Credit: Donna Feldman Davis
Nude art photographer shows the irony of exposure during Covid-19
Nude art photographer and artist, Donna Feldman Davis, uses nudity to convey messages through impactful and sometimes shocking imagery.
The word "exposure" is often used in her line of work. Her portrayal of the human body exposed in various scenarios and contortions, leaves a lasting impression to those who see her high-end creations. However, in the age of Covid-19, the word exposure has taken on a different, more ominous meaning for the Maryland artist.
"I saw this as a time to say, no, I'm offended that you are exposing me and others by not wearing a facemask"
"I'm passionate about nude photography," Feldman Davis said from her Provoculos studio in Owings Mills, Maryland. "I'm able to express myself and I'm able to say something through my work."
"I felt that it was important as an artist to put something out there about Covid. You hear the word exposure, that's a word that is always in my world and I wanted to find a way to put something out there to the general public talking about exposure and not exposing with a mask."
Historically, artists have used their platforms to reflect the times in which they are living. Feldman Davis is no exception.
"Through time, people have used their artwork to express what they are feeling about what's going on in the world. We chose to do this campaign where the model is completely exposed, yet she's not really exposing you because she's wearing a mask."
The irony is in the imagery as it simultaneously conveys a message of facemask awareness as well as poses a question.
"I felt like this shoot needed to be a little uncomfortable, so I brought in a male model and shot him with no mask, exposing my nude female model who was wearing a mask. Is she is exposing him with her nudity? Or he exposing her by not wearing a mask?"
Nude art model Willa Prescott, who worked with Feldman Davis on this project, said that shock value is a great way of getting people's attention.
"I think we are creating awareness in a unique way," said Prescott. "We all need to wear our masks and protect ourselves and each other."
For Feldman Davis, she hopes the project helps us to reexamine the idea of "exposure."
"Some people look at my work and find it offensive because they are being exposed to nudity," Feldman Davis said. "I saw this as a time to say, no, I'm offended that you are exposing me and others by not wearing a facemask. In the end, who's exposing whom?"
Jay McMichael is a Senior Photojournalist for CNN