Nude for Thought press release

Nude for Thought

In collaboration with Leyden Gallery present their group exhibition

 re: Defining beauty

3 – 7 November 2015

Private View – 4 November 5:30pm – 9:00pm



Life Drawing sessions

Saturday 7 November 2015

11am -12.30pm & 3pm - 4.30pm


 Nude for Thought is a London-based group of male artists who work with the concept of the male as a muse. Focused on the male body, this exhibition allows visitors to experience a contemporary take on the historical portrayal of the male nude.

 From 3 to 7 November Leyden Gallery presents re: Defining beauty. This exhibition invites the viewer to explore and celebrate the male nude from the point of view of Nude for Thought's fourteen artists. Nude for Thought are a London-based group of men who paint men, creating art from life with the male as a muse in the great tradition. Inspired by the British Museum exhibition Defining Beauty which examined the invention of the modern idea of the human body in art, the works presented have been created in a variety of traditional and non-traditional media to consider the male nude as "an object of beauty and bearer of meaning". There will be a performance by Roy Joseph Butler on Saturday 7 November from 11 - 12.30pm & 3-4.30pm.

 Nude for Thought's Re: Defining beauty comes at a time when there is a rising international interest in the male nude, particularly following three large shows at major European Museums. In 2012, the Leopold Museum, Vienna, presented Naked Men, the first major exhibition focused exclusively in the male nude. In the words of of curator Tobias G. Natter, the exhibition highlighted “ that categories which had previously seemed established, such as ‘masculinity’, ‘body’ and ‘nakedness’, have today become unstable.”. This exhibition was followed in 2013 by Nude Men at The Ludwig Museum, Budapest and Masculine/Masculine at the Museum D’Orsay, Paris.

 Focused on the male body, this exhibition allows visitors to experience a contemporary take on the historical portrayal of the other ‘beautiful sex’.

 Re: Defining beauty sets out to reconsider the raw form of the naked male body and the ancient artistic tradition of the male nude seen as an object of beauty and bearer of meaning.  The combined result is a collection that invokes questions of the terms beautiful, powerful, and masculine. These questions are prompted through the prism of pleasure and looking. Who can look and who can enjoy looking at the naked male form in the contemporary world of art? The exhibition will include two ticketed life-drawing events on Saturday 7 November.

 Exhibiting a range of work from abstraction to realism, from digital animation to oil paintings, the works created for re: Defining beauty revisit the historic celebration of the male form, looking at modern man’s perception of himself.


'In portraying ideal types of beauty... you bring together from many models the most beautiful features of each' – Socrates


“Every portrait that is painted with feeling is a portrait of the artist, not of the sitter… it is not he who is revealed by the painter; it is rather the painter who, on the coloured canvas, reveals himself.”  - Oscar Wilde



Exhibiting artists

 Jonathan Armour: photographs          Ed Bucknall: oil paintings

Marc Bush: drawings                          Roy J Butler: performance

Andres Canovas: drawings                  Brian Dennis: oil paintings

Richard Dickson: ceramics                 Raymond Elliot: drawings

Neil Groom: paintings                         Tim Healey: oil paintings

Martin Ireland: oil painting                Rupert Record: paintings

Barry Robison: oil paintings                Richard Roy: drawings


 Free Saturday life drawing workshops with Performance artist Roy J Butler will take place on the closing day of the exhibition in the downstairs gallery with talks/discussions at the close of each workshop session.

 There will be two 90 minute sessions for up to 10 people per workshop

 11.00am-12.30pm followed by a talk &  3pm-4.30pm

 All drawing materials involved are provided

 To book a place on one of workshops contact


 Many of the images presented by Nude for Thought explore and deal with the idealised forms of the male nude. This group of men of different ages, body types and sexual interests are interested in why some body types are idealised in art and popular culture, and through our discussions and workshops we are able to challenge audiences to think about the impact this has on mens beliefs about their body, self-esteem and impact on their mental health. Conversation in person is a good way to discuss these issues, but it is harder to do over the web, in a brochure or in a press release. 

 For that reason Nude for Thought encourage anyone who is anxious or worried about their body type, weight or muscularity to visit the BDD Foundation website http://bddfoundation.orgcontact for information, search NHS Choices to explore your feelings, or contact their local Mind of support. 

 If these feelings of anxiety or worry heighten after seeing this exhibition you could share your feelings with a partner, close friend, family member or even speaking to your GP. Nude for Thought are aware that sharing thoughts may seem scary, but encourage people to take part in non-judgemental, understanding dialogue and provide lots of support.