There’s an undeniable energy in the room when you gather a group of creatives. That energy was definitely present the night a few female bloggers gathered for an exclusive tour of The Frist Center’s Irving Penn Exhibit. For those of you who aren’t familiar with Penn, he was a world-renowned Vogue Photographer. He worked as an artist for 60+ years providing the world with exquisite and trial blazing pieces. It’s been said that every artist experiences different periods during the time of creating. For me Penn’s “nude” period spoke to me the most. Before Irving Penn met his wife, he did a personal project shooting nudes of fleshy, curvy women. As a creative I tend to connect even if on a small level with anything artistic. Music is my favorite form of art, because I’m able to get completely wrapped in the melodies and harmonies of a great song. Let’s not forget the lyrics and how one minute they can slap you in the face but the next verse you’re pining for what could’ve been. To me music is like pairing the perfect wine with a meal. My meal is life and my fine wine is music and on the occasion when they perfectly collide I’m taken to another place. A similar place to what I experienced being fully engulfed in Irving Penn’s work.


Most people who are one of the tops of their crafts are usually ahead of the trend. Walking through the Penn’s exhibit at The Frist Center I saw so many things that are  relevant now and it made me appreciate him and his work because he saw what others couldn’t see during his time. We’re all over saturated with images now a days and let’s face it the “pretty” ones get the most attention (in our case attention equals likes). How many women are at home comparing themselves to the next woman on the gram? I’ll answer…too many to count! What I loved about Penn’s nude pieces were that they were of women in their natural state. Yep, no Nashville filter for these ladies just them being one with their body and not being ashamed for what that meant to others.


To give you a little back story about the nudes, Penn started photographing these women in the summer of 1949. He showed it to a colleague and the colleague was not blown away. The colleague took Penn’s work to the Grand Dean of American Photographers, Edward Steichen and he told Penn to basically “forget the nudes”.  It took until a 1980 show before Penn showed any of the nudes. Currently, the photographs are hanging at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. There are 53 pictures and they’re titled by number. The unique thing is they start off with more petite women and the models curves increase as the numbers increase.


So, the next time you’re standing in front of the mirror picking out your flaws take some time to Google Penn’s nudes and let that be your inspiration to love yourself no matter what size and shape you are. Be proud to be a woman who possesses such grace and power!

Irving Penn’s work is currently at The Frist Center and because I love my readers so much I have BOGO (Buy One Get One Free) tickets to the Frist Center courtesy of the amazing folks at Urbannite. I’ve told you about Penn’s nudes, but there are so many other amazing pieces by Penn currently hanging in the Frist Center.


Be sure to download your tickets HERE and go visit the exhibit before it’s gone.

Until next time loves…

%d bloggers like this: