Nudity, noun: An unclothed human figure, especially in artistic representation.
Often, while placing together the idea of nudity and photography, people’s minds gravitate towards the salacious. When focus is on the obscene, sight of what nudity stands for in an artistic, anecdotal and emotional sense, is lost. After sitting down with local photographer Osmyn Oree, we were able to grasp a first-hand perspective of a passionate artist with a concentration on nudity.
A native of Lancaster County and graduate of The Pennsylvania College of Art and Design, Os began his craft working as a photographer in his junior year for his high school's yearbook committee. After continuing his education at PCAD and dabbling in miscellaneous "commercial" jobs such as weddings and baby photos, he decided to devote his passion for photography through the art of nudity. While residing in Lancaster County, whose conservative population is extremely prominent, there's no questions that opening the community's mind to nude art is bold and challenging. Os hopes to diversify and progress our community's perspective on his art form.
In order to do so, he first practiced nude shots with his friends. Some were willing, but others were skeptical of the idea. “One of the biggest challenges for me has been getting people to overcome their fear of posing nude,” says Os. He also described some of his experiences with shoots as both rewarding and challenging, mentioning that during a few, the model was going through an emotional time. In those sessions, he was able to make the experience therapeutic for the model while allowing strong emotions to surge through the lens, conveying the message of real life through the human body in natural environments.
Sticking with a natural approach, he doesn’t add light or special effects to his pieces that alter them in a glamorous way, and this helps capture the true and simple depiction of a man or woman. An example of this is his album titled Exposed, whose images try to stray away from society’s idea that men are meant to be pillars of strength. Instead, he wants to capture the vulnerability of men, just as women are arguably viewed in society. Likewise, he wants his images of women to emulate a strong, unwavering individual - not one who is vulnerable, objectified or disempowered. He hopes that through his simple works he can help relate women’s insecurities to anyone feeling isolated and defenseless.
Os is putting a damper on closed-minded thinking by displaying his art at events such as The Juried Photography Exhibition in Los Angeles and being involved in the RAW Artist Showcase in Philadelphia. He has also been featured in Germany’s Act Now Magazine as a young nude photographer. To no one’s surprise, he is inspiring others even further from home; an artist by the name of Babar Moghal based in Karachi, Pakistan, even took an original image of Os’ and recreated it in an oil medium. With the acknowledgements that he’s received with his unique and thought-provoking images and his growing event presence, he is starting to challenge people - and art itself - to think in a different way.
Os wants the people of Lancaster to begin or continue to open their minds to his artistic way of viewing nudity. Follow his blog at his website www.osmynjoree.com and get a more raw and emotional point of view directly from the artist himself. Lancaster is gradually changing its views and Os continues to encourage others with the same passion to sway society by, as he says, “putting it all out there.”
Written by Megan Cronin & Dana Getz
Photography Courtesy of Osmyn J. Oree