Category Archives: Artistic nudes

Venus Callipyge

Venus Callipyge

The Venus Callipyge, literally meaning Venus of the Beautiful Buttocks is an ancient Roman marble  statue, thought to be a copy of an older Greek original. It depicts a partially draped woman, raising her gown to uncover her hips and buttocks, and looking back and down over her shoulder, as if to evaluate them.

The statue’s pose gives the figure a distinctly erotic aspect suggesting that it may represent a story recorded by Athenaeus of two girls in Syracuse who were trying to decide which of them had the more shapely buttocks:

Once upon a time a farmer had two beautiful daughters. One day these girls, getting into a dispute as to which one had a more beautiful backside, went out onto the public street. And by chance a young man was passing by, the son of a rich old man. They showed themselves to him, and when he saw them he voted in favor of the older girl. And falling in love with her, when he got back to town he  told his younger brother everything that had happened. And the younger brother also went to the country and saw the girls, and he fell in love with the other daughter.

When the boys’ father tried to get them to marry someone of the upper classes, they refused, and so he brought the girls in from the country, and married them to his sons. And so these girls were called fair-buttocked by the citizens. And when they got wealthy and famous, they founded a temple of Aphrodite and called the goddess the Fair-Buttocked.

By 1802 the statue was in the Museo degli Studi, now the National Archaeological Museum of Naples, where it remains today.

In 1836, the photographer Famin called it a “charming statuette” but noted that it was:

…placed in a reserved hall, where the curious are only introduced under the surveillance of a guardian, though even this precaution has not prevented the rounded forms which won for the goddess the name of Callipyge, from being covered with a dark tint, which betrays the profane kisses that fanatic admirers have every day impressed there.

It was re-popularised by the 20th century lyrics of the French songwriter Georges Brassens, in his Vénus Callipyge, which paraphrases Athenaeus’ story and ends:

C’eût été le temple de la Grèce/ Pour qui j’eusse eu plus de dévotion
This would have been the temple of Greece/ For which I would have professed the most devotion.

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Artwork inspired by the Venus Callipyge.

The Butt-ography of Fox Harvard

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Whether it’s in art or fashion, I think in order to last, you have to be smart enough to take more notice of what’s moving in the current and not just what washes up on shore.

American fashion & portrait photographer Fox Harvard tries to consciously avoid as many trends or labels, nevertheless is careful not to stand still and embraces changes, always eager to grow in his life and work. He comes from a background in painting and grew up watching old movies from directors such as Kaneto Shindo, Francois Truffaut, Federico Fellini, which has also shaped his love for black and white work and timeless art. The woman in his images appear strong, feminine and the imagery spreads a sense of nostalgia.

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London Andrews

London Andrews by Corwin Prescott

This is a masterpiece on a truly epic scale. Water, rock, flesh – a majestic blend of raw elements - boldly conceived and brilliantly realised.

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It’s from Corwin Prescott’s book 50 Models – 50 States.

In October of 2012 I began a road trip that would take me from my home in Philadelphia, Pa on a one year journey to every state in the United States to create my art.

I’m not sure which state this is but the model is the amazing London Andrews. Bravo!

The Photography of Mari Sarai

I wanted to express that the nudity of a woman is not limited to fulfilling men’s erotic desires. She is worthy of respect. A naked woman can possess her own style, independence and strength.

Mari Sarai

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After studying photography in Los Angeles, Japanese born Mari Sarai worked as a photographic journalist in New York from 1997. In 1999 she relocated to Tokyo and worked as a fashion photographer. In 2005 she moved to London where she has been working on projects including Harper’s Bazaar UK, Vogue UK as well as Dazed & Confused which is where I first saw her pictures.

The exhibition and book NAKED is her first series of female nudes. It’s a celebration of 21st Century women. Sarai’s supermodel and artist subjects radiate a daring sexuality, her intention is to praise women’s nudity through a female gaze, and bring courage to all strong females.

Through her lens Mari captures the moment the model’s everyday constructed persona is removed, revealing an erotic feminine sensuality that is infused with a wild freedom and inner confidence that goes beyond the boundaries of traditional portraiture and fashion photography. The resulting images capture a unique spontaneity; a model plays with a gun in one photograph, a girl writhes on the pavement at night in another. Friends, musicians, artists, editors and models are featured including Janice Dickinson, Alice Dellal and Daisy Lowe.

Interview and more pictures

The Butt-ography of Helmut Newton

I would say that most of the photographers whose work I’ve featured on Frontbotties are, to some extent, standing on the shoulders of the great Helmut Newton.

Working in black and white, the prolific German born lensman established a style of erotically-charged and sophisticated urban glamour often with fetishistic sub-texts.

Newton settled in Paris in 1961 and his highly influential works began appearing in magazines including French Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar.

