As far as memories serve me, this still is one of the most fascinating acquaintances.
It was 2016.
I met Vera through the ”internet” via instagram. I’ve seen her work from the point of view of many talented and amazing photographers. She was one of those people that you’d hope to be another person you’d do a session with or a good friend that you’d be talking to online, or in-person after. While growing up in the Philippines, the idea of unclothed or nude has always been a taboo that most people in our country consider a hurdle because it’s not part of our moral decency code as a culture.
I, on the other hand, have always wondered why as I’ve always opened my mind since I was in 5th grade. Reading books that were somewhat overly advanced to what I was supposed to read within that age range. I’ve been observing art books that weren’t showing any animals drawn in cartoon styles. But rather looking at the works of masters from days long gone where art is one of the only forms of expressing vision, identity, and ideas.
From nude statues of antiquity that celebrates the female chastity and form to the muscular details of a man’s posture while stating a fact, or just pondering about life in general. Then detailed paintings from different eras and past nations showing a more colorful world in the absence of technology that we have today.
Since that point in time, artists expressed how a man or a woman’s body is perceived through countless depictions of the nude human form. It was celebrated, rather than shunned. Accepted, rather than judged. Appreciated, rather than being ridiculed up until social norms changed its perception and consider it as a shameful act of defiance to modern ideals.
From where I’m from, this is:
• ”BOLD” (A loose term that connotates “smut”)
• Bastos (Obscene)
And any other term that someone would come up to justify how “morally wrong” this is.
I, however, find it sad and depressing that in a society rich with information, we still don’t consider “what is” and “what is not”.
Featuring my good friend, Vera.
Paris, October 2016