Nudity: The nakedness of the human body is called nudity. Nakedness is the ‘default setting’ of every living being, yet the word ‘nudity’ is attached to humans only. In many ancient cultures, altogether was socially accepted in many ancient cultures. Many present-day tribes also have the same culture.
Humans started clothing themselves at the end of the Neolithic and starting of the civilization. When people migrated to a cooler place, they wanted protection from heat or rain, etc they used clothes and animal skin.
Some consider nudity in art and films as modern evil. Public nudity is not a modern evil; it became a thing when the clothing concept came as nakedness was the natural form.
I talked about Public nudity and art to an Indian artist, Prasad Dabhade. Prasad is a Punekar who started sketching from a very tender age but discontinued in his teenage. He started sketching again later when he was in college and tried out some portraits and then some saved semi nudes from Tumblr. “I did not have many friends back then, so when a few paid attention to my sketches and appreciated my art, it gave me a morale boost. I haven’t stopped sketching since.”
Following are some questions from our conversation –
Many People consider nudity as a synonym of sexual activity. What do you want to say about that?
Public nudity doesn’t symbolize sexual activities. In some instances it does, but that is naturism. Nudity shouldn’t be a taboo as it’s our reality and sexual activities, too, are human necessities. It’s an expression of belonging, validation, affection and much more which shouldn’t be suppressed.
What is your art about?
My art is a lens which focuses on nature’s most underrated creation, which is male anatomy. Stereotypical pressure of masculinity suppresses the vulnerability of men, and my art portrays it.
Male sexuality is often judged on the scale of manhood or masculinity. What are your views on that?
I think that’s people limiting an individuals expression to validate their opinion. People are judged on the basis of their gender roles and how well they fit into it. The size of the genitalia for men and firmness of the body for women is their respective judging standards.This kind of pressure sculpts false images of perfection in people leading to mental illness. There’s a quote I read somewhere and I’ll say “Boys cry and girls masturbate and it’s okay.”
What challenges do you face relating to the art that you create?
As my art is mostly around and about nudity and human expression, many people often take me as a pervert and consider my art pornography. Several people reach out to talk about sex only as if there’s nothing more than that in the art or in me. I focus on the praise I receive and keep on working though I am judged very often and rudely. I am currently working on a few comics.
Prasad wants to tell people that whatever form of expression they choose, be it dance, music, writing or painting, keep moving as it helps the creator and the observer.
You can find Prasad’s artwork on his Instagram. It’s really courageous of him to do something out of the stereotypes.