Emerging Images

Portfolio of Reinaldo da Silva

 

More about "Emerging-Images"

 

The web-site and domain name was suggested by the new directions in my photography which are explained on the previous page.

Nude images

 

I was living in Mazatlan, Mexico for six months in 2002. I was studying Spanish, enjoying the community and, on my off hours, playing on the beaches.

While there I met and became friends with a young woman who was discovering Mexican culture, but paying her way by selling time shares to tourists. Her boy friend was in grad school in the U.S. and she wanted an unusual, spectacular birthday gift for him. By this time she trusted me enough to ask me to photograph her both nude and in "boudoir" mode. Her friend, then requested the same. This was the start of something that actually is a logical continuation of my commitment to social nudism.

When I began this website four years ago, I wasn't even remotely aware of my purposes in photographing nudes. I had some ideas but had nothing to use for inspiration. Most photographs of nude women on the internet are either deliberately erotic or pornographic. Others are simply studies of the perfect human body or images of the lights, shadows and curves, with the body merely a canvas.

Even the photo artists whose work I admire fall into the latter category.

While I continue to grow and learn, I now have a better grasp of my art. I have found three goals for my effort.

 

The Goals of Emerging-Images

I want to show the beauty inherent in the human, particularly the female, form at many ages, sizes and shapes. Advertisements and TV/Media have promoted the idea that only youth has a chance of being beautiful and that only if she is thin. If a woman is over thirty she has no right to think of herself as beautiful. If she wears a size 6-8, she's in, larger need not apply. This is not only repugnant, it is incorrect. Beauty is indeed in the eye of the beholder and I behold many women of 40, 50, even 70, who can only be called beautiful. Their beautiful spirit and personality shows in their physical body.

Another goal is to expose the spirit of the woman posing for my camera.  Very rarely do I have "props" in my photos.  Props are a way of hiding, misdirecting the attention. "Don't look at me, look at my guitar (or other prop)." I don't mean to impugn the motives of the models. Rarely are any of us aware of the ways we manipulate reality. We think that we are all about music, or art, or cooking, or science. But what we are is much more than these activities and the very instruments we use to pursue them become a screen for hiding our personhood.

I want to honor women. They are the source of so much of the good of life. That's not a blanket compliment; there are women like Ann Coulter, just as there are those like Elizabeth Edwards. The latter promotes life and good, the former does just the opposite. However, more women have contributed to the progress of humanity than not. Mother Jones, Sojourner Truth, Petra Kelly, Medea Benjamin and the thousands of school teachers and nurses who are predominantly women. The world is in trouble with Iraq, the Bush crime family, Darfur, and more. But it would be much worse without the work of millions of women.

 
 

Why Nude?

 

I was introduced to the value of social nudity in the 1970s. Attending seminars in psychotherapy, I found several serious and competent researchers who were doing research on group nude therapy, especially  in the treatment of body image issues. (Not "Body Dysmorphic Disorder"-anorexia and bulimia, etc.)  As this research continued, it was realized that nudity also encouraged people to be aware of their emotions.

Like most people in this country initially, in my mind, nudity and sexuality seemed inextricably linked. But continued involvement with nude therapy, nudism and naturism has taught me that these are not the same and not necessarily linked. People have been participating in social nudity since prehistoric times and in the modern era since 1891 when Charles Edward Gordon Crawford established a nudist resort in British India. As I continued learning about and eventually leading nude therapy groups, it became clear that social and family nudity have many positive effects. (For more information on this subject see the Federation of Canadian Naturist website.)

This certainly makes sense. The sexually stimulating or erotic images are almost always those where the body is not fully nude; where nudity is not real, but implied. Look at the beer or car commercials. One difference between the boudoir and the nude photographs of my friend in Mexico is that the boudoir (implied nudity and lingerie) is actually much more erotic that the full nudes.

I continued leading nude therapy groups for some time, but the therapy profession, in response to concerns about accusations of sexual harassment and impropriety became very conservative and made doing this very difficult. The pursuit of further research became impossible and actually leading nude therapy was proscribed in the literature of the professional associations. Never-the-less, the value of nude therapy continues to be evident. At the very least it does help the participant discover their emotions at a deeper level. It removes another layer of hiding.

As I began this photographic work, I hoped that this same effect would help the women who posed expose much more than their bodies; they might expose something of their emotions, heart and what I would call "personhood."

Who is Reinaldo da Silva?

When I originally started this project, I used my real name. Among the reactions frequently was, "You're a counselor, and a spiritual one. How can you do this?" So often, the reactions were not to the art, but to me. Knowing my background diverted attention from the work and instead to me personally.

I do find such reactions very distasteful. By reacting this way, the viewer is dishonoring not just my work, but also the work of the women who have been kind enough to pose. After a number of these "Oh, my gawd" reactions, I changed the references to my nom de plume--well, it is photography so maybe its a nom de foto. (Sorry I don't speak French, only Japanese, Spanish and Portuguese.)

Reinaldo da Silva is a name I have previously used when writing articles for a variety of publications including aviation, computer and motorcycling. It is a name "borrowed" from a Brazilian friend who was killed by the Brazilian military during the 1970s and I hope I am honoring it.

As I think of other things to share. . .

. . . I will post them here. If I receive comments from you and other readers and deem them worth sharing, those will go here also.