and Canada. [The organizers are] looking forward to another fantastic show and ... encourage all artists (accomplished and emerging!) to submit works for consideration.

ENTRIES ARE DUE: January 12th, 2007

For prospectus and entry form, click here.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Artists Submit Record 90 Entries for N*des-of-the-Month Virtual Exhibition received a record number of entries for this monthly virtual exhibition which has been curated by Christpher Henry. A new appointment calendar format is announced. Call for entries for December 2006 exhibit.

New York, NY October 26, 2006 -- Internet startup,, announces today that artists submitted a record 90 entries for the November 2006 calendar, N*des-of-the-Month. Chelsea art dealer, Christopher Henry, selected 30 works from the 'Art Log', including two as jury of selection by artist/photographer, Ves Pitts .

Ilene Skeen, founder and CEO stated, "The process was intense and I'm really proud of the result. Chris Henry has a very selective point of view. Not all of the artists will be happy, but that's why I have a different curator each month."

The November 2006 N*des-of-the-Month calendar will be viewable by members on October 30, and by the public on November 1.

New Page-Per-Week Calendar Announced
Beginning November 2006, barebrush also introduces a monthly planning calendar in a printer-friendly, page-per-week format. This 6-page calendar will showcase the art and and artists in a practical format ideal for keeping track of appointments, calls, meetings, etc. The original one page-per-month format will continue to be available both for ease of online viewing and in the printable version.

Call for Entries, N*des-of-the-Month December 2006
The competition for the December N*des-of-the-Month is now underway and the December curator will be announced mid-November.

About is an internet startup dedicated to the art of the nude. Features include 'Art Log' where artists post nudes(in all styles & media), 'News & Events' which carries news, events and opportunities relating to the art of the nude. The N*des-of-the-Month is a virtual exhibition curated each month by a different art professional. Membership is free.

Ilene Skeen
ILS Designs, LLC


Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Controversial book gets Canadian publisher

A book deemed too risqué by American publishers will be published in Canada.
Bodies and Souls: The Century Project
, is a controversial collection of 98 nude portraits of females presented in chronological order from birth to nearly 100 years old.

It will be published by Heureka Productions, a company based in Ancaster, Ontario that specializes in books about nudism and naturism.

The book showcases the work of U.S. photographer Frank Cordelle, who has exhibited The Century Project for 14 years.

To read the complete article, click here

Just what are we being exposed to? Another view

Los Angeles Times

by Al Martinez

EVER since the coverup of a bare breast at the Justice Department building in Washington, D.C., four years ago, America has gotten a little more prudish about nudity. Any nudity.

The breast belonged to a statue, Spirit of Justice, that stood in the department's Great Hall, where U.S. Atty. Gen. John Ashcroft, a staunch conservative, often held news conferences. The statue was concealed by drapes, presumably to avoid having the breast loom over Ashcroft every time he appeared on camera.

The episode builds upon the tradition of the late Republican Sen. Reed Smoot of Ogden, Utah, whose legacy of fighting obscenity in the early 1900s was immortalized by the poet Ogden Nash with, "Senator Smoot (Republican, Ut.) / Is planning a ban on smut. / Oh rooti-ti-toot for Smoot of Ut. / And his reverend occuput."

....But the true obscenity in our culture isn't a statue from ancient Greece but rather a modern insensitivity to violence. The war in Iraq, with some exceptions, has been reduced to sound bites and political platitudes unless an incident beyond horrendous requires scant more time or details.

To read the complete article, click here

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Frisco ISD, McGee reach settlement

The Frisco [TX] Enterprise Star Community Newspapers


An apparent settlement with Frisco Independent School District has Fisher Elementary School art teacher Sydney McGee saying it's time for all parties to move forward.

"To think that I may never teach again ... I'm not sure what the future is for me, but it will be good," McGee said.

The statement came Thursday after an apparent deal was struck between the district and the Frisco elementary school art teacher that would end a dispute that sparked a nationwide discussion on elementary school students' exposure to nude art.

"I just never intended for it to go this way," McGee said about the publicity that has surrounded the matter since it came to light in August.

At its Monday board meeting, FISD officials announced a noon Thursday deadline for Frisco teacher Sydney McGee to accept an offer from the district.

On Thursday, the district announced that Rogge Dunn, the attorney for McGee, had submitted a signed settlement agreement on his client's behalf, according to an FISD statement.

District officials are "pleased to have this matter resolved because it is in the best interest of the school district and all involved to put an end to this ongoing distraction, allowing the district to focus all of its energies on providing students with the best education possible."

