Hard Act to Follow

Today is Sunday and I stayed home. After putting in four ten hour days at the office this past week, plus another eight hours of overtime yesterday, it was good to be able to sleep late and try to take it easy. Still, there were things to be done, like going through the pile of papers that had stacked up on my desk.

I also did some photographic work, finally writing out numbers and labels for all of the binders that hold my negatives. Still, the more daunting task lies ahead as far as that goes: going through all of the pages, writing down the dates, locations and subject matter, then typing it all into a spreadsheet so I can look up photos and find them more easily.
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I received some positive comments regarding my last post and the images I posted with it – that is, some of the photos I saw at Christie’s auction house last weekend. I wasn’t sure if people would want to see such things, but I just want to give readers of my blog a chance to see some of the beautiful images that I’ve seen and perhaps widen their knowledge of different photographers.

Of course, the problem with doing what I did is to decide what to follow up with. After all, the likes of Helmut Newton, Richard Avedon and Jeanloup Sieff are hard acts to follow when it comes to images of the nude. So what did I decide to do?

Well, as you can see, I’ve chosen not to post any nudes this time. It’s been a while since I posted any of my photos from Asia, so I’m doing so now. I checked to see what I had scanned and saw that I had none from my trip to Laos earlier this year. That’s not surprising. Even though all of that film has been developed, only a couple of rolls have been filed. I chose to scan some negatives from the first page of that trip, all of them taken in the Lao capital city, Vientiane. They’re here for you to see now.
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If you’re reading this now, you should already know that you have to deal with an adult content warning page to get to the blog page. That page wasn’t really put up by choice. It was just done to replace a similar page – you know, the one that said that people had complained about it. I don’t remember it exactly, but the wording went something like this: “Some of the readers of this have complained the material contained is objectionable.” That’s what they say. Here’s what I have to say about it: “Bullshit!”

Readers of this blog? Readers???!!! I think it’s pretty safe to say that all of the readers of this blog have no problem with the things I post. I dare say that many would be disappointed if I didn’t post what I do. If any people found it objectionable, then they could always choose to not visit the blog any more, and they wouldn’t be “readers.”

After I saw that my blog had been singled out, I happened to mention it to my friend Dave Levingston on the phone. He told me that he hadn’t looked at my blog yet that day, but said that the “church ladies” had found me. Then while we were still on the phone he told me that his blog had been given the objectionable label, too! (Some of you may have already read his account of it. If you haven’t, you can see it here.) Anyway, Dave suggested that I post the adult content warning, “adult” obviously being a better word than “objectionable.”

So, this all begs the question of why non-readers would make a fuss about it when they could simply go away and not look. I suppose it goes back to something that Lin of Fluffytek wrote about recently (read it here) – how it just bugs some people no end that others have no hang-ups with showing nudity, that they actually seem to have fun producing nude art and that they themselves must absolutely do something to rain on these other people’s parade.

Now, I have no problem with some people disagreeing with what I do. I’m sure that I disagree with things that they do (probably things like voting for George Bush and Sarah Palin). Still, there is something wrong when close-minded people who probably have brains the size of a pea (I’m talking collectively, not individually) can do something like this.

I just wonder what will be next. Putting up a content warning at the entrance to the Metropolitan Museum of Art because of all of the nude statues and paintings on display?

About Dave Rudin

Dave Rudin is a fine art photographer based in Brooklyn, New York. He specializes in art nude and travel photography, using black & white film and making silver gelatin prints in a darkroom.
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6 Responses to Hard Act to Follow

  1. george says:

    “Putting up a content warning at the entrance to the Metropolitan Museum of Art because of all of the nude statues and paintings on display?”Don’t give them ideas. You know the complainers still look at you, that’s what those types always do. On second thought they look but probably don’t read, like perverts in swimsuits on a nude beach hiding behind a book, so you can’t transfer an idea. My bad.Really like the 2nd photo, it appears to give a real sense of the woman.

  2. Lin says:

    As for what happens next, see Dave Swanson’s latest post:http://shadowscapetruth.blogspot.com/2008/12/cameras-for-sale.htmlDammit, the US gets more like the U.K. every day.Nevertheless, happy Christmas my dear Darcy! You’ve done a magnificent job of blogging this year. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed each and every post, and your photography has been magnificent. A pity the Church Ladies don’t recognise real art when they see it.

  3. Dave Rudin says:

    Thanks so much, Lin. Happy holidays to you and Richard, too.Thanks also for your comment, George – though I believe the “woman” in my photo was actually a little girl!

  4. About the only thing we have to look at even if we don’t want to would be signs and billboards. We can turn pages in magazines and books, or simply put them aside, and we click like crazy on the internet. So I agree with you. What’s the problem if something you don’t want to see exists somewhere in cyberspace?

  5. TLNeasley says:

    Well I think it may get much worse than that Dave.This is a posting that’s been going around. I saw it on MM and Art Nudes Blog and will talk about it on mine later today.These NEW record keeping regulations extend a NEW recordkeeping requirement to a LOT of work involving mere nudity, and some with no actual nudity at all, presented in any way that can be interpreted as “lascivious exhibition of the genitals or public area” [even if covered] that is produced on or after March 18, 2009 Read and weep – – – SOURCE DOCUMENTS text version at http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2008/E8-29677.htm PDF at http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2008/pdf/E8-29677.pdf The actual text of the NEW regulations is on Pages 38 – 42 of the PDF – there are requirements that wll apply to this site and your own website, and any other uses, such as in print, published in or distributed in the United States.

  6. As an attorney, I guess I’m going to have to take a look at these new regulations. I’ve never had a case involving artistic nudes yet, but sounds like there’s a possibility I’ll start to see them in the near future. Meanwhile, I wanted to point out that the “warning: adult content” pages are not totally unreasonable in a pluralistic society. Me, personally, I enjoy the images. Yet I recognize there really are people who have been socialized (and probably genetically predisposed) to live at the opposite end of the spectrum. Not everyone is like us: not everyone looks at a nude and sees something beautiful, without any reaction of negative emotion from seeing nakedness. You can’t always know what you’re going to find on a photographic blog, even one with the name “Figures of Grace.” The warning page allows honest people who might have a different set of social mores to avoid seeing something where the seeing of it would actually upset them.The real problem people are the ones who see the warning, proceed anyway, and then complain. They’re the ones who want to control how others live, think and act. Unfortunately, they’re the ones who have had control of our governments — local, state and federal — with an increasingly powerful grip over the last decade or more. And, as I said, I guess that means that I, as a defense attorney, am going to have to do some prep work for cases brought under the new law. I’m certain you won’t find my art in that arena offensive. 😉

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