I do drawings and paintings, but I have made a separate site for nude photography. I am writing an Artist’s Statement for that website ([noparse] http://www.figureartist.com[/noparse]), which is basically to say why I do this type of work. It is about a page, so rather than reproduce it, I will summarize (but would appreciate having some feedback on the full text).
In European art, there has been a tradition that recognizes the Nude as a distinct form of art that celebrates something valuable, the human form as both beautiful and expressive. Paintings and sculpture is no problem for most people, but the photograph is another matter. There is a Fine Art Photography tradition, but it is less universally accepted that other media, and now the internet is flooded with images that are every conceivable variation on (1) well composed, expressive art, (2) pornography (no composition, no expression except sex), (3) erotic art (intended to arouse, but well composed and expressive of more than just sex).
Does it matter that I think of my photographic work as being #1, and no different than my drawings and paintings in artistic value? There are some that do not see any distinction, and think of the old master paintings of odalisques as nothing more than high class porn that exploited the women of that era. I, on the other hand was a sometimes naked hippy, and was drawing nudes in art class when we were also skinny dipping in the fountains in DC while protesting the Vietnam war. Does my personal history and intentions in creating these images make any difference? Does it matter that fine art models are quite ordinary in appearance (beautiful, but not glamorous) and conveyed to me their sense of appreciation for the opportunity to work with me in the creation of these images?