To see the complete story, click here Welcomes International Art

New York, NY -- Just two months after start-up and deep into the call for our third N*des-of-the-Month calendar (November 2006, deadline Wednesday), is delighted to welcome art from our first international member, Australian artist Jennie Rosenbaum, who writes:

"I am continually fascinated by the beauty and sensuality of the nude body and the strangeness of the human psyche. My work is heavily connected to my sense of self and my own feelings about my body. I take the frustration and pain from my disability and use it to fuel my inspiration and explore further the body’s weaknesses and strengths."

Jennie even wrote about barebrush in her blog, saying, "Sites like prove that there will always be a place for the traditional gallery relationship and dealer representation."

I couldn't agree more.

To read Jennie's complete story on, click here

To see Jennie's site, click here

Putin semi-nude detained

ABC News: Arts and Entertainment

By Stefan Armbruster

They made me laugh but Russian authorities were apparently not so amused by collages depicting semi-naked President Vladimir Putin, US President George W Bush and Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.

The eleven art works were due to be exhibited in the Matthew Bown Gallery in London.

Gallery owner Bown says customs officials held the works as he tried to leave Moscow, citing concerns about the authenticity of papers issued by the Culture Ministry allowing them to be taken abroad.

"But of course I don't believe that was the real reason. From talking to various customs and policemen I get the impression that what they are worried about is the satirical representation of heads of state, Mr Putin and Mr Bush."

To read the complete story, (with images), click here

Friday, October 20, 2006

Tickets Now Required for ASL Panel "Why the Nude?"

New York, NY -- In the bad news/good news department, there has been so much advance interest in the Art Students League panel discussion -- "Why the Nude?" that tickets are required for this free event. Tickets will be available beginning Monday, October 23. The event is Thursday, October 26 at 7 pm. More bad news: seating is limited to 80 and the format does not include questions from the audience. An insider confided that many people will probably be turned away disappointed.

Good news for those who can't pick up tickets in advance or get closed out -- the event will be video taped and available for later viewing.

Ticket pick up: Monday October 23rd

Event: Thursday, October 26th, 7 pm

Participating artists: Sherry Camhy, Francis Cunningham, Denise Marika, Philip Pearlstein, Sharon Sprung, Anita Steckel, Costa Vavagiakis

Where: Art Students League, 215 W 57th Street, NYC

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Call for Entries: Celebrates the Nude Form

MMD Newswire

With the October 25 deadline approaching, artists are encouraged to submit their work on line for selection by Christopher Henry.

New York, NY -- October 18, 2006 -- announces today that Chelsea gallery owner and art dealer, Christopher Henry will select and curate the third N*des-of-the-Month virtual exhibition. The deadline for the November 2006 calendar is October 25.

“I’m looking for artists who go beyond the academic. Many people can learn the skill of drawing. While an academic foundation is crucial, it’s the artist’s interpretation that makes it art, not the literal, figurative, academic classification. In the 21st century, we’re beyond the academic. What is the artist’s take on the nude? I want to see other ways to communicate otherwise, what’s the point? The academic works end up looking too similar – skill but no concept” explains Christopher Henry, Chelsea gallery owner and art dealer. is a start-up website dedicated exclusively to the art of the nude. The N*des-of-the-Month is a virtual juried exhibition of the art selected from the entries in the “Art Log” by a guest art professional. The exhibition is presented on the web in a unique calendar format. Also on the site is an “Events & News” blog which presents opportunities, events and news in the world of the nude in art.

Yes! is in the news.To see the complete story, click here

Art flaps fade away, but Sturges and his nude photos thrive

Steve Winn, San Francisco Chronicle

Jock Sturges has been at this for more than 30 years now, and still we don't quite know. Are his photographs of nude women, men, children and adolescents poised on puberty's divide art or, well, something else?

Will we ever catch on to Sturges' straightforward insistence that bodies as he claims to see and show them are simply, innocently beautiful? Do the photographs themselves tell a more complicated story? Can any nude photograph, in an Internet age of YouTube teases, celebrity peekaboos and pornography of infinite gradations and numbing profusion, escape the brand of the culture's relentlessly sexualizing marketplace?

Those issues are raised once again by a new show of Sturges' work at the Stellar Somerset Gallery in Palo Alto (through Nov. 26) . Here -- and now in glowing digital color -- are more nudes of the sort that made the photographer such a vexing cause celebre in the culture wars of the early 1990s.

