Nude photography of a vertical figure glowing against the dense clouds and murky surroundings. The bright pink is an imposing interjection amongst the muted colors of the landscape.
An angry sky and the ominous desolation are interrupted by a mesmerizing figure along a dirt road. Marsh grasses and palmetto trees line the pebbled flat that extends to the horizon. Tracks and footprints are subtle hints of travelers through these now desolate badlands. She seems unconcerned with the dead end or what perils may lurk in the brush. She is presented as an animal, with her roots in nature, yet contrasts with the environment as a clearly evolved, social being.
Striations in the clouds radiate from her upper torso, encircling and emphasizing her as a focal point in the composition. Three triangular areas, including the road, and the foliage on either side, converge to a vanishing point. This emphasis of perspective, amplified by the wide-angle lens, imparts a heightened feeling of three-dimensionality, motion through time, and inviting us into this version of reality.
Traditional landscape painting showed figures surveying developed property they owned. Painted nudes often used landscape as a decorative backdrop for celebrating the beauty of the body. Some paintings of nudes in landscapes provide a range of aesthetic elements to contemplate. This piece follows the second tradition more than the first, partly in the subject’s gaze connecting her to the viewer. Furthermore, it presents a wilderness, of the type that few would seek to own. It presents the two elements as visual comparisons, not to reflect upon her purpose in this place but to consider textures, colors, and form.
Traditional nude photography mimicked classic Greek and Roman sculpture of the ancient era. Traditional nude painting, which predates nude photography, evolved to rebel against the classical standards. Nude photography also evolved to turn tradition on its head.
The type of location, treatment, theme, and pose in this image evokes connections to Édouard Manet’s paintings, Le déjeuner sur l’herbe (Luncheon on the Grass) and Olympia. Each of these featured a single nude female in an contradictory setting. Both break convention by showing a nude female in a playfully contrarian way. And in each, the nude body seems to be on display as if an item in a tableau rather than integrated into the environment. As elegant and beautiful as she is, she is presented as a human being rather than a goddess. Less romaticized or traditionally complimented body parts are plainly on display, with no effort to hide or disguise feet, heels, knees, and ander her arms.