We were born naked, we live quite a significant amount of our lives naked and we all, more or less, look the same under our clothes. So, why does the mere thought of a naked body alarm some of us so much?
The truth of the matter is, if we don’t feel embarrassed looking at a painting of a rose then we shouldn’t feel that way when looking at a drawing of a naked person; both are very natural things.
So, it’s no surprise that some of the most controversial art out there features nudity:
So, how do we combat the embarrassment or shock that comes with seeing the naked human form and, instead, learn to see the beauty in it?
I spoke to Australian artist, Anastasia Somas who draws the naked human form in order to find out more:
Your art features nudity and the human form, something that a lot of people can find embarrassing or taboo, why do you think this is?
I think it comes down to the way we have been raised. From a young age we are taught to cover up and hide our naked bodies away, that it is not decent to go topless etc. It is ingrained in our minds from a young age and it becomes hard to think differently and change that mindset.
Although controversy is derived, usually, from people being displeased about something, is there any part of you that thinks controversy in art is a good thing?
I believe so, I think that nudity in art and in everyday life should be normalised, Controversy surrounding nudity is good, the more nude art we produce and see hopefully the more in will become normalised. I hope the nudity in my art can help to break the stigma.
Would you say that your own art is controversial in any way?
I don’t intend it to be but it may come across that way to some. Nudity in art and in general has always and continues to be controversial. All I want to do is create art that portrays the human body in a beautiful way.
Has anyone ever looked at some of your art that features nudity and expressed some sort of distaste or is the general feedback usually positive?
Only once has this happened to me. I had a market stall where I was selling some of my art, I had some of my nude artworks on display along with my other works which are pen drawing of animals & flowers and such. A gentleman greatly complimented my pen drawing but expressed distaste for the nudity saying that he didn’t understand them.
Is it important to you that, through your art and others, that people learn to disassociate the human body from always being sexual or connected to sex?
For sure, The human form is beautiful in itself and does not need to be connected to anything sexually in order to be appreciated. It is how we came into this world and is just out natural state.
Did it take a long time for you to find your own style and has it evolved in any way?
When I first started art I was just working on developing my skills rather than style, I wanted to be a ‘good artist’. At that time I hadn’t realised that anyone can be a good artist, there is no criteria to being one, It took me years to develop my own styles and to steer away from trying to create something realistic, now I’ve learned to just have fun and experiment . I wouldn’t say I have a distinct ‘style’ but my art does revolve around the human form, in particular the female body.
What are your future plans?
I wouldn’t have a clue… other than continuing to make art!
You can follow Anastasia on Instagram here