To see the complete story, click here

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Gallery exhibit draws controversy from faculty, students

By Alana Casanova-Burgess, News [Pipe Dream, Binghamton University]

A controversial art exhibit featuring nude African women on display at the Binghamton University Art Gallery has spurred campus debate among faculty and students who are outraged at the content of the exhibit — and who are demanding that it be closed.

The exhibit, “Engaging the Camera: African women, portraits and the photographs of Hector Acebes,” on loan from the Spelman College Museum of Fine Art, features photographs of women in Africa during the 1940s and ’50s — most of them nude. They are part of a collection of thousands of photographs taken during that time by Columbian photographer Hector Acebes. According to Lyn Gamwell, director of the BU Art Gallery, the curators of this exhibit decided to focus on Acebes’ photographs of women because Spelman College is an African-American women’s college....

Criticism of the collection has come mainly from faculty of the Africana studies department. James Burns, a professor in that and the music departments, was one of the first to see the exhibit and call for its closing....

Amid the criticism, Gamwell has remained firm in her decision.

“Absolutely no,” she said. “That would be the last thing I would do. No matter what we think we don’t want to silence the debate. We don’t want to put the issues in a box and put them away.”

To see the complete story, click here

Monday, October 16, 2006

Record advance sales for Velázquez show [includes only surviving female nude]

Mark Brown, arts correspondent

The Guardian [UK]

One of the most eagerly anticipated exhibitions in the art calendar has broken a record before it has even started: the Velázquez show has sold more advance tickets than any previous show, including Vermeer, Titian and Caravaggio.

The record advance ticket sales of more than 11,000 yesterday led to a plea from National Gallery bosses for people to book early to avoid disappointment.

For the first time, four rooms in the main gallery have been cleared to make way for the 46 works by the painter....

It will include one of the jewels in the gallery's collection, The Rokeby Venus - the only surviving example of a female nude by Velázquez, painted at a time that sort of thing was frowned on by the Inquisition. More properly known as The Toilet of Venus, it picked up the name because it hung at Rokeby Hall in Yorkshire before it was acquired by the National Gallery a century ago thanks to the then newly-founded Art Fund.

To read the complete story, click here

To see the Rokeby Venus, click here

London Auctions Show Contemporary Art Prices May Be Stalling [...but]

By Linda Sandler

Oct. 16 (Bloomberg) -- Prices for contemporary art may be stalling as Sotheby's and Christie's international gear up for some $400 million of such sales in New York....

London auction rooms filled with 500 to 1,500 people this weekend, from dealers Larry Gagosian and Jeffrey Deitch to publishers Benedict Taschen and Louise MacBain. At Christie's, where many estimates were low, Zhang's family trio fetched a hammer price of 680,000 pounds ($1.3 million), or 1.8 times its top valuation. A Tom Wesselmann nude went for a record 1.3 million pounds, more than twice its high estimate. Most nudes fared well. [emphasis added]

To read the complete story, click here

Sunday, October 15, 2006

USI "Shield": Drama Over Nude Photo

USI (University of Southern Indiana) officials say someone stole nearly 2,500 copies of the student newspaper. This edition features a controversial photograph of two women in bed together.

To see story & video, click here

Friday, October 13, 2006

Submission Deadline Approaching for Nudes International

Call for entries: Lexington (KY) Art League presents the 21st Annual Juried Exhibition The Nude International 2007

The deadline is approaching for this slides only submission opportunity. The juror is Vincent Desiderio, award-winning and widely collected figurative artist whose work is in the Guggenheim (NYC), Hirshhorn (Washington, DC), Kemper (Kansas City, MO), Metropolitan Museum (NYC), Museum of Fine Arts (Boston), and others.

To get the prospectus, click here.

(Adobe Acrobat reader required, click here to get the free Adobe reader download)

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Nothing Left To Hide

The New York Sun


The nude is a sign system that signals its milieu more legibly than any other genre. More transparent than even portraiture, the nude exposes both its creator and the culture of its time. Sculptor Barney Hodes is right: "It's not just the model who has nothing left to hide."

"Why the Nude? Contemporary Approaches" is the Art Student League's annual curated exhibition. On display are some 50 works by League instructors and, for the first time, outside artists. The name-conscious range of approaches yields an omnium gatherum of irreconcilable sensibilities, plus a few insensibilities. Names pile up, and fine work gets lost in the contemporizing clutter.

