Saturday, May 22, 2010

Zach Hyman

I was watching an episode of "The City" on MTV (yes, I'm a reality show junkie) and this photographer named Zach intrigued me in the People's Revolution studio. The way that he questions the common idea of the human body and nudity in our society is groundbreaking. It takes courage to do things that will create controversy. He even got a model arrested when he had her pose naked at the Met for 15 seconds. We all share the same parts, and that unifying thing is truly art.

"Have you ever had the desire, in an organized moment of silence, to yell as loudly as possible? Was there ever an urge to break something valuable just for the mere satisfaction and intrigue of the reaction that might occur? Or, maybe, you've just wanted to run nude through the streets only see if you could feel the feeling of freedom without getting caught. We all have an inherent desire to oppose and comment on societal norms and trends, to break barriers, to seek excitement and joy, to create something new and original. All of these feelings have been the catalysts for my photography and art. "Decent Exposures" is my latest collection of images celebrating nudity in all of it's modalities; from the sexual to the comical, Traveling from the isolation of the country straight into the public eye of New York City.

I'd like to ask the reader a question: do you have a penis or a vagina? If you've answered yes then, congratulations, you're a human being! We all, for the most part, whether you were born with one or the other, had both, or wanted the opposite, have genitals. As simple as it may sound, our body parts have the potential to be a huge unifying force. Big or little, skinny or thick, perky or saggy; the fact is that our bodies all function in the same way and for the same purpose. So why is it that there is such censorship on nudity or such strict laws against indecent exposure? Of course we can't deny the fact that there are some inappropriate things that one could perform in a public setting; but your birthday suit, a crime?

In America Especially, we have access, through the internet, television, periodicals, subscribtion serverices etc. to some of the most perverse and grotesque subject matter one might ever witness. We can view suicide tapes on youtube, girls sharing a cup full of feces, and a neverending stream of sexual acts that should be considered assault and battery, not to mention degrading to both genders, especially women. We're all totally aware of these things and a majority of us whether or not we think it's inappropriate, violent, or just plain disgusting, are STILL intrigued because we like to see things we think we shouldn't be watching, and acts that are considered "private." "Decent Exposures" does not pertain to any of the previously mentioned material. It does, however, provide the same amount of excitement simply because we've been wearing clothing our whole lives.

The models are all different shapes, sizes, backgrounds, and persuasions, yet all had similar experiences of focus and freedom being nude in these environments. The public reacted to the models like one might imagine; with shock, excitement, humor, disgust, but never violence or cruelty. I received my excitement in seeing both at the same time and feeling that there was nothing wrong with what we were doing but knowing that it was wholly illegal. So if a majority of people experienced joy and excitement out of this; what's the BFD? Nudity does not have to represent perversion, it's just plain natural. Fortunately it's still exciting. The "Decent Exposures" collection is going against one social norm and rule that should be reconsidered.

BUT, please consider these photos however you would like. My ultimate purpose is to provoke thought rather than tell you what to think. Please visit the "decent Exposures" link under the portfolio tab."
Zach Hyman

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