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Leonard Nimoy is an accomplished photographer. I am not a fan. His previous work, mostly nude studies, appear a little off to me. They are too tame, too timid, too... like something I've seen may other photographers attempt to do before. I found his Shekhina Project shallow and banal despite it deep pretense. I almost bought a copy of his book for my collection, and then I browsed it in a bookstore. No thanks. I prefer Mapplethorpe to Nimoy.
A co-worker pointed me to Nimoy's latest effort,The Full Body Project. Nimoy is in the midst of photographing obese women. Apparently, it is a labor of love. My co-worker (a male) asked me if I would make an effort to see Nimoy's work. I responded that I would. He was incredulous. Why would I bother to look at fat women? Why would I waste my time on tasteless porn? Why would I support such trash?
It is at times like this I realize how different I am from most of the people I know. I give art a chance. Fat or thin (ugly or beautiful) - a talented photographer can make inspiring art from the human body. I will at least open my mind and examine the work. Even if I don't like the artist or subject.
I do not waste my time with pornography, and yes, I know it when I see it. Nimoy's work is far from pornography. I may not like Nimoy's work, but I would not call it porn? Would you?
I am curious. How did Nimoy pull this kind of project off without offending the world? If he actually pulled it off, did he do the subject justice? I'll give him a fair shake before I make up my mind. However, Initial results are not encouraging.
I tried to explain all this to my co-worker friend - He did not understand. He associates nudes with porn and art with finger painting. I tried to tell him about an influential visit to the Musee d'Orsay I experienced a few years ago. I saw Gustave Courbet's The Origin of the World - it was amazing. When America was tearing itself apart in the Civil War, Courbet was exploring the human body like never before - in paint. My co-worker friend could not understand why any museum would display it. I shook my head - this well was dry.