To JoeInAtlanta: The photo itself took little over 1/15 of a second to make- 2-3 seconds at most. I wont go into the details of HOW I do it that quickly but I will say that her clothes were not "placed" anywhere nor did she have to move from where she was posed to reach them. Also, I composed all of the photographs while she was fully clothed. It helps to have an assistant who is very quick as well.
Just felt that I should address that.
Maaik- while Gabby was being held, I was in a bondsman's office bailing her out.
And in regards to Dave's comment earlier: There is an obvious element of sex appeal to the series of photos that I am creating around the city. Of course, the purpose of these photos is not to titillate or arouse but when you make a nude photograph you have to know that some will see it as art and others may see it as porn. That being said, it isn't any concern of mine whether or not someone views them as sexy or as art. If I were to concern myself with the feelings and opinions of others as they pertain to my art, I'd likely go crazy. I make what I consider to be art and that's that.
I don't at all believe that Gabby or any of my other models have conducted themselves in any manner that could be considered "un-lady like" nor do I think it's fair that it's acceptable for men to be topless and not women. But life isn't fair. That's something most of us already know. When I started this project, I knew right then that I was treading on thin ice as far as whats legally acceptable which is why I decided to just walk up to whatever officer was nearby and let them know what I was doing. Of the 30 +/- photo's I've made for this project, there was an officer present for at least half of them. I've had officers drive or walk up to me during a shoot and ask "what the hell are you kids doing!?" and after a brief conversation, the officer ends up saying something like "okay, just make it quick" or "whatever, I'm hungry. Have fun". I'm 99% sure that the two officers that gave us a hard time while shooting with Gabby could have been doing any number of things to uphold the law that didn't involve us. Maybe we were just easy targets. Maybe the officers were having a bad morning. Maybe the officer was upset that he hadn't seen actual real live breasts since he was an infant and didn't know what else to do but lash out and project his insecurities onto us... whatever the case was, the situation as a whole is silly. At the end of the day, they are just nipples and there is no reason for anyone to have to spend any amount of time in jail. Okay, sure, maybe a citation/fine (we do live in the south and people are very conservative) but jail time is just plain absurd.
Thanks Dave- And that's exactly what the problem is; what's considered "art" by one person could be considered vulgar, obscene, offensive, or even dangerous by another person. What’s offensive about skin? About the human body in its most natural state? Should we all gasp at the sight of each other unclothed as if our bodies are something to be ashamed of? Nudity is not sex. Nor is sex in itself wrong in anyway. It’s society; the media, our governments and religions that have brainwashed us into identifying nudity with sexual taboos. Had we not been brought up that way, a shirtless woman walking down the street would offend no more than a shirtless man. Whats more is that we seem to be more offended by sex- the creation of life, the joining of two souls, and even in its most recreational sense, an act that’s no less normal than eating breakfast every morning, than death! Death is all around us and we have no problem with saturating our televisions and computer screens with it. Murder on the news, killings in action movies, violent video games, etc. It’s perfectly normal to go to war. To bomb cities and destroy life. To want our children to grow up and become “defenders of our nation”… killers. Parents can buy toy guns for their kids but are afraid to TALK with and TEACH their kids about sex. Afraid to teach their kids how they got here in the first place. But we must protect them from nudity… from sex. We censor our conversations and cover our bodies not in good taste. Not because of fashion or necessity but out of fear and shame. Then we end up with a generation who’s even worse off than the last because they’ve been brought up in an ass backwards world that glorifies death and demonizes life. A society that says it’s wrong to show too much skin. Not saying that there is anything wrong with violence and death. I love my guns and bloody video games! but where the hell is the balance!?
I’m still waiting on someone to give me a valid reason or explanation as to why nudity is so offensive. Why are people are so ashamed of their own skin?
Furthermore, I find it rather unnerving that Judge Grundy would assume that Gabby was conducting herself in a manner that anyone could deem un-lady like. Who's to determine what acceptable for a woman and whats not? Not too long ago, it was un-lady like for a woman to even hold a job and now this woman who is a JUDGE finds it un-lady like for a woman to create art with her body. I would completely agree if Gabby or any other woman was standing in the middle of the street dancing in a sexual manner or if we were making photographs of her spread eagle in the middle of the street. Gabby was posed in a statuesque manner at a time when there was NO foot traffic and a car would drive down the street once every 3 minutes. 3 minutes is a long time to make a photograph at 1/15th of a second... just sayin'.
I have been working on my series of nude portraits around the city of Atlanta for about three months and haven't had one bit of trouble from Atlanta police during any of these shoots.
APD and even Georgia State Patrol have even stood guard while I made some of the photos. The photo shoot with Gabby is the only shoot in which I've had any trouble from any officers.
The officers who arrested Gabby attempted to liken her posing topless in the empty park to desecrating city property. The arresting officer stated that she was being arrested because "it wouldn't be fair to let her posing topless go unpunished if tomorrow I arrest someone for peeing in the fountain." I'm not sure why they felt so strongly about the (quite literal) split second sight of her breasts as the photo itself too 1/15th of a second to make. Whats funny is that one block west of where we made the photograph, there is a nude statue of a woman holding a phoenix. Whether or not the statue is historically symbolic or not, it's still nude. If the purpose of the arrest was to "protect" the public from an offensive sight, why don't people get offended by the many nude statues around the city? The fact that the statues aren't living breathing things cant be a viable excuse considering how remarkably anatomically correct they are.
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