Work runs the gamut from William Beckman's drawing of his bride stripped bare to Knox Martin's wiseacre abstraction. The reticence and pictorial intelligence of Mary Beth McKenzie and Alan Feltus vie with Will Cotton's fairy floss. Kenneth Clark's distinction between the naked and the nude is largely bypassed in favor of nakedness and its discontents. In Clark's lexicon, the nude is an ordered design that is less the subject of art than one of its essential forms. Contemporary artists prefer nakedness itself, a pinchhitter for deeper disclosures. Few contemporaries accept the nude as a form entrusted to them. Most often it is an opportunity for irony or for pulling knickers down. Or yanking up a skirt, as Martha Bloom does in "Sea Sighting" (2006).

To read the complete review, click here

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Personnel File Of Suspended Art Teacher Released

Tiani Jones

(CBS 11 News) FRISCO [Texas] The personnel file of a suspended Frisco teacher was shared with the public on Tuesday.

The art teacher says it proves the district began documenting her every move after a parent complained that their child saw a nude sculpture at the Dallas Museum of Art....

CBS 11 reviewed the file and found that most of the documentation takes place after April of 2006.

To read the complete story, click here

Comment from ILS: It should be noted that the file in question was provided by the teacher, and that the district's copy of the file may have items in it which were not provided. Such items may even have been unknown to the teacher, which would make this tempest in a teapot an unfortunate communication failure.

If that's the case, what do you think? Should they clear the air and give the teacher another chance? Comments invited: click the comment box below, or email me.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Actor doubles as artist

'Columbo' star's drawings are on display at Butler

Steven Litt
Plain Dealer Art Critic


The Butler Institute of American Art

What: The first museum exhibition of life drawings by actor Peter Falk, aka Detective Columbo.

When: Through Sunday, Nov. 26. Where: 524 Wick Ave., Youngstown.

Admission: Free. Call 330-743-1107, or go to

Youngstown- It was a simple gesture, nothing more. But it was all the veteran actor Peter Falk needed to coax laughter from admirers at the Butler Institute of American Art.

Falk was giving an interview about an exhibition of his life drawings and self-portraits at the museum. When a reporter asked him which art museums he liked best, Falk said: "What's the name of that famous museum in Paris? The Louvre? I went through that place in 20 minutes."

Then he looked at his watch. That's all it took. The gesture conjured an image of Falk as an impatient art lover. A small crowd of Butler staffers and interns who were listening to the interview cracked up....

Falk discovered life drawing in 1971 while acting on Broadway in Neil Simon's "The Prisoner of Second Avenue." His schedule left him free in the mornings with nothing to do. On a whim one day, he walked into the Art Students League on West 57th Street in Manhattan, opened a classroom door and was transfixed.

To read the complete story, click here

Monday, October 09, 2006

Seeing the Light

Lindsay Brant’s stained glass windows shine

By RAFAEL RISEMBERG Monday, October 09, 2006 for The New York Blade

I sometimes think that art is my religion, and galleries and museums are my temples. I felt this in particular as I visited lesbian artist Lindsay Brant’s luminous exhibit of contemporary stained glass windows at Haswellediger & Co. Gallery in Chelsea. Though for centuries stained glass has primarily been the domain of the church, Brant’s take on this art form is anything but traditional.

You won’t find either of this artist’s two self-portraits in a church anytime soon. The piece nearest to the gallery’s entrance (all of the works are untitled) shows the artist clad just in panties, standing outdoors near a partially built white brick wall. She cups her exposed breasts in her hands, as her face radiates a smile. While most of the materials in this work are cut glass—such as the bluish-gray panels that form her body, the greenish pieces that make up the background vegetation, and the bright red shards that form her cap—this and other works are studded with a variety of minerals that contribute a unique texture and hue. In this case, thick chunks of orange calcite protrude beyond the flat glass surface in the lower half of the work to represent rocks.

To read the complete story, click here

Sunday, October 08, 2006

In Trafalgar Square, sculpture pays tribute to woman born with no arms

By Mark Roth, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

LONDON -- Alison Lapper has been sitting naked in Trafalgar Square for just about a year now.

Not Ms. Lapper in person, of course, but in some ways, an even more startling version of herself: a 12-foot-tall, white marble statue that depicts her when she was eight months pregnant, displaying the body she was born with -- no arms and severely shortened legs.

Ms. Lapper, who has a condition called phocomelia, was first sculpted in 1999 by British avant-garde artist Marc Quinn....

Although she is proud of her nude self-portraits and has received compliments about them at exhibits, she has sold almost none of them.

