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In my previous post I’ve used as an illustration one of the excellent photographs by Wolf Brüning. Today I would like to emphasize that I consider these photographs as a vivid example of vigorous, creative art and also give a few links.

Wolf Brüning is an Art Director and Photographer from Magdeburg, Germany. In his photostream on Flickr one can find a set entitled “un.geniert-Aktkalender 2010”. It contains “advertising images and photos” for un.geniert 2010 calendar, which is a project of the student’s community WebUni from Magdeburg.

The following image was chosen for the current month, February 2010. Its motive is “a student’s life” or everything except work.

un.geniert 2010 - Februar - A student's life by Wolf Brüning on Flickr

un.geniert 2010 - Februar - A student's life by Wolf Brüning on Flickr

Links:
1. Wolf Brüning’s photostream on Flickr
2. un.geniert-Aktkalender 2010 set on Flickr
3. Wolf Brüning’s personal website
4. un.geniert website
5. un.geniert calendar designs

I’ve read about one painter and photographer connected with the Bauhaus school that his greatest effort as an artist was devoted to the conquest of space (quoted from here). I’m not sure that I understand exactly what they mean, but it sounds impressive.

My today’s post is about the monkey6880‘s photography. Among his numerous fabulous photographs on Flickr, I personally prefer those taken at some abandoned industrial areas. The contrast between the beauty and deserted industrial structures leaves a lasting impression of art defeating the industrial culture in its conquest of space.

The photographer wrote about himself

Hometown is Thailand, but live in San Francisco Bay Area. Love photography and always looking for outdoor activities partners…

The following image is from his Structural Nude Set on Flickr.

Walk On The Wild Side by monkey6880 on Flickr

Walk On The Wild Side by monkey6880 on Flickr

There are hundreds of thousands of nudes on Flickr but few are of such consistently discriminating quality as those of Monkey6880. (cosmos traveler in Testimonials on Flickr)

Links:
1. monkey6880’s photostream on Flickr
2. Structural Nude – a set on Flickr

Today I’d like to blog the photograph by Andreea Retinschi, a freelance photographer based in Bucharest, Romania. On her site, she claims that she believes that a photograph should hold a character, and not just a model.

The following image may be seen in Andreea Retinschi’s gallery (WildRainOfIceAndFire) on deviantART. Photographer wrote in comments that she was thinking about Birth of Venus” by Botticelli when taking this photograph. She also mentioned that it was an abandoned factory with no ceilings and that it was probably around 12°C outside (~53°F).

Venus by WildRainOfIceAndFire on deviantART

Venus by WildRainOfIceAndFire on deviantART

Links:
1. WildRainOfIceAndFire on deviantART
2. Venus by WildRainOfIceAndFire on deviantART
3. Andreea Retinschi Photography – an online Portfolio.

P.S. Yesterday WildRainOfIceAndFire wrote in her journal on deviantART that she was hospitalized and sent to Intensive Care with a diagnosis: pneumonia… I’d like to wish her a quick recovery.

What does it mean to be normal? Most people thought about it. (A sudden quote from J. Krishnamurti: For most of us, thought is a means to change. Through thought we hope to change, through ideas we hope to transform ourselves…)

Among the definitions that can be found in a short article in Wikipedia I like this one: “a normal” is someone who conforms to the predominant behavior in a society. Although conformity is common, the predominant behavior might change from society to society or even within the same society or tradition.

Fortunately, there exists an online experiment to determine what is normal via unscientific surveys. Spending a few minutes at ‘Is It Normal?’ everyone can discover is it normal to like cloudy days (91% visitors of the website believe that it is Normal) or to talk to your dog (72% Normal). The founders of the website consider normality in the context of how others might perceive your situation. It is unambiguous and honest. This implies, of course, that normality does not exist by itself, but only in the ‘minds of others’, and that your own point of view worths less than the public opinion. The website has a Safe(r) mode (see link in the top right corner of the page). When Safe(r) mode is on, the site attempts to hide as much ‘of stories and comments on it that many people out there might be offended by’ as possible.

