Roming Around

I wanted to write a longer posting tonight, but I haven’t had the time. I also wanted to develop some film tonight, but I also did not have the time for that. Instead, I was busy matting and packaging the prints I’m donating for the Photo Review benefit auction next month. I’ll give more details when the auction preview is online.

For now, here’s a photo I made in Rome with my pocket digital camera during my trip to Italy in June. It’s a view from Castel Sant’ Angelo (see my earlier posting here to read more about it) looking toward the Vatican and St. Peter’s basilica. The long, wide view provided by the opening here looked good for a panoramic, so I’ve cropped it that way. Click on the photo to see it much larger.

For those who want to see some more nudes, please click here to see some recently scanned images that I made last year at Joshua Tree, California, posted on the blog Univers d’Artistes.


On the subject of Rome, here’s another photo I made there with my digital camera. I think it’s in front of the Museo d’Arte Antica in the Palazzo Barberini. The way they’ve worded the days the museum is open seems kind of bizarre. It says that it’s open every day, but closed on Mondays. I guess my question is: how can it be open every day if it’s closed on Mondays?

On the subject of benefit auctions, I went to one last night at Sotheby’s here in New York. It was a fundraiser for the New York Academy of Art, called “Take Home a Nude.” Most of the artworks were paintings, with most of them not being nudes. (The volunteers working there each wore a small sign saying “Nude Staff,” leading me to believe that they were grossly overdressed.)

I even heard a man say to his female companion, “So where are the nudes?” I told him that most of them were in the next room. Plenty of beautiful women were there, all dressed up, with quite a few six footers. (Well, in heels, anyway.) I also spoke briefly with the actor Liev Schreiber.

This was the first time I’d been to an auction that wasn’t all photographs, though there were some, including one by Ralph Gibson. Unfortunately, while the medium for the other works was fairly well described (ex, oil on canvas, lithograph, pen and ink on paper), the descriptions of the photos were fairly lacking. The Gibson was described as a “black and white print,” another was called a “photographic print,” and yet another was only described only as “archival paper.” Somehow, that’s not enough if I’m going to bid on something. (I mentioned this to one of the volunteers, and he told me that they can use only what each contributing artist gives them by way of description.)

Otherwise, the auction was extremely well handled in an exemplary manner. Each of the four rooms for the silent auction had a designated closing time for bidding on those items, and someone went around to each item and asked if anyone had any final bids, with a little live auction ensuing if there were. I didn’t stay for the live auction at the end.

I didn’t want to spend much – and I didn’t – but I did get a couple of inexpensive, nicely framed drawings from recent graduates of the school. (Well, at least one of the artists was.) In fact, I was the only bidder on them, so I get them each for the minimum. One is a pencil drawing of a nude woman, very classically done. The other is a pen, ink and wash drawing a classical sculpture court at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Who says that only photos are worth having?

Still, I didn’t get my favorite drawing there. (Nobody did, as it surprisingly had no bids on it.) For me, the minimum bid was more than I wanted to spend, and with its frame it was much too big for me to put on a wall here. Titled “The Two Passions,” it showed a nude young woman, seated – with her right foot resting on a baseball.

If anyone’s interested, you can read about the event here and here. I see that Heather Graham (Rollergirl in “Boogie Nights”) was also there. I’m sorry I missed her.
Last but certainly not least, if you’re a photographer or artist who works with the nude figure, please read this: . My good friend Dave Levingston is taking part in a lawsuit filed by the Free Speech Coalition to overturn federal law 2257A – a parting shot from the Bush Administration that says that you could well be considered guilty of child pornography unless you can prove yourself innocent – and doing the latter is by no means an easy task. Good luck to Dave and all of the other plaintiffs in having this abomination of justice and freedom wiped from the books once and for all.

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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3 Responses to Roming Around

  1. There is indeed room in our lives for non-photographic art. I recently purchased an oil painting from Naked Carly, a fine arts nude model from England I became acquainted with on UdA and discovered to be a multi-media artist of some talent. You can view my purchase here:, Dave, it's wonderful to know you support art as you do, including the performing arts.I am also glad you linked to your UdA feature and hope all your readers take a look at all your wonderful work there.It is always good to go Roming around. Great capture of an unforgettable view from the Castel. If the weather on your coast is anything like the dreary Midwest, it would be a good weekend to be Roming, though – sigh – it's not going to happen. I look forward to hearing about your shoot this wkd with one of my favorite models! Enjoy!

  2. Re descriptions of photographic prints, you know my opinion from repeated blog entries. The auction's people were just being lazy, however; they can easily provide would be donors a sheet of paper (or a web page) giving guidance for describing photo prints — e.g., "gelatin silver print," "platinum print on watercolor paper," "archival pigment print," "digital C-print," etc. All those provide exactly the kind of information you were looking for.Thanks for raising the issue with them, however.

  3. Oh, I forgot to comment on the Open Every Day, Closed Monday sign. The sign also says they open at 9, and in Italian time that could be 9, 9:30, 10, Noon, or never, in my experience. That's the beauty of Italian culture. Rules are made to be bent or broken. We cannot bring our Anglo sense of demanding the definitive to this culture or language.

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