Just a week after moving back to New York, my work was selected by curator Ruben Natal-San Miguel for an upcoming gallery show featured in The New York Times! No big deal, right?

To the person on my “friends” list who reported my fine art nude image which resulted in being banned temporarily from Facebook, success is the sweetest revenge. Perhaps you were hoping to discourage me from pursuing projects that address taboo subjects such as nudity and sexuality but they had the opposite effect. Your response is a strong reminder that people often experience fear and anger in the face of ignorance. Art can be a conduit of new ideas to open new conversations and to promote more acceptance and compassion for those that are different and other.

To those of you who sent messages of encouragement, thanks for knowing when I needed to hear them!

What are your thoughts on censorship?

 

Show at Ripe Art Gallery featured in NYTimes

Show at Ripe Art Gallery featured in NYTimes

I posted this image below on social media and it was reported to Facebook. It was then deemed to be content not allowed under Facebook community standards and was removed from both Instagram and Facebook. I realized it was The female nipple effect. The reason I was disappointed is that during the crowdfunding campaign for Transparency: The Gender Identity Project, I had received some critical, some annoying and some threatening messages about my involvement with the LGBTQ community and issues. Due to the personal nature of the comments I’d gotten, I decided to change my Facebook profile and posts from public to friends. Unfortunately this means one of my Facebook friends (for what that’s worth) reported this image. What confounding is that if you’re offended by nudity – why would you follow my posts about fine art nudes, boudoir and sexuality? Could you not just unfriend or unfollow me?

The irony is that while female nipples are banned, male nipples are ok. In fact, women are Photoshopping male nipples over their own to protest Instagram and Facebook’s censorship. Last year, artist Micol Hebron created a male nipple “template” to sardonically comment on how women’s nipples were unnecessarily sexualized. The template was meant to cover any topless photos of women and make them “appropriate” — because according to many photo-sharing platforms, not all nipples are created equal or considered nudity.

Lately, we’ve seen not only a surge in the #FreeTheNipple campaign, but also a considerable amount of backlash against Instagram’s policy stance on female nudity in photos. The company’s community guidelines are complicated; “female nipples” aren’t allowed, unless they’re being used to breastfeed or a photo shows post-mastectomy scarring, which is where things get murky for users.

So is a nipple just a nipple? Not if it’s a female one.

The female nipple effect

The female nipple effect

 

Each time an obstacle has popped up on my return to New York, it’s like the universe is asking, how much do you want this?

If you want something don’t be afraid to let the world know. Don’t dilute your desires. Want it, need it and wait for things to conspire for you to have it. You can’t manifest it sitting on your ass but you can let the world know this is what you desire. Then work towards it. Every day. I want and am a New York fine art photographer. There! It’s out there!

Photo inspired by Hanssie Ho. Thank you to all of you but especially my partner in crime and fellow artists for inspiring me to reach beyond my own limits.

So, what do you really, really desire?

Chinese Proverb

Chinese Proverb

Hi New Yorkers, tomorrow on Wed July 29th I’ll be photographing models for Transparency: The Gender Identity Project at Bureau of General Services-Queer Division located in the LGBT Center.

I’ll be there from 1pm to 7pm and if you’d like to sit for a complimentary portrait, feel free to come by! The location is:

BUREAU OF GENERAL SERVICES—QUEER DIVISION

@ THE LESBIAN, GAY, BISEXUAL & TRANSGENDER COMMUNITY CENTER

208 WEST 13TH STREET, ROOM 210

Please share this if you know someone who would be interested in the project!

Model for Transparency: The Gender Identity Project

Model for Transparency: The Gender Identity Project

Two images from “I will not hide, I am free” series were selected for the upcoming show The Rights of Summer at Ripe Art Gallery! It’s been almost 20 hours since I moved back to New York so this is a huge welcome back surprise! A big thank you to curator & photographer Ruben Natal-San Miguell and Sean Corcoran, curator at Museum of the City of New York. I also wanted to thank Cherie Via Rexer who puts so much effort in supporting this community of artists and honors their work by framing it so beautifully.

This photo shoot on a nudist beach in Vancouver was commissioned by a client named Tracy Somerville who wanted a fine art nude portrait. She said, “The reason I’m doing this is to feel good about the body I’m in, to see my confidence and strength, to have images to show off to the world that someone my size is beautiful too. I hope to reach other women who feel their body is disgusting, or have been told they are ugly and help them see that a large body is beautiful too.”

When Tracy was looking for inspiration images for her photoshoot, she was unable to find any images of women who looked like her, who represented her body type. This is one of the reasons we collaborated on this project.

Fine art nude photo shoot at nudist beach 1