The forbidden art

What an emotional crazy day............I was actually brought to tears today as my nude art work was being deleted off Facebook.  Each and every one of those images were censored to meeting their strict guidelines and yet they were still labelled as "offensive nudity" I could not believe it had come to this point where I would have to question everything I do, to the point I was almost ready to throw in the towel.  How is this acceptable in today's modern world?  What year is this ?  Is this how Michelangelo felt when the Pope ordered for the artist's famous nude alfrescos to be painted over to cover up their 'bits' ?  Why is it that we can no longer have the freedom of what we can view on the internet, especially social media and platforms like Facebook   How are we, as humans, supposed to react to the human body now?? what is this censoring telling us ?  Is it disgusting to look at that we can longer look at it ? I'm so lost to how to think about this and how it has affected me is something else, so with that in mind I decided to write about it and hopefully in years to come I can look at this and laugh at this ridiculous time in our history, where the nude body is the forbidden art on social media.

It's interesting to think and wonder, what will the art world look like in 20, 50 100 years from now?  will we look back at this time and laugh at how ridiculous it all was? or will it create something bigger and or much scarier where we have a world of repressed and controlled art, a world where there is no freedom in expression through art?  With art aside, what about the psychological affects as to how we should view the human body?  

Social media is huge and growing by the minute, platforms like Facebook and Instagram are flooded with images by the incomprehensible amount every single day.  It's a platform for sharing our thoughts and our pictures, whether they are personal or for business, it's obvious it is a part of the lives of millions of people.  The control of those pictures lays in the hands of a business, powerful enough to promote or delete what ever they see fit.  What sort of message does this give to the millions who over time will be deprived of art where the human body is shown?  I have no doubt it will send some kind of message and it's not a positive one.

I have always for as long as I can remember struggled with my own body and the way I look, I know that's not an uncommon feeling amongst us humans, regardless of whether we are a man or a woman, we see our imperfections and use them as ammunition against ourselves.  I have no doubt that I was not born with these thoughts, and that time through social interaction as a child where I was laughed at for being bigger than the other kids in my class, my height and my weight, (I LOVE FOOD) and then the teen years with all the social and media propaganda of the 80s and 90s.  I had my struggles and still do.  Yes it's a thought that once you can love yourself you can love others, but for me it was the other way around.  I loved photographing the vulnerability and the rawness of the human body, I was mainly drawn to women because I guess that's where I struggled with myself as a woman.  I drew beauty and strength from each and every woman I photographed.  I could only see beauty and simplicity in every shape and curve and wanted to express it in whichever way I found it in my creative self to express, it was what I was seeing and feeling in the beauty of the human and sometimes within the environment, for me this was my art.  On a personal level it was my therapy to learn to love myself, I still struggle that one.  I find it easier to love what I see, photographs have become so important to me I can not even begin to imagine what it would be like without them.  They are my treasures, each and everyone of them, the ones that I make and more so the ones I receive from those I hold close to me. 

I have been encouraged by the wonderful response I have received in the past for my work, both by peers and people on social media, by their kind words, and by the numerous purchase of my prints.  It made me happy that I was capturing beauty from what was already there and creating something I call art.  Being recognised around the world for my work as been absolute honour and I am still having to pinch myself when I think how amazing it has been the last couple of years starting with my series "Human Nature" which has not only sold the most number of prints but has also won first place in fine art nudes at the prestigious International Photography Awards in 2015  Also, first place at the 2016 International La Grande Awards as well as the overall Professional Photographer of Year title which was a huge honour and most of all a further acknowledgment that my work was interesting and engaging enough to call art in the form of photographs. 

This sort of encouragement and reinforcement is without a doubt the driving force for me to continue when I have my doubts, without it I feel like there is no point in making it if I can't share it, what am I trying to do if I can't show what I do? yes it still gives me satisfaction to make the work but what a great shame if I can't share it, it's my form of expression and existence.  Yes, I exist and I am here right here right now.  I once read a great book by Rod Judkins, 'The art of creative thinking', I have read it a few times now, it reminds me of why I do the things I do and frees me up when I have a creative block.  He has a chapter in his book called 'surprise yourself' where he says 'you may not realise it, but you have an interesting story to tell.  A must hear tale. We all do.  A struggle against illness, family hardship, poverty or a sudden breakthrough moment.  Whether we are aware of it or not, our life is our subject matter, and freeing up our memories allows us to surpass ourselves and learn about our personalities  and what makes us so unique'   and that is just the first paragraph, so true.   Frida Khalo was a great example of this as the book goes on to discuss.  

I don't usually openly talk about my thoughts it's usually only kept for private discussions with the people I trust, however on this occasion I felt it would not only calm me and fresh my thinking but I think it is important to discuss.  It's happening, this thing called the 'forbidden art' it's going to become a part of modern art history.  How I embrace it from my little position on the planet is something I will need to discover as I weave my way through it, but for now I will continue to make photographs expressing the way I see beauty in the human body and I will continue to share them where ever I am permitted. 

