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Rowan Metzner to Explore Nudity in Art of Masters


Rowan Metzner to Explore Nudity in Art of Masters

Nudity in art has been around for centuries in mediums like paintings and sculptures, with the interpretation represented as erotic works of art. What if the painting or sculpting is photography instead? Would it then called be erotic art or pornography?

Erotic Masters: A Photographic Exploration of the Provocative Works of Rodin, Schiele and Picasso [August 6, 2018] by photographer Rowan Metzner, is a collection of photographic representations of erotic works inspired by modern masters Rodin, Schiele and Picasso. Each scene is photographed as if the original artists had done so themselves, inviting the viewer to contemplate the ultimate question: is photographed erotic art viewed as pornography?

The recklessly erotic works of Auguste Rodin, Egon Schiele and Pablo Picasso are subject of the photograph depictions for Erotic Masters. "Years ago while studying at the Rhode Island School of Design, I visited the Rodin Museum in Paris. Impressions of the exhibit of Rodin's erotic works have stayed with me," says Metzner. "What struck me most was how their beauty could both awe me and elicit naughty feelings. Is it because Rodin created these arousing images that they are considered erotic and not pornographic, or is it because they are sketches? Had Rodin shot photographs of these scenes, would they be viewed the same way?"

The way the three modern masters depicted women also reads as an illuminating stand-in for the way, as artists, they saw the world in general. What Metzner hopes the reader takes away from the pages of Erotic Masters is what someone would feel when looking at the original work of art.

"My goal in creating the book was not to directly recreate their work using live models, but more importantly, to capture the same mood in each scene as if they intended to photograph it. It's not about the work being identical. It's about evoking a similar quality and feeling rather than hunting to see what's different and what's exact."

A masterful photographic representation of the art world's most iconic artists, Erotic Masters will release in perfect timing, not only will it be the 100th anniversary of celebrating Schiele's work, but Picasso and Schiele's erotic works are now being exhibited in galleries such as the Met Museum and women around the world are still challenging the status quo to express their bodies as they please.

Professional photographer, Rowan Metzner, a native of New Orleans, earned a BFA in Photography from Rhode Island School of Design in 2007. Before Hurricane Katrina, Metzner worked with traditional 35mm film in black and white, concentrating on abstract portraits of the body reclaiming the human form and its beauty. After returning to New Orleans to help her father clean out his storm-damaged house, she decided to use color photography to show how the hurricane had changed the landscape, making it almost void of color. Upon returning to RISD, she spent a year in Rome, where she continued to work in color. Troubled by the drowning and destruction of her hometown, she evoked a sense of foreboding and doom in her post-Katrina European series.

Returning to her photographic roots, the human body, Metzner's current work focuses on revealing its beauties in new ways. Be it fashion or portraiture, her photography remains concept-driven first, inviting viewers to unearth truths about themselves, their ways of thinking, and her subjects.

Find more on the book and Rowan Metzner at Connect with Rowan on Facebook and Instagram.

Erotic Masters is now available online at

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