The Joyful Nudes of Gregor Podgorski

If you are not familiar with the work of artist and photographer Gregor Podgorski, you are sure to enjoy looking at his joyful nudes. Podgorski was born in Poland in 1965 and moved to Paris in 1984, and is primarily known for his Pieta series of variations on the original Michelangelo sculpture. His "La Rage de Vivre" and "C'est la Vie" series come very close to capturing the spirit of nudism and naturism. His subjects are natural, happy, and comfortable in their own skins.

While most photographic nudes are more concerned with the lighting and composition, Podgorski's photos are focused on the humanity of the subjects, from singles, to couples, to families, displaying all body types, as well as surgical scars. They are all uniquely beautiful.

Although the photos are done in studio, many capture the essence of photos in naturist magazines, but filtered through an artist's eye. Nudists and naturists when posing for photos tend to smile (a lot), and assume a somewhat proud pose. This is done naturally, undoubtedly brought about by the freedom and confidence which comes from being nude. Podgorski is not afraid to let his subjects shine, exposing not only their bodies, but also their feelings. They are warmly engaged with the photographer, rather than being coldly detached.

A Playboy nude is alluring, a Mapplethorpe nude is confrontational, an Arbus nude is disturbing, a Tunick nude is a landscape, but the Podgorski nudes are playful and natural. Capturing the true essence of a nude is very hard to do for a photographer, who not only has to be concerned with his own artistic control and ambitions, but with the needs and feelings of his subjects. After all, these people are being asked to strip completely naked and stand in front of a camera, something the vast majority of people would never consider doing.


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