Growing up, I was always drawn to nude drawings and photography. I thrived in my college figure drawing class, and it was in that safe space where I learned that drawing and appreciating nude works made me feel more comfortable in my own skin. Unlike magazines and TV, the people being depicted in contemporary paintings and photography felt real — they had imperfect bodies and quirks and details that felt relatable, not aspirational. While I think nude artwork has political, social, gender and identity-related implications that are complicated and highly personal (I could talk about that aspect for days), I think appreciating the human body in any form that feels comfortable and safe for both parties (the person being depicted and the viewer) is a beautiful thing. So today I’m sharing 11 of my favorite nudes, from contemporary to classic artworks in interiors. xo, grace
Image above: Lauren and Frank’s Kansas City Home combines custom wallpaper (drawn by Frank) and “Skinny Dippers” artwork by Rebecca Clarke.
Image above: A vintage nude painting is highlighted in Mary’s Philadelphia living room.
Angie’s Charleston home proudly displays this vintage nude portrait from the mid-20th century.
This Portland home used to be part of a hotel and is now home to a beautiful modern nude painting in the bathroom (where it seems so many nude paintings end up).
Luke and Duncan’s London home includes a miniature version of the classic nude sculpture, The David.
Artist Mickalene Thomas’ contemporary nudes are some of my favorite in the art world. She references classical compositions and updates them with images of black women in modern settings.
Carolyn’s Cape Town home includes a series of nudes painted by her mother’s friend, Merle Buratovitch.
Jenny Hart’s home celebrates a number of painted portraits, including a classical nude in the center.
Caroline and Jason’s home includes a set of Gravel & Gold’s “Boob Pillows,” which became 2016’s go-to version of nude artwork. While I don’t generally like reducing the human form to a single element or two, I enjoyed the way this particular piece celebrated breasts of all shapes and sizes and asymmetries.
Caitlin and Samuel’s Marrakech home includes a pair of modern nude line drawings (to the right) drawn by Samuel’s father, artist Roger Sandes.
Odalisque was the first nude painting I was drawn to when I studied Art History in college and I wrote multiple papers about this piece and its role in the discussion of the male gaze in artwork. Here this classic painting finds a space in Yoda’s home in Japan.