Impressed by John Seaman's paintings and drawings of the nude, a wealthy friend of the artist made a gift to him in 1989 of an expensive Minolta camera. This was how Seaman, a student of painting and drawing at The Art Students League for 38 years since 1974, and now a Life Member, began experimenting with photographing nudes. The results were sensational.
The artist found new and exciting ways to express the art of the nude through the medium of photography. He began a program of photographing beautiful young women in poses inspired by such famous photographers as Man Ray, Lee Miller, Edward Weston, Jock Sturges, Lee Friedlander and Bettina Rheims.
Such painters as Gustave Courbet and Amadeo Modigliani have also impacted his work. John Seaman readily discusses the influence of these artists on his work. For example, John Seaman is quick to note how in the case of Man Ray, painting led to his photography.
The following quote by author Jorge Lewinski, about the work of Edward Weston, reveals those qualities that the artist John Seaman captures in his photographs of nudes which are both a testament to the work of Weston and a show of magic in Seaman's abilities:
"It was almost the first time a photographer had been willing to show in his photographs not only his admiration for the beauty of a woman's body but also his desire for her..." (Jorge Lewinski, The Naked and the Nude, available from the Museum of Modern Art bookstore.)
John Seaman feels, with Weston, that the erotic has a place in classic art photography. He states that he tries to show this with balance and sensibility.
John Seaman states that he also gets many ideas from his models, many of whom are professional models from the local art and photo schools. He also uses as models young women from local colleges and universities, music conservatories, and dance schools. Seaman states that he typically gets equally fine results from the amateurs as from the models with more experience. The intelligent amateur, he says, often has a fresher, unspoiled outlook and attitude.
John Seaman also works as a sketch artist. Although he uses this form primarily as a means of preparation for photography or painting projects, his sketches are also available for sale and are very popular and desired among his collectors.
Seaman is daring in his art and in his life as well. He skydived on his 64th birthday. He is also an active naturist and enjoys visiting and writing about naturist beaches and resorts all over the world.
Recent recognition has been the inclusion of John Seaman's biography in the 57th Edition of the Marquis "WHO'S WHO IN AMERICA", publication date December 2002. John Seaman's work is featured in Editor Ms. Basak Malone's new compendium, "The New Collectors Book." Also, John Seaman has received bids to show his work in the 2011 Firenze Biennale (Florence, Italy, Biennial) and the 2013 NYBiennale.