Friday, January 25, 2008

random thoughts regarding footwear in artistic and erotic nudes

Comment posted on BoingBoing's displaying of the new Tickler Ukulele logo, created by Amy Crehore:

Somewhere in the world there must be a discussion of the use of footwear in nude portraiture, both erotic and non-erotic.

Thinking entirely off the cuff, in pornography it seems to serve three purposes (in declining order of importance):
1. keeping the performer's feet clean as they go around the set (utilitarian)
2. titillation of the audience (practical, in the sense they serve to further the purpose of the work)
3. creation of an air of spontaneity on behalf of the performers (subtle practicality)

Again these are just my guesses and directors/photographers probably could give far better insight.

But in art? What purpose does it serve here? How are Amy's goals met not only by the use of shoes but of decorative ankle ribbons? The ribbons were what inspired me to write this. They do not appear to have been left on after disrobing, quite the opposite: the ribbons are the sole nod to typical clothing. She has not picked up the ukulele after growing tired midway through playing dress up, she IS dressed up.

There are likely also connotations involved in artistic nudes that gingerly hide the most sexual parts that I am not qualified to discuss and make any comparisons to erotic nudes that much more difficult. Regardless, it is a fascinating picture, as are nearly all of Amy's works.

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