Nudity Today: Jesse Pearson's Naked New Photo Book

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    Jesse Pearson
    surveys the stark-
    naked scene

    The unclothed human body is simultaneously the most highbrow and lowbrow artistic subject on the planet—Michelangelo loved the nude, but so does the guy behind Girls Gone Wild. Jesse Pearson’s new book Nudity Today (which you can buy here), a collection of nudes snapped by 10 young photographers, takes a little from both worlds. Formerly the editor-in-chief of Vice, a magazine that combines jokes about boobs and dicks with serious reporting on international events, and the founding editor of Apology, a literary magazine with a very serious take on the written word, Pearson’s seen almost every side of culture. As such, he isn’t particularly biased about where a piece of art comes from—he’s just interested in whether or not it’s good. “There’s a lot of porn on the internet, but I don’t think you can say nude photography is cheapened,” he says over the phone. “Some of the first art is nudes. There are nude cave drawings. And people have just always loved looking at them.” So what sorts of experiences does Pearson hope to provoke with this collection of stylistically divergent photographs from the likes of Tim Barber, Sandy Kim, Maggie Lee and Aaron McElroy? “Mental and emotional arousal, an implied sense of intimacy that borders on a strange feeling of inclusion, the coolness of marveling over the sculptural and abstract-able nature of the body,” he writes in the foreword to the book. And maybe, most important of all, “I have personally jerked off to several photos in this book. Creepy, right?” Yes, and timelessly so: creepy today, tomorrow and forever.

    Nudity Today: Jesse Pearson's Naked New Photo Book