The community cannot avoid questions concerning nudity.  90% vote that it is normal to like being nude. Some warn that not in front of people, others suggest naturist camps and resorts. Only 72% believe that it is not weird to sleep naked and 76% consider that it is normal if someone takes naked pictures of him- or herself and that confidence in your body is a good thing.
Les vacances (nue au soleil)
Les vacances (nue au soleil), originally uploaded by -{ KaLiNe’s Body }-.

I think, surveys like these can determine rather the level of normality of the society or community, than of an individual, and the results presented above are good indications.

In my previous post I’ve already mentioned the image donation from the German photography archives Deutsche Fotothek to Wikimedia Commons. The East German photography is less known than western, but the works of real masters are worth to be discovered.

Recently, I’ve found out for myself the photographic art of Roger and Renate Rössing. According to Wikipedia, Roger Rössing (1929-2006) was one of the most famous photographers in eastern Germany. Renate (1929-2005) met Roger Rössing at the photographic classes of School of Visual Arts in Leipzig they attended between 1948 and 1951. Together they have published about 90 picture books.

Renate und Roger Rössing mit einem Freund während einer Filmszene

Renate und Roger Rössing mit einem Freund während einer Filmszene

In 1952 they took a series of photographs devoted to Nacktkultur which drew my attention by their old fashioned and conservative style. It was the time when naturism began expanding in East Germany. But only since the 1970s the nude bathing in lakes and the Baltic Sea became widespread.

Badende

Badende

One can discover the photographs taken by Roger and Renate Rössing here.

The Ukrainian tabloids discuss some piquant news. It happened so that the photosession of the girl singers from the group Арктика (not widely known even in Ukraine, I think :-)) appeared recently in the Ukrainian edition of Playboy. I would pass over this outstanding event, but the discussion about the images from this photosession has drawn my attention.

The point is that someone in Ukrainian Playboy was ridiculously not good in photo editing.

Playboy: Арктика (Арктический зной)

Playboy: Арктика (Арктический зной)

From these images, one can conclude that these playmates were too shy to pose naked, but at the same time they wanted to established themselves as local erotic stars in Playboy. The conflict between opposite motivations (commercialization of nudity and fear of it) produced this comic effect. Maybe it is characteristic for modern society when people consider nudity a problem and cannot decide themselves whether it can be appropriate.

This leads us again to the discussion on reality in photography.

I’ve typed the words “naked under clothes” and Google gave me hundreds of entries. Blogs, personal sites and even novels. In one novel (p. 5) I read

Actually, for all I knew, all beautiful young women these days might be completely nude beneath their clothes. But her look told me quickly that hers was a calculated nudeness, a premeditated nudeness, nudeness in the first degree.

I decided I must know unambiguously who was the first to tell the world the truth that we are all naked under our clothes. It was not difficult to find out that a similar saying was ascribed to German romantic poet Heinrich Heine (1797-1856). Since I had gaps in my knowledge of German literature, I turned to ‘The works of Heinrich Heine‘. The search was crowned with success when I got Heinrich Heine’s ‘Pictures of Travel’. Here is short extract from the book.

But will not the ladies be offended at my saying breeches instead of trousers? – Oh, the refined feelings of ladies! In the end only eunuchs will dare to write for them, and their spiritual servants in the West must be as harmless as their body servants in the East.

Here a fragment from Berthold’s diary comes into my head.

“If we only reflect on it, we are all naked under our clothes,” said Doctor M—– to a lady who was offended by a rather cynical remark to which he had given utterance.

It looks like the significant discovery about our naked nature was made by unknown Doctor M—–, while Heine got to know it at second-hand, from Berthold’s diary! Of course, it remains uncertain whether Doctor M—– was the only one who discovered this naked truth. This problem needs further investigation. Maybe the researchers of Heine’s works can determine the full name of the mysterious Doctor M—– and grateful mankind will always remember this man.

By the window 2

Since I don’t have any portrait of Doctor M—–, I’ve decided to illustrate this post with my self-portrait :-).