GYMNOSOPHY: Our word gymnasium comes from a Greek noun meaning “place to be naked.” The adjective was gymnos, “naked.” In the early 20th century, the termgymnosophywas appropriated by several groups to denote a broad philosophy that promoted as an essential principle that the nude human body was a natural condition and should be normalized for the betterment of society.
In this series I comingle aesthetics and techniques associated with both journalism and formal portraiture to capture authentic, narrative images of naturists culture. My interest is in questioning historic references to “the nude,” challenging media paradigms of beauty, and engaging in the ongoing dialogue around body politics. I strongly believe that many of our cultural problems relating to sexual violence, misogyny, pedophilia, homophobia, and LGBTQ prejudices can be traced to a history of taboos relating to the corporeal. My aim is to diversify and normalize photographic representations of the nude.
"Never before did I get so close to Nature; never before did she come so close to me... Nature was naked, and I was also... Sweet, sane, still Nakedness in Nature! - ah if poor, sick, prurient humanity in cities might really know you once more! Is not nakedness the indecent? No, not inherently. It is your thought, your sophistication, your fear, your respectability, that is indecent. There come moods when these clothes of ours are not only too irksome to wear, but are themselves indecent. Perhaps indeed he or she to whom the free exhilarating ecstasy of nakedness in Nature has never been eligible (and how many thousands there are!) has not really known what purity is--nor what faith or art or health really is." -Walt Whitman