His notoriety continued to increase, most notably with his 1980 “Big Nudes” series. These pictures marked a pinnacle in a career which was always underpinned by excellent technical skills.

He died in 2004 when his car sped out of control and hit a wall in the driveway of his residence in Southern California. His ashes are buried next to Marlene Dietrich at the Städtischer Friedhof III in Berlin.

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Back of the Nett

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One of the best things about Issue 174 of FRONT has to be the sensational return of Alysha Nett. This shot is my favourite of the set by Christian Saint but the mirror image above is a close runner-up.

The “true or false” feature which goes with her shoot includes this:

If Alysha had to fill the frame on her back with a face, she’d opt for yours.

FALSE: “I’d choose my dogs”.

So let’s take a look at some more Nett frames.

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I can’t praise this picture enough. It literally places Alysha on a pedestal as if she was an ancient statue – an Aphrodite of Alt – surveying the starkly modern backdrop. The curves of her body, and that amazing frame design, are sensuously backlit while her legs are moulded into a single mermaid like limb by the diaphanous drape. The talented photographer is Creativerehab.

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This one, by The Creepster, is great too. The low view-point and the high-cut, backless swimsuit are perfect for showing off both the tattoo and Alysha’s Callipygian charms.

And not a canine in sight!

The Death of Youth

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Digital manipulation has long been a pet peeve of mine and yet another reason I like FRONT so much. Maybe I’m being naive here, but my impression has always been that they keep the use of airbrushing to a minimum and allow the natural beauty and character of their models to shine through.

More so than their competitors anyway. Certain publications re-touch their images to the point that all the girls look the same. Dimples, creases, folds, bone structure, even, whisper it, cellulite are natural, and erotic on a healthy young woman and a huge part of what distinguishes one girl from the next. As soon as you start “tidying up” these things you lose a lot of the personality too. Blandness and homogeneity are curses of modern society but at least some people are fighting back against the graphic vandals, those photoshop philistines.

Giovanni Lipani’s Death of Youth series is a great example of what I’m talking about. It’s an archive of photographs featuring 100 women “who do not fit into the typical characterization of ‘fashion model’ that dominates much of today’s photography, providing the viewer with a refreshing look at beauty – without the use of photoshopping.”

The Italian lensman has written a mission statement about the motivations and ideas behind his Death of Youth series. This is just an excerpt; you can read the full piece here.

The images are not refined and many resemble snapshots. The hyper-sexualized nature of the images evokes the feeling that the photographer is involved in numerous casual sexual encounters. I became the “jet-setting playboy” that I admired from my youth, like James Bond, Hugh Hefner, Terry Richardson and Helmut Newton. Moreover, I embodied the life of today’s version of these playboys: the blog-centric photographer, the archetype of a sexual icon.

I photographed 100 women to further demonstrate the fantasy of this lifestyle. The majority of these women do not fit into the typical characterization of “fashion model” that dominates much of today’s photography. This provided a more raw and realistic vision of this fantasy. I shot each model one-on-one without lights, make-up artists, stylists or assistants. This provided a much more intimate environment in which I was able to connect with my subjects on a very personal level.

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By shooting all of the photos on film—a dying form—I was able to encapsulate the sense of memory that is so important to these photos. I was extremely strict about not using digital re-touching software to keep the images unembellished and true to life. These techniques provide the viewer with a refreshing look at beauty. Put differently, as more and more photos are manufactured through Photoshop, these images release viewers from this paradigm and allow them to live in this testimonial of a young man’s youthful fantasies.

At least one of the models used in the series will be familiar to Frontbottie followers. I’ve chosen three shots of Hattie Watson interacting with a rather magnificent bed to illustrate this post.

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Death of Youth Galleries

Roswell Ivory

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An intimate black and white portrait complete with vintage bloomers, which, according to the model, was taken using “the oldest camera I’ve ever seen- a real Victorian-style head-under-cover, images upside-down metal and wood contraption! I loved it!!”

I especially like the detail of the hands tying the bow and the way that the underwear frames her butt cheeks. Find out what has been photo- shopped from this picture here and see more truly wonderful work from photographer John Mullin and Roswell Ivory here.

Nicole Vaunt

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I never cease to be amazed at the sheer quality of the pictures that I find to use on this site. This one – titled Stop Motion Glitter Ball by Vanguard Imageworks – really did stop me in my tracks. It turned up here and it’s simply stunning.

Nicole Vaunt has been an alt girl diy on the Front site and her Q & A includes this little gem:

“I curse like a sailor and make a killer apple pie. Oh, and my ass is epic”

I’ve added Nicole’s tumblr to the blogroll and if you need any more convincing about the epicness of her booty then here’s another picture – this time in mean and moody black and white.

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