Most of you know me from my naturist paintings. I am pleased to say that they
have appeared three times on the cover of N magazine. However, some of you only
know me from my fishing boat or railroad paintings. So, let me explain. I
started to paint naturist subjects because I had stumbled across a woman
sunbathing in the nude and did some serious soul searching afterwards. Nudity
is a complex subject in today's society. For starters, women, more than men,
are subject to unhealthy comparisons of their bodies to the advertising
industry's idea of what is supposed to be "beautiful". To a lesser extent, men
also receive unflattering comments. As a kid, I was the proverbial 98 pound
weakling and having to wear glasses did not help either. Until recently, I
never liked going to the beach. But, if this brave woman was not going to
listen to the clothing industry's suggestion to buy their clothes to cover
whatever did not meet the fashion industry's ideal body proportions, then I was
not going to be self conscious about my body either.
For a lot of people, being nude also meant being extremely vulnerable. I began
to understand why Michelangelo created a nude figure of David. I see now that
David defeated Goliath simply with his faith in God and a low tech sling shot.
No body armor, no fancy uniform, not even a fig leaf.
Also, a lot of people equate nudity with sex. What did people do before the
invention of clothing which, in the history of humanity, is a recent event? A
trip to a nude beach (cheaper than an expedition to live among the Amazon
Indians) revealed that people go to a nude beach to sit in the sun, tell
stories or read a book, and when it is close to dinner time, go home. That is
all! Well, maybe play volleyball. True, there are some gawkers and on occasion,
an exhibitionist, but their behavior makes them stick out like a sore thumb
among the nudists. Unfortunately, they also give the nudists a bad name.
So, I decided to paint what I saw, gentle men and women who accepted others as
equals. They could not care less about what someone else's body looked like,
how much money they made, their status in society, and all that stuff we leave
behind when we eventually pass away. If you have not guessed by now, there is
nudity in the "beach" paintings. If you are offended by nudity, please go to
the next paragraph. Please, do not view the "beach" paintings and then complain
about it afterwards. Otherwise, click here to see "the beach".
I know that some people do not feel comfortable with any nudity outside of a
shower stall. I can accept that. So for those of you who asked me if I could
paint "something else", click here to see "something else"
like the farmer's market. Thank you again, Henry Yuen.