Beauty is an experience, nothing else. It is not a fixed pattern or an arrangement of features. It is something felt, a glow or a communicated sense of fineness.~D. H. Lawrence
Living beings are wondrous, are they not? I set out to establish a collection of artistic representations of the body as a type of gratitude for the vessels that hold us. For every moment I ever berated my thighs for not looking perfect, have I ever thanked them for carrying me through my days? Embarking on this journey was a way for me to celebrate the body and display the myriad ways they express our inner states.
It took me hours of poring through many incredible works of art and photography to assemble a collection I thought avoided cliche sexual poses and stereotypes (seriously -- do a search on "artistic nudes" and you'll see what I mean). I wanted to capture moments of reflection and honesty; the self with clothes and cloaking stripped away and only the posture serving as the prominent way to express mood. I especially targeted artistic photos and skilled sketches with a compelling and candid nature to exhibit the innumerable forms of beauty.
This set has limitations, however. These are all takes on the female body, for now, but I hope to grow this collection and include additional examples. If you have a photo or sketch to recommend, please let me know: firstname.lastname@example.org (or comment below).
Thank you to the artists who created such captivating pieces. I have included links to the original source along with the artist's name, if known, if you'd like to learn more about their work.
A picture is a poem without words. ~Horace
Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time. ~Thomas Merton
Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
Art is the only way to run away without leaving home. ~Twyla Tharp
A trembling in the bones may carry a more convincing testimony than the dry documented deductions of the brain. ~Llewelyn Powers
We don't stop at our skin. ~Dolores Krieger
Flesh goes on pleasuring us, and humiliating us, right to the end. ~Mignon McLaughlin
I don't believe in an art that is not born out of man's need to open his heart. ~Edvard Munch
Body and mind, like man and wife, do not always agree to die together. ~Charles Caleb Colton
A good painting to me has always been like a friend. It keeps me company, comforts and inspires. ~Hedy Lamarr
It is not beauty that endears, it's love that makes us see beauty. ~Tolstoy
Great art is as irrational as great music. It is mad with its own loveliness. ~George Jean Nathan
Making a decision to have a child--it's momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body. ~Elizabeth Stone
Beauty pleases the eyes only; Sweetness of disposition charms the soul. ~Voltaire
From Burning Man
A writer should write with his eyes and a painter paint with his ears. ~Gertrude Stein