"I can't seem to break through this impenetrable barrier ... people want to look at my art and see it, but they don't want to go that next step and own it and put it in their homes. I don't know why, exactly. It may make people feel guilty."

She wishes instead that all people would accept each others' bodies.

To read the complete story, click here.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

London gallery pulled art, fearing Muslim reaction: curator

CBC.CA / Radio Canada

A curator at a British art gallery alleges several works by surrealist Hans Bellmer, known for his life-size nude dolls of girls, were removed out of concern that they might upset Muslims.

Agnes de la Beaumelle, a curator at the Whitechapel Art Gallery in London, said Friday that Bellmer's works were taken away from an exhibit the day before it was due to open on Sept. 20.

Beaumelle, who protested the action, alleged that the gallery’s director pulled the pieces "simply not to shock the population" of Muslims who live in the east London neighbourhood.

But the gallery issued a statement saying some pieces from the well-known artist, who died in 1975, were not included because of space constraints.

To read the complete story, click here

Friday, October 06, 2006

The Plot Thickens on Fired Art Teacher

New Information On Fired Frisco Teacher
(CBS 11 News) FRISCO There is new information about a Frisco teacher who says she lost her job after one of her students saw a nude sculpture at a museum during a class field trip.

Personnel files, from McKinney ISD, show this isn't the first time teacher Sydney McGee has been asked to leave a district.

Supporters of McGee have said she lost her job as an art teacher because of the art field trip, but supporters of Frisco ISD say it’s a performance issue.

To see the complete story, click here.

Charlotte, NC Shows Art of the Nude

13 artists interpret the nude
Works by Picasso, Mapplethorpe are among those in survey show opening today at Lassiter gallery


Before opening a gallery in Charlotte nine years ago, Joie Lassiter handled work by Pablo Picasso in a gallery on the West Coast. It was magical. "I wanted to revisit the work in some way and touch it again," she said.

For several years, she'd been thinking about doing a show on the nude. Then it hit her: Combine the two impulses. Give four recently acquired Picasso etchings, done in the 1930s, context by surrounding them with a contemporary look on a subject central to Western art.

"The Ubiquitous Nude," a survey show with work by 13 artists, opens today at her South End gallery with a 6-9 p.m. public reception.....

"There are not many artists on the planet who in some way or another haven't visited the nude figure," said Lassiter.

To see the complete story, click here.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Reminder: " Why the Nude? Contemporary Approaches" Reception Tonight

Exhibition: October 5- 31

Reception for the artists: October 5 from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.

Art Students League, 215 W 57th Street, NYC.


October 4, 2006: Reported by Artnet, New York, NY.

A European collector ... bought Mel Ramos’ Leta and the Eastern King Bird (1969), a creamy Pop painting that features a reclining nude surmounted by a flying bird, Adolph Gottlieb-style, for $156,000, above its presale high estimate of $120,000.

To see the complete report, click here

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Shock of the nude in Saatchi's new show

This new show in the Royal Academy (London) is stirring controversy. One coment was that it is "a response against fake American prudery." Unfortunately, from this side of the Atlantic, the prudery does not seem to be fake, nor even uniquely American. However, for artists, dealers and collectors, controversy is a good thing -- much better than indifference (my opinion).

Here's the story by Tom Teodorczuk, the Evening Standard:

Shock of the nude in Saatchi's new show

It is being billed as Charles Saatchi's most controversial show yet.

USA Today features paintings of an erect penis and a young girl performing oral sex, and a series of highly political artworks criticising George Bush and the war on terror.

See pictures from the show here

The multi-millionaire collector's latest show includes more than 150 works by 40 young American artists including Terence Koh, Gerald Davis and Matthew Monahan, who Saatchi says are now more interesting than their British counterparts.

See the complete story here

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

October N*des-of-the-Month is Here! is pleased to announce that our second calendar, the October N*des-of-the-Month is out. The show was curated by Richard Pionk, president of the Salmagundi Club and I wish to thank Richard for his time and the staff at the Salmagundi for making the computer facilities available so that we could get the job done in a timely manner (thank you Katheleen & Chris).

The exhibition is dedicated to the memory of long-time monitor Joe Levenson (seethe 9/30 posting).

The format now shows the names of the artists who are in the exhibition with their dates for easy reference. Of course you can still click on the images to get the larger image and more details. There is also a printer friendly version which prints the calendar without the menu so that it fits nicely on a single page.

Click on the mini menu or [here] to see the October N*des-of-the-Month. Enjoy!

