NEW NEW NUDE Curated by Walt Morton
Publication Date: July 2017
Format: Digital, PDF download and Print-on-Demand
Open Submissions Deadline: May 4, 2017 (Open submissions means that our curator is also personally inviting artists. Those who submit through the open submissions call will be notified by Didi Menendez if their work is accepted after the curator reviews all open submissions received.)
This is an invitation to get outside the cultural box. Abandon the academic nude and show us something we have not seen before. Leave the comfort zone and give yourself permission to make a nude that takes a fresh direction. Maybe it’s new in materials, composition, politics, pose, or intent. Possibly you will show us something you think is impossible to sell or is “forbidden” by your school, gallery, or mother. Change our taste. Show us the beauty of the nude in a way it is not ordinarily seen. Shatter traditions and kill cliché. Maybe it’s en plain air in your front yard. Maybe it’s insulting or inspiring. Maybe a way to get to know your neighbor better. Dare to go nude in a new way that is fun for you -- and a surprise for the rest of us.
Why is this important? Because the nude is one of the most enduring subjects in art history. Figurines like the Venus of Willendorf are over 27,000 years old. Nudity was a familiar feature of the sculpture and pottery of ancient Greece and Rome. For the last 500 years, nudity has been favored in religious paintings (i.e. The Creation of Adam, 1512, Michelangelo.) But there has always been some friction in nudity between the subject matter and the powers-that-be. In 1808, Goya was called before the Spanish Inquisition and charged with “moral depravity” for painting The Nude Maja, a work that seems tame today; the accusation silly. Less silly is censorship sponsored by Facebook, as any artist can tell you when their account shuts down after posting a too-literal nude. The history of nudity in art is filled with unfair juxtapositions. Queen Victoria (1837-1901) liked to draw and collect male nude figure drawings, while her reign cemented a culture of moral and sexual restraint that dominated Western culture until the commercial forces of modernity undermined it in the 20th century. Publishers since the 1920’s used the emotional lever of nudity as a sales tool while artists from Andrew Wyeth to Lucian Freud explored nudity with a secretive deadpan cool. Any outsider vision remained hidden (check out Frida Kahlo’s “My Birth,” 1932.) Nudity has always been a political issue that reflects the power dynamic between the sexes, clearly shown in 1989, when The Guerrilla Girls papered the art world with their poster: “Do women have to be naked to get into the Met Museum?” Meanwhile, male nudity remains a challenge to the power structure, as Illma Gore can attest for violence over her “Make American Great Again,“ illustration of Donald Trump with a small penis. In 2016, the role of nudity has fallen far from the heights of the Sistine Chapel ceiling. Today our culture uses female nudity to sell products while the male nude isn’t taken seriously, most often a lever for humor (Will Ferrell.) It’s up to artists to find a way to reclaim the power of the nude, with new work that slaps the viewer awake. Show us something that pulls our eyes away from our smart phones and towards a new Venus.
* No art will be excluded consideration on any basis of moral, legal, corporate, or commercial censorship. We follow the guidelines of the ACLU in interpreting the the full constitutional freedom of speech for works of artistic merit.
Guidelines: Zip a folder or send a link to a Dropbox to Didi Menendez (didimenendez at gmail.com) including up to five high res 300 dpi images of your original work, a short narrative bio and contact information.
The works featured in this publication will be a combination of artworks submitted through our open call as well as artists invited by our curator to submit. All mediums may be submitted.
We will only contact you if your work is accepted. PoetsArtists does not offer complimentary copies of any format. Complimentary PDFs of the issue will be shared with art collectors, galleries, and presses in our database.
Painting of nude in our header by Stephen Wright.