Esmeralda has to be one of the most amazing models that I have seen. As an actress, she has wonderful control over her body, but it's the sincere look in her eyes that makes her truly alluring.
She has a real life, she's not a model by profession, and she has retired. Which makes those few sets a true treasure, for they serve as a representation of an extraordinary South American woman.
I have little respect for the majority of Hegre's work. The themes seem to significantly repeat themselves. Petter does have superior technical skills and wonderful equipment, and arguably, some of the most beautiful models who ever appeared on nude websites. However, it takes more than that to create beauty.
It takes a vision. Photography often mirrors the photographer's vision, and while reviewing some of his galleries I found many of the images to be disrespectful. Not in the sense of being degrading, but rather in the sense of not capturing the entire beauty of a model, of often being mediocre in the themes, and in being more or less the same despite the fact that the models are often different. I don't know whether it's an issue with Hegre's vision or the fact that producing so many nudes for a 'nudes mill' steals away a photographer's creativity.
The only thing that still makes Hegre retain some appeal is his models. Those wonderful women who appear in his photographs. Their beauty can be so powerful that it overcomes those senseless patterns. This was the case with Muriel.
Muriel comes from Argentina. I originally mistook her for Lola from Walter Bosque Art - they look very similar and Walter Bosque did collaborate with Hegre when Hegre visited Argentina, Hegre did some shoots with Jacqui and Tacha. Muriel and Lola look very similar, but their bodies are different, they're bot beautiful in their unique ways. Walter Bosque did confirm their being two different women.
I just couldn't let Muriel's beauty pass unnoticed. This is why I created this mega gallery, which consists of 96 images from 6 different sets - out of the 60 sets of Muriel that are available at the moment. This gallery is quite big, so it may not be suitable for you if you're on dial-up.
The second thing that I hated about Hegre-Art was his Mr. Right contest. Which basically was a matchmaking service between his models and his members. You became a member, sent a letter to the model who was looking for "Mr. Right", and then you could date her. It sounded like prostitution back then, but after actually talking to some Eastern European women it's not that hard to understand how a competition like that may work without direct exploitation from Hegre.
It's a fact that in the modern world there's an elite, those born in the free world have many privileges; In terms of travel, special treatment abroad - some parts of the Middle East may be the only exception, and civil rights at home. Many people in third world countries - most Eastern and Southern countries - look up to those nations and the visible inequality that can only be overcome through birth, marriage, wealth, or outstanding abilities. The easiest way to get into the aristocracy - those are the same rules that were in place in order to be accepted as a part of the aristocracy, there are even some aristocrats who are squeamish about the idea of 'new money' becoming aristocrats, or to get a citizenship or the permission to live in the free world is arguably marriage. Those women are often trying to escape economic hardship, corruption, or are simply looking for less abusive relationships in cultures that are less macho. Some simply don't want to live their entire lives bumping against low glass ceilings, so they go somewhere else where the ceilings are a bit higher.
Some models from Russia for example get into modeling because they want to travel the world, go to other European countries, not to settle there per se, but just to see how life's really like over there. To get a taste of the freedom that they keep hearing about. It may sound simple for most of the EU citizens. Some people go all over Europe with basically a couple of hundreds of Euros and a backpack. Those young women can't do that, even if they have the money. They need permissions, invitations, or truly significant amounts of money for luxurious tours.
The cultures of those countries were mutilated by communism, gulag systems, and Stasi-like agencies. The free world became free because the revolutionaries were honest enough to give those who supported them the freedom that they all fought for, while for others that freedom was quickly stolen away, by those who were in power. Many old Eastern Europeans are even starting to question the revolutions, since some of them think that nothing much has changed. The stores were empty, but they had the purchasing power, now the stores are stacked with products, but they don't have the money to pay for them. Some people with strong connections were the old regimes suddenly became in power, so it indeed seems to them that nothing has changed.
Some countries were geographically fortunate enough to be close to the forming EU, and reform was being pushed down from the EU, often in exchange for aid. Those countries are making some progress, their citizens feel more free, and some of the people are starting to feel optimistic despite the fact that employment and business opportunities are still based on connections, just like they were back in the soviet days.
However, for the unfortunate countries which are still far away, it means that dreams like the EU will not come true, and now almost universal austerity measures are even making the future more bleak for the citizens of those nations. Which brings us back to the easiest, and sometimes the only, way of having access to the free world, namely, marriage. Which has created the whole mail order bride scheme, in which women do risk their lives, in return for freedom, whether social, civil, or simply economic. The economic part is almost universal, and it may be easy to find rich people in those countries - who are often seen as being corrupt.
However, there's some humiliation in the process of listing oneself up for marital 'adoption'. It basically is a process of selling oneself, in the form of sex or beauty, in exchange for access or admission to that form of aristocracy. Prince charming may be a sex offender, or simply a prince who's not at all charming. There's also the reverse phenomenon, with young men choosing to marry old women from the aristocracy for the exact same reasons.
This means that there indeed is a competition regarding who crosses the border based on merits like physical beauty or sexual attractiveness.
If we apply the same about close neighbors, we can talk about things like the Arizona law. Which I think is only a form of 'palliative' treatment. I don't think that immigrants like standing out in the crowd or the discrimination they face, but rather they're forced out. The true political remedy would be supporting civil rights in those countries where immigrants come from, achieving equality, and then removing all the artificial borders. Back in the dark ages there were no real borders, but people mostly stayed where they are, that because the technology was the same, and you could, for the most part, leave if you didn't like the rules of your tribe/group.