Monday, October 02, 2006

Why the Nude? Contemporary Approaches

October 5 - 31, 2006
Art Students League Exhibition

Exploring the continuing relevance of the nude to art and artists, this exhibition presents some fifty works, ranging from charcoal sketches to sculptures to a video installation.

Save the dates:
Reception for the artists: October 5 from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.

Symposium: October 26 at 7:00 p.m. Artists Sherry Camhy, Francis Cunningham, Barney Hodes, Denise Marika, Philip Pearlstein, Sharon Sprung, Anita Steckel and Costa Vavagiakis will discuss issues surrounding the exhibit. The program is free and open to the pulic.

The Art Students League is located at 215 West 57th Street (between Seventh Avenue & Broadway).

Naked Fear

You may be following the story of the Texas art teacher who was fired because a fifth grader's parent objected to a nude sculpture in the Dallas Museum of Art. This event has been getting a lot of coverage all over the country. Here is the editorial published by the Houston Chronicle under the headline "Naked Fear"

Frisco school board needs to defend, not suspend, teacher in art uproar

In the sort of commotion that distorts discussion about moral values, a Frisco art teacher has been pulled from teaching after a parent complained one of the teacher's students glimpsed nudity.

In a statue.

At an art museum.

Both the parent's objection and Frisco Independent School District's panicked response expose little more than naked fear. But while a parent has the right to act on worries for an individual child, it's a school board's job to fight any intimidation that threatens other children's learning.

The Frisco school board needs to regain its vision and defend Sydney McGee.

To read the complete editorial, click here.

FYI: So far, all the opinions I've seen favor the teacher's reinstatement.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Joe Levenson (1921-2002)

The gently smiling face you see on the left is Joe Levenson, artist, photographer, friend and Salmagundian. In 1989, I was newly employed in Manhattan, looking for an open studio. Someone recommended the Salmagundi Club because their open sketch sessions got great models, were attended by friendly people and took place in a lovely art gallery. I went with some trepidation, but my fears were soon quelled. It was a Thursday night. The sketching was a challenge. The quick poses started with one-minute warm-ups, then five, ten, fifteen and twenty minute poses. Joe Levenson, the monitor, then nearing seventy, kept the time and kept the session in good order. The gallery had a variety of artists, young, old, professional, amateur. Joe welcomed them all, and had a pleasent word for everyone. He welcomed me, introducing himself in such a warm and generous way, that if I had never been able to go back again, I would have remembered him for life.

As it happened, I wasn't able to go back to the Club for many weeks; the demands of job and family interferred. About two or three months later, I returned on a Thursday to draw again. Joe greeted me, remembered me, and asked about my son. He was a genuine soul who really cared about people. The picture you see here shows a tiny shadow of the goodness of Joe. It is with great pride that I dedicate the N*des-of-the-Month October 2006 calendar to his memory. Joe, we celebrate your spirit and we miss you.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

October N*des of the Month In Process

The second n*des-of-the-month calendar will be available in previews for members on Friday Sept 29th. Non-members will be able to see and download the printable calendar beginning October 1st.

Richard Pionk, president of the Salmagundi Club, curated the exhibition and I am in the process of testing the pages now. For the jury of selection, we included the two Salmagundi nudes by Warren Davis mentioned in these news pages previously this month.

Works by twelve artists are in the October n*des-of-the-month calendar, but we're going to keep you in suspense until....

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Julia's Samoset Auction Report Mentions Art of the Nude

This prestigious Maine auction is held yearly in August. The press release, just published reports spectacular results, including some for the art of the nude:

A Sir William Russell Flint tempera depicting two seated nudes and titled "Diaphenia and Hazel" was termed by the auction house as "an outstanding example of the artist's work." Provenance on the lot listed it as having been exhibited at the Royal Academy in London. Bidding on the lot was brisk with it selling at $51,750.

A plaque of a nude slave girl brought $4,887.

To see the complete story by David S. Smith, click here.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Last Night at Spring Studio

Jacqui Morgan's reception was attended by a great group of friendly people of all ages. People looked at the art carefully and many had favorites. Jacqui's use of multiple poses in the same image space is very "now" as more artists of the nude make a determined effort to move from figure studies to figures in space and to explore the spatial relationships of the figures and the page. In this way, Jacqui's work is very true to its title as the "Now Watercolors."

The vast table of food was attacked and eventually conquered. The wine flowed and the chatter was exciting in Spring Studio's basement space. If the subway was rumbling by, it was hardly noticeable.