 I can not wait for 2017, I think it will be amazing !!!  So here's to 2016 and your stupid rules, you're now history :)

Feel free to comment your views on the "forbidden art" 

Love and peace (and all that good stuff) 


©Lori Cicchini 2016 "Nude Flow"

©Lori Cicchini 2016 "Nude Flow"

We are not random - "Beauty"

Romans 1:20 - "Ever since the creation of the world, His invisible attributes of eternal power and divinity have been able to be understood and preceived in what He has made. As a result, they have no excuse. "

The theory of beauty and nature - Phi is a mathematical number of approximately 1.618 whose mathematical formula appears in structures of nature and also mapped in the defining maths of beauty (The Golden Rule).  The tail of a seahorse is a mathematical formula as are seashells and all flowers, plants and snail shells.  1.618 shows that our universe was intelligently designed, not a cosmic co-incidence.  Science or something else ?? I am not questioning it's ultimate origin, rather, I am interested in that we not are random.

The question then extends to Beauty, an age old obsession, what is beauty?  Does it manifest? is it inherent? how do we describe the beauty within that is not tangible? 

When I was thinking about making this image, I was asking myself all these questions and chose the snail to represent Phi, it has significance to me and regularly occurs as an item in my dreams, is it my subconscious? and representation of something important to me or is it a manifest?

All I can say is that in reality, snails gross me out, deeply !!! I went hunting for snails for this shoot one day after the rain, I only managed to find one, I kept him captive in a plastic container, regularly feeding him and cleaning out his poop, it was gross enough, but it also gave me more to think about in the meantime. 

This song - The Reason by Hoobanstank was also inspiration to the making of this theme -

When I first starting talking to Anne (the model) about this shoot, I was a bit hesitant to mention the snail bit, I didn't want to scare her off, worst case scenario I photoshop the snails in, however, I was keen to keep it all in camera as much as possible, keep it real - beauty and the slug..... ewwwwww it still grosses me out.  Well I'm pleased to say Anne was all for it, she even collected the props - wooohooooo Anne!! 

We had so much fun shooting this theme, we decided to set it up on the floor so we had a better chance of the snails actually staying in some sort of position, although I did have a setup in mind and knew where I wanted them to be, it was a matter of firing off a number of shots, you would think that snails are usually described as slowwwwwww, well on this day, they were like little "road runners" sliming all over the place.  As for Anne's skin, well, she finished up with an extra "gleaming" complexion by the end of it :) 


PS : No snails were harmed in the making of this image :) 




My dog Buddy, found the snails fascinating, almost tempted to eat one - he's so gross ewwwwwwww!!! 

My dog Buddy, found the snails fascinating, almost tempted to eat one - he's so gross ewwwwwwww!!! 

The team that brings the image to life ... Anne Duffy my courageous and skillful model (keeping a straight face with slimy creatures all over your face is a SKILLand as far as I am concerned, COURAGEOUS!!) and Lauren Cataldo my talented friend - whose makeup skills were kept very clean and simple in this particular shoot :)

The team that brings the image to life ... Anne Duffy my courageous and skillful model (keeping a straight face with slimy creatures all over your face is a SKILLand as far as I am concerned, COURAGEOUS!!) and Lauren Cataldo my talented friend - whose makeup skills were kept very clean and simple in this particular shoot :)

Thew finished image ........ "Beauty"

Thew finished image ........ "Beauty"

A screen shot from my computer - in post production.

A screen shot from my computer - in post production.

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Once upon a time .......... starting a new body of work

As the weeks pass I fill myself with anxiety, so many ideas floating in my head and a tight deadline to meet.  With the opportunity to exhibit my work in a prominent location I need to decide where to focus my attention, time is running out arghhhhhhhhh. I have commenced a new body of work which looks at reality vs fantasy.  It's an intricate journey through life from a woman's point of view, I envisage this series to continue for some time into 2014.

I’ll be heading out to a one of my all time favourite places in Australia in a couple of weeks for a 3 day shoot.  If you know me well enough you will know where this special location is ;)

I haven’t been there for almost a year and am really looking forward to it.  This time I’m bringing along 2 models, both of which are also amazing makeup artists and stylists in their own rights.  Oh man, this is going to be one huge creative weekend, I can’t wait to begin - oh!!! I forgot there will also be a special guest joining us on location, he’s going to add so much fun to the shoot I can just see it already :)  

My visual diary is beaming with drawings and plans for each of the images I plan to create whilst out that weekend.   Today I collected another prop and really need to get into some sewing el pronto!!!  I will be posting some behind the scenes pics, and some sneak peeks of the props as I prepare them in the next few weeks leading up to the shoot - so stay tuned  :)