Anyway, Hegre may have started this matchmaking service upon the request of his models, as a way of helping them fulfill their dreams. I think that it's as bad as mail-order brides, but some of the models came from places like France - which for the most part is free, with the exception of some weird laws. The models get to choose, and it's not as straightforward as pay and have this model - a mail-order bride shop, where the most beautiful Barbie doll wins.
But even freedom has its enemies from within, stupid bills are being passed/proposed more than before. The Founding Fathers had remarkable foresight when they said the following words:
"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."
"If once [the people] become inattentive to the public affairs, you and I, and Congress and Assemblies, Judges and Governors, shall all become wolves. It seems to be the law of our general nature, in spite of individual exceptions."
So, it's not as bad as it first seemed. The exploitation isn't Hegre's fault, it's the fault of human inequality and artificial borders.
The world is full of beautiful women who constantly challenge the status quo and fight for their rights. Women who live their own vision of a world where they have control of their fates, of their beauty, and of their bodies. A world that doesn't penalize them for the anatomy of their bodies, a world that doesn't treat them like worldly possessions. A world where they don't have to submit to any ideology.
It is a fact that we're living in a world of inequality. A world where culture still influences and often punishes women for being free. Of course every culture is different, but most of the dominant cultures have a strange disrespect for young and old women, especially those who speak their minds. They were and still are called by different names. In the middle ages they were witches, now they're immoral women.
That's why I have such a great respect for all the women whom I have featured here on Graceful Nudes. They are the real heroines of this web site. That includes all those amazing Latin American women who posed for Walter Bosque. They help us move forward by generously sharing their beauty in those amazing tasteful nudes, by showing us their courage their courage, and even by sharing their stories through their images, through the freedom that they fight for. They are the real feminists.
They're beautiful, they're Latin American, and their images are true sources of inspiration. They're Latin godesses. I think that we should all be grateful to Walter Bosque and to all those brave and beautiful young women.
Esmeralda, a main character in the novel the Hunchback of Notre-Dame, represented a free soul. With perceptive eyes and a priceless pride in the beauty of life. She was the center of attention; people liked her, loathed her, and even tried to have her killed.
I think that this wonderful Argentinian model that we know by the name of Esmeralda shares a lot of those characteristics with the alluringly beautiful Esmeralda of Victor Hugo's classic. She's free, she's wild, and her attitude represents a magnificient respect for her beauty and the power that her freedom bestows upon her. Her grace is a rare form of poetry so powerful that words become superfluous. She has a smile that is a true representation of joy, the joy of being.
She is a real woman, she is from a distant land, and she is amazingly beautiful. I think that we can all learn a lot from her just by perceiving.
Beauty is a certain quality that a few people perceive and even fewer people possess. It may be tempting to classify it in terms of mere forms or qualities, but it transcends that. It is a reflection of our integrity, of our own capability of experiencing something so great being revealed in front of us, a miracle unfolding right in front of our eyes, telling us more about ourselves. We often have our own rationalizations which help us escape the defiled reality that we have forced ourselves to perceive. The threat of beauty lies in its stark honesty, an honesty that is almost guilt-provoking. An honesty that mocks all the roles that we have been playing for all of our lives.
I had a reason to attack clothings, and I think that my attack is justified. We have every reason to attack every source of shame, anything that demands obedience while crushing our individuality in the process. However, what's more dangerous than simple garments is mental barriers. The inability to see beyond a simple facade, a facade that is draped by curtains of hypocrisy. I can't believe that we can have so much pleasure discreating such a benevolent quality. A quality, that is very personal, so personal that is self-revealing. That destruction mania is a form of masochism, masochism in which we feed upon the depraved pity - often disguised as praise - that is thrown at us. A pity that we buy through selling the most valuable things we have. Including our minds and our ability to reason.
If it is true that when you look at a beautiful woman all you see is nakedness then you have every right to be concerned.
I now know why I hate all those reality shows.
I believe that the regular visitors of Graceful Nudes know my deep passion for Murrian's work. However, I rarely search for the biographies of the photographers, I did search few minutes ago trying to know the country of Nancy Murrian(She's his wife, I believe that I have read somewhere that she comes from Argentina, I can't seem to find that piece of information right now). I was amazed to learn that he started his photography career around the year 2000 after being in the rock music industry for quite a while, this means that he has an emerging talent. Yes, all of these beautiful images are the works of a very talented young photographer who's far from being a veteran.
He lives in Paris (Most of the artists come to Europe, probably because there's an open attitude towards nudity in most European countries) with his wife Nancy, who was his first model. I can't find out when they first got married but I have just read that his first time to ever shoot a nude woman was shooting Nancy(she was his girlfriend back then) in 1998, it seems that she has greatly affected his style of photography.
Nancy is a photographer herself as well, you can see her works at Met-Art and M-U-S-E. I personally prefer Richard's dreamy style to the sharp style of Nancy. They both are good photographers though.
Here's the description of this gallery from M-U-S-E:
"Previews of Richard's newest book, his long-awaited homage to his beautiful wife Nancy. The most intimate, most erotic, most personal images he's ever published." - M-U-S-E
I didn't mention that these images are also included in one of his books, you can find a link to his publisher on his main page.
I hope that you will like this M-U-S-E gallery.