This show is up until the end of the month. The photo is a collage, three of Jacqui and two by her. Spring Studio is located at 64 Spring Street in Soho. Definitely worth a careful look.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Reminder: Spring Studio Reception Tonight

Jacqui Morgan, "The Now Watercolors"
6-8 pm
Spring Studio
64 Spring Street, Soho.
For public transportation, take the #6 to Spring Street and you are there.

See you!

Submission Opportunity

Lexington Art League is accepting submissions for The Nude International 2007. Artists 18 and older are eligible. Download prospectus at calltoartists.htm. or send SASE to Attn: Nude 2007 Prospectus, 209 Castlewood Dr., Lexington, Ky., 40505. Call (859) 254-7024 for information.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Call for Entries -- Richard C. Pionk to Jury October Calendar

Be sure to post your nudes to the Art Log before September 21. Selection of the n*des-of-the-month will take place next Friday. If your art is not uploaded to by September 21, it will not be eligible for the October calendar.

I am very pleased and proud to announce that noted artist, teacher and president of the Salmagundi Club, Mr. Richard Pionk will jury the October n*des-of-the-month exhibition.
For a bio on Richard Pionk, [click here].

You can post one or many. Post several and you may have more than one in the calendar. Post many and you may have a whole bunch in the calendar. Membership is free, but required to discourage pornographers and spammers. Posting is free for artists, nominal for dealers. There are no commissions charged. For further information, click the 'Join' option in the menu on the left.

Norwood H. MacGilvary Nude Found at Salmagundi in Rare Book

This bright, delightful image we found bound in to one of the special copies of the Club history is by Norwood H.l MacGilvary, a member of the Salmagundi from 1916. Here is some biographical information on this artist:

From Pittsburgh, Norwood MacGilvary studied at Berkeley (1896-1897) and the Mark Hopkins Institute (1897-1898) in the Bay Area of California before moving east in 1906. He also studied in England with Myron Barlow, and in Paris where he exhibited at the Paris Salon. In addition he exhibited at the Art Institute of Chicago, the Boston Art Club, Pennsylvania Academy, and the Pittsburgh Art Association.During the 1915 Pan-American Exposition in San Francisco, he was in that area for an extended period of time.From 1921 to 1943, he was a teacher at the Carnegie Institute. In addition to painting realistic New England landscapes, he did surrealistic paintings, which gave him a reputation as an artist-philosopher.

Source: Treadway Toomey Galleries, Oak Park, IllinoisPeter Falk, "Who Was Who in American Art"Edan Hughes, "Artists in California, 1786-1940"

Norwood Hodge MacGilvary was born in Siam where his parents were missionaries. He studied under Jean Paul Laurens at the Academie Julian in Paris from 1897 to 1898. He also studied under Mayron Barlow at Etaples, France from 1904-1906. He became an associate professor of painting at the Carnegie Institute in 1921.Norwood MacGilvary has exhibited at the Salon in Paris, National Academy of Design, New York, Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Art Institute in Chicago, Carnegie Institute. His work is in the permanent collection at the National Gallery in Washington D.C. He has also illustrated for "Harpers Magazine" in the 1920's. He died in 1950.

Source: Idler Fine Arts

For information about the Salmagundi Club [click here]. For more information about these artists and their work, go to AskArt.

Nude by Warren Davis in Rare Book

This is the watercolor by Warren Davis which was in the book we 'found' last night at the Salmagundi Club. Club member Bob Mueller knew about the books and I'm unclear whether Library Chairman John Morehouse also knew. To conservator, Alex Katlan and to me, they were a complete surprise and delight.

Best known for his paintings of idealized female figures, Warren Davis studied at the Art Students League in New York. He was also a magazine illustrator, and many of his depictions of ethereal appearing goddesses were on the covers of "Vanity Fair". Later in his career he became a skilled etcher and exhibited in Europe and the United States including the Pennsylvania Academy and the Salmagundi Club.

Source: Treadway Toomey GalleriesPeter Falk, "Who Was Who in American Art"

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Last Night at the Salmagundi

The reception was well-attended, the dinner was excellent (although service was slow due to the unexpected crowd). However, the highlight (for me) was the discovery in the Salmagundi Library of some rare books that only few of the members knew about.

The Salmagundi Club, A History was written by William Henry Shelton and published in 1918. Five hundred copies were printed (I personally have number 37 which I bought some years ago). The Club also has a number of these. However, last night we discovered that the Club has something more rare.

