The Naked Truth About Purchasing Your First Nude

10 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Going Au Naturel

By Chris LaMorte ·

It’s had some surprising ups and downs lately.

On the upside, Amedeo Modigliani’s Reclining Nude sold for $170 million at Christie’s in November.

On nudity’s downside: there’s the sudden lack of it in Playboy, and the sudden glut of it on Kim Kardashian’s Instagram feed.

So these days you may be thinking, is nudity right for me?

Well, that depends.

Are we talking about showering or buying a piece of art? In the first case, we’ll just say yes. In the second case, let’s talk about it.

The human figure has been a source of artistic inspiration since man could scratch on a cave wall. But even today, you still need to carefully consider the implications of owning such work. One man’s art is another man’s college frat poster from 1993.

So here are some key questions you should ask yourself before making your purchase.

1. How excited does this artwork make you feel on a scale of 1 (not excited) to 10 (very excited)?
1 to 5: Don’t buy.
6 to 9: Buy.
10: Don’t buy. Wrong kind of excited.

2. Does the art pass the mom test?
We’ll assume your mom isn’t an art dealer in New York or an art history professor at a small liberal arts college somewhere else. She’s just a regular mom. Would you have to remove the piece from public view before she comes over for a visit? If having this piece and her in the same room causes that awkward feeling you get when you’re watching Eyes Wide Shut with your parents, reconsider it completely.

3. Does it pass the new-significant-other test?
This is pretty much just like the mom test, except if you get that watching-a-sex-scene feeling, it’s not necessarily a bad thing. But if you think your purchase might be something your significant other will insist you get rid of one day, that’s probably a red flag. Whether it’s a red flag for the relationship or your art purchases is yet to be determined.

4. Did you find the art from a reputable art dealer who told you about the artist’s background, technique and previous gallery shows?

5. Did you find it at the mall?
Don’t buy.

6. Was it SkyMall?
Buy because it’s probably Bluetooth-enabled or something and we’ve got to see this thing.

7. Is the nude a photograph?
Not a deal breaker.

8. From your own phone?
Deal breaker.

9. How do you feel about photographs of bullwhips?
Neutral? Great.

10. How do you feel about photographs of bullwhips inserted into surprising places in the human body?
Not great? Robert Mapplethorpe has some really pretty calla lily images we’d like to show you.
Chris LaMorte

Chris LaMorte’s favorite lapel: peak. Favorite bulldog: French. Can you offer him a glass of champagne: yes. Often mistaken for: Zach Galifianakis. Often mistakes himself for: Bradley Cooper.

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