Artistic Nude Photography

By Irina Pino

Marilyn Monroe photo by Tom Kelly

HAVANA TIMES – The act of looking at a photo of a naked body is surrounded by prejudice. Just doing it is a whole thing.

People who have posed for these kinds of photos keep them hidden away. Maybe because twisted minds would use them for blackmail or business purposes.

The Internet has served as poison in this regard, hackers have been taking advantage of it to leak nude selfies of celebrities or pictures of them in compromising situations, and they have sold them to the highest bidder to be published on their websites.

This had victims outraged as they felt like they had been manipulated. Nobody has the right to violate another person’s intimacy.

There is also a macabre aspect to nudity: I recently read the news about US photographer Leigh Wiener, who blackmailed morgue workers with bottles of whisky back in 1962 so he could take photos of Marilyn Monroe’s naked corpse.

Posting steamy pics is already all the rage on social media, Facebook is full of girls wearing skimpy clothes. Selfies of the pubis, vagina, breasts, buttocks and penises are sent on Whatsapp.

The fact that these women flaunt their implants like they were their greatest assets of physical beauty is a joke. It’s not only the picture though, they are accompanied by a caption too which are supposed to be sexy, like a kind of hook, in terms of the exhibitionist’s intelligence coefficient.

I wanted to take my own artistic nudes when I was younger. I found it interesting, as well as daring. I had always admired the photo session Marilyn Monroe did with Tom Kelley, and the other sessions that followed.

A painter and photographer friend of mine helped me to make this adventure come true. We wanted the lens to capture the vitality of the human form and to eternalize it in a photo for later on in life.

We went to his uncle’s house for the shoot as he was away on a trip. We made a set: furniture, tulle fabrics, a stage that would serve as the background of the project. A Russian Zenit camera was used. We took pictures for two days straight. We did two sessions in total.

We ran into difficulty though when it came to developing the reels of film, it was too risky for a photographer to use a state-run studio. We chose to seek out a private studio to develop and print the images.

We had to fork out quite a bit of money at the time to do this. But, the result was the most important thing.

I still have some photos from those sessions; and looking at them now, I find them a bit naive. If I were to do them again, they would be completely different.

Losing the negatives is something I do regret, or maybe somebody took them from my home.

Even though it’s been over 30 years since I lost them, I would like to think that the thief holds onto these images as a memory.

Irina Pino

Irina Pino: I was born in the middle of shortages in those sixties that marked so many patterns in the world. Although I currently live in Miramar, I miss the city center with its cinemas and theaters, and the bohemian atmosphere of Old Havana, where I often go. Writing is the essential thing in my life, be it poetry, fiction or articles, a communion of ideas that identifies me. With my family and my friends, I get my share of happiness.

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