In 1921 and 1922, to raise money, twenty books (ten each year) were specially bound with eight original etchings or watercolors signed by the artists. These were sold to raise money for the Club.

Last night, we found that the Club has at least three of these rare books. The watercolors are as fresh as if they were painted yesterday. Most of the works were landscapes (just lovely), but there were also a few nudes. I got so excited about this find, I took pictures of them and forgot to take pictures of the reception!

I will post the two nudes here tonight: one by Warren Davis, whose work is also in the Shaw print show, and the other by Norwood H. MacGilvary.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Reminder: Salmagundi Reception Tonight

SCNY Annual Graphics & Sculpture Exhibition

Reception & Awards: 6:00 - 8:00 pm.
47 Fifth Avenue, NYC (at 12th Street).

Come for the reception, stay for dinner. See you there!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Salmagundi Lower Gallery Show

This lovely nude is one of the 23 Shaw prints on display now in the Salmagundi Lower Gallery. The artist who did this painting was Warren Davis (1865-1928). Davis joined the Salmagundi in 1897. He was a painter and illustrator, known for his idealized female portraits. He won the purchase prize for this entry in the Salmagundi annual show in 1928, but did not live to attend the dinner in his honor.

The Shaw prints generally have the artist's signature in the lower right, just under the image, but on this one is inscribed as a memorial to Davis. It is also signed by a many other artists, which is the reason for the wide lower border you see here.

There are several other nudes, but most of the show is landscapes and genre scenes. The show will be up another week, but if you get to the reception for the Annual Graphics and Sculpture Exhibition on Sept 13th (see prior post), be sure to stop down to the lower gallery to take a look.

Monday, September 11, 2006

September 11

My sympathies go out to all those who lost family and friends five years ago today. For me, art is part of the healing process: disbelief, despair, acknowledgement, acceptance, expression.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Jacqui Morgan "The Now Watercolors" at Spring Studio

Reception Sunday, Sept 17th, 6-8 pm. Save the date!

Last Thursday, I went to Spring Studio for the afternoon long pose. To my surpise, I recognized the work on the walls right away, even though I knew I had never seen it before. It was a solo show of Jacqui Morgan, the illustrator and author of a delightful book, Watercolor for Illustration. Jacqui has a distinctive style and her work is polished and attractive.

The show runs through Sept 30, and the reception is Sunday. Definitely worth stopping by if you want to see Jacqui's work and meet people dedicated to the art of the nude.

To quote the website (all true), "Spring Studio is known for its excellent models, its prompt starting times, its participants' gracious manners, and for its spirit of artistic tolerance. It attracts artists and students from all over the world."

Spring Studio is located at 64 Spring Street in Soho.

Salmagundi Annual Graphics and Sculpture Exhibition

Reception Wednesday, September 13th, 6:00 - 8:00 pm at the Salmagundi Club, 47 Fifth Avenue (12th Street) NYC. Save the date!

This is the opening exhibition of the Salmagundi 2006-2007 season. I have a piece in the show (Two Nudes #2378). You can see it now in the Art Log.

This Salmagundi exhibition is a black & white show (no color). The Club was famous in NYC in the 1880's for its annual 'Black and White' which gave etchers and illustrators a show of their very own. Of course, the painters did not sit still for that one, and John Francis Murphy painted a wonderful landscape in grisalle (which is currently on national tour and due to return to NYC next spring).

The graphics show is in the Upper Gallery, with a good assortment of landscape, portraits, sculpture and a few nudes.

As a bonus, in the lower gallery, the Curators (Chis Dunne, Tim Newton and I -- thank you, guys!) have a selection of autographed Shaw prints. Samuel T. Shaw was a non-artist member and great benefactor of the Salmagundi Club. Each year he purchased 'the best' painting from the annual painting exhibition and with it went the copyright. He kept the originals and made them into prints which he sold widely. A second version of the prints left a wide border on the bottom and the original artist and many of the artists of the Club would sign each piece. The Club has a collection of these prints which are both fine examples of the art of the Club members and interesting historically since they are signed by so many well-known artists. The earliest print on the wall is about 100 years old and the latest is about 1942, a few years before Shaw's death.

Also of note, in the 1920's, another benefactor, Charles Vezin donated about 18 paintings to the Club, also from a series of purchase prizes that he sponsored. These became the basis of our 'Thumbox' display, which is opposite the Club's dining room.

Hope to see you on Wednesday.


PS: Thanks also to Richard Pionk, our president, Pam Singleton, our chairman for suggesting this show as a way to brighten up the lower gallery.