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