I sold nude paintings at a party: Naked portraits are fine, but when it comes to profits, it’s the porn that matters

Whether or not you agree with what they did, Famous For-A-Long Time star Kristen McMenamy-Mackie has an enduring body of work. Their reputation is no doubt better than their reputation. It’s also easily separated…

I sold nude paintings at a party: Naked portraits are fine, but when it comes to profits, it’s the porn that matters

Whether or not you agree with what they did, Famous For-A-Long Time star Kristen McMenamy-Mackie has an enduring body of work. Their reputation is no doubt better than their reputation. It’s also easily separated from them, and I certainly was never under any illusion that I was viewing their world as a place of beauty and artistic perfection.

I bought two paintings at a party for the former or sometime a mere few months back; they cost under $300. In my mind, they clearly were naked because I could tell by their body language that they were naked. A naked topless woman in photographs can’t be naked because that would be nude.

But after watching two or three super-rich Virginians—claiming to have sold a total of two paintings—try to get the American Century magazine more than $200,000, from a place where the photographer’s decision to set up his easel at a pole in a bathtub was unquestioned, I was eager to see what my dollars were buying.

Was it just a portrait? Is it for the “appropriate and accurate depiction of the human form,” as the asking price makes clear?

Is a portrait of everyone.

Mackie had a well-known reputation as one of the most famous names in modern fashion photography (The Rag Cup?) and pornography, with an artist’s loft named after her. She is shown here only in very little, if any, clothes, just standing there, like someone selling a lunch on the street. This was labeled “Fifty Shades of Mackie,” and that’s not exactly untrue—but whether or not I saw it for what it was, I definitely saw a naked portrait.

I ended up buying a snap-shot-in-time-frame of three naked women lying on a couch and reclining on a window seat.

Having said that, a Naked Woman Upstairs not only doesn’t involve the kitchen sink in terms of ingredients and formula, but in terms of sales, it’s the same line up with a naked person at their own wits’ end. But it was comfortable to have three naked people in a booth at a cocktail party.

Nude painting isn’t a crime, but buying and selling paintings for more than one might suggest a different ethic. Let’s take it out into the street and analyze. The actors who have young girls onstage or at home are the same ones looking on nakedly at the camera. To me, there’s little difference between a naked baby and a nude person. It has no effect on children’s eyes. I really believe that. At the end of the day, I was being shown three nude paintings, each depicting the same person, so I look at each painting as three separate paintings of the same person.

I understand the art market. The success of Famous For-A-Long Time does not make it any less valuable or worthy. It does not discredit the names of the people behind the photographs. Those people got rich. They are in an art market, not a porn market. This is America. Keep it America.

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