Fine art nude photography is a genre of fine-art photography which depicts the nude human body with an emphasis on form, composition , emotional content, and other aesthetic qualities. The nude has been a prominent subject of photography since its invention, and played an important role in establishing photography as a fine art medium. The distinction between fine art photography and other subgenres is not absolute, but there are certain defining characteristics. Erotic interest, although often present, is secondary,  which distinguishes art photography from both glamour photography , which focuses on showing the subject of the photograph in the most attractive way, and pornographic photography , which has the primary purpose of sexually arousing the viewer. Fine art photographs are also not taken to serve any journalistic, scientific, or other practical purpose. The distinction between these is not always clear, and photographers, as with other artists, tend to make their own case in characterizing their work,    though the viewer may have a different assessment. The nude remains a controversial subject in all media, but more so with photography due to its inherent realism.
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But after the Christie's appraiser who allegedly said that to Walters left the company last year, Walters says, her replacement simply said the photo wasn't an item of interest to them anymore. Walters also showed us a text from another prominent art dealer who tells him that the litigious Avedon Foundation scares dealers like himself away from photos like this one. Walters accuses the foundation of using "strong-arm tactics" to control the marketplace when it comes to Avedon's photos. Avedon Foundation spokesman James Martin says otherwise. Avedon himself seemingly had no objection when the snapshot was originally auctioned by Nureyev's estate after the dancer's death, according to Walters. Walters, a former model who worked with Avedon on a Versace campaign in the '80s, says he even called the photographer and asked if he'd sign it, but Avedon said, "I don't believe you have it. According to a Nureyev biography written by Julie Kavanagh, the photos were taken during a night of heavy drinking, and the embarrassed ballet dancer went back to Avedon later asking if he could have the negatives.
An obituary published in The New York Times said that "his fashion and portrait photographs helped define America's image of style, beauty and culture for the last half-century". Avedon was born in New York City to a Jewish family. His father, Jacob Israel Avedon, was a Russian-born immigrant who advanced from menial work to starting his own successful retail dress business on Fifth Avenue called Avedon's Fifth Avenue.
By Christopher Bollen. By the time American culture was undergoing cataclysmic changes in the late s—changes that permanently altered not only how the country saw itself in the world, but how each individual saw him- or herself in society—Richard Avedon was already a legend. He had established himself as one of the key national chroniclers of his time. Certainly Avedon was not afraid to let his photographic odyssey become overtly political, but along with the power players, he especially enjoyed making portraits of radicals. But, of course, even earlier, Avedon was getting people at their most elemental and exposed, as evidenced by the early photographs of Allen Ginsberg. When will you take off your clothes? When we were in New York in , I was already a big Avedon fan. We got asked to come and be photographed by him—we were hot stuff then—and I tried to warn the others ahead of time. It was the period Avedon was photographing celebrities with their clothes off in one form or another.