(Represented by Benude Media, Betty Esperanza and Emery)
The exploration of self-image is arguably the determining constant in anyone’s life, and the most important and enduring concept. As humans, we are more likely to live our lives according to who we think we are than according to who we are objectively, under the dominance of self-perception.
Photographer Karl Duarte has been exploring this subject through photography over many years, and has met with many subjects/models beset by negative self-perception. They chose to take charge of this through posing for him—a potentially empowering move, which expressed how taking charge of aspects of our lives can catalyze greater change.
Betty Esperanza and Emery were two of these subjects, who opted to explore their own images and engage with their personal fears. What they discovered at the other end of Duarte’s lens changed their lives and inspired the creation of BeNude media.
After putting on considerable weight from radiation during a grueling battle with cancer, Betty Esperanza felt ready to free herself from the weight of her past struggle and re-emerge with the lightness of rebirth. To this end, Betty immersed herself in an artistic adventure to take charge of her negative self-image.
Four years post-radiation, and 50 pounds lighter, with a bit of encouragement from her good friend Duarte and her partner Emery, Betty celebrated the culmination of this adventure of self-discovery with a nude photo session. What she experienced throughout the nonstop 3-hour shoot and afterwards upon viewing the moments captured within, became moments she would later mentally earmark for emotional authenticity. Betty experienced the harmonization of who she truly was and who she felt herself to be, and felt elated, alive, and most astonishingly—immortal.
The photo included for submission to the art bank is the favourite of the series. It depicts a consuming moment of cathartic release of pain and negative self-perception, all crystallized in the stillness of a snapshot.
This form of media-nude art photography-has the potential to heal years of self-torture, and to release the creative soul of the subject.