There are situations when we find ourselves in a once-in-a-lifetime moment and I was fortunate enough to get an invite on New Year’s night to one such moment. It was an art project involving a number of un-clad young forms combining with wonderfully bright acrylic paints of every color to create unique and vibrant piece of art.
The art itself was a unique and provocative piece with numerous colorful imprints on an 8′ x 8′ white sheet and it perfectly captured the artist’s original concept.
Watching the creation process and capturing it along the way was my role and while I won’t show the end product here (belongs to the artist), I have attached a few pics at the end of the blog that shows the colors being used as well as some of the fun afterwards with splashes of leftover paint.
It was an awesome experience and while I spent much of the night above the happenings, standing on a raised pallet on a forklift, I felt very much a part of the overall fun that took place below.
Check out the images at the end of the blog and while I played a little with the last one, turning the body to black and white but holding color on the paint, do be warned that it does have a small hint of nudity.
It is really the nudity thing that I wanted to talk about today and how the human form has been hijacked by the conservatives on one side and the porn business on the other. These people are either grossly offended or wildly excited by the sight of a bare butt or god forbid a nipple.
And art has often found itself the unwitting victim of these two extremes inasmuch as is had been bound by their limitations.
Nudity doesn’t need to be erotic. Pubescent boys don’t understand that, but I don’t understand why grown adults seem to think it does.
The young ladies that took part in this project correctly viewed what was being created as a work of art and so they bared all in an effort to deliver what the artist needed.
Were they pretty? yes. Did they have great bodies? yes.
But anyone who got excited by what was going on there grossly missed the point and are probably well-served by some time on the psychiatrists couch.
Similarly anyone who frowned at or was offended by these lovely forms locked in art creation also could benefit from some counseling … or least be told to stop being so fucking childish.
When we victimize art with unwarranted restrictions and boundaries, we risk creating an environment where creativity itself is stifled and the world becomes a smaller place.
All art (nude or not) is an expression of our humanity. It is something that is almost unique to humans and provides a positive differentiation between us and our other animal relatives.
Expressions that become muted are signs of oppression and conformity and we should recognize them as such. For centuries, oppressive societies around the world have sought out such expression and destroyed it, or jailed the artists, or just simply spun taste away from these “unauthorized” expressions.
For example, I recently watched a short documentary on how ancient erotic art from Pompeii which was discovered in the 1700s was deemed too sexual and was locked away for over 200 years from public view. Even now, it is only on display in a single museum for erotic art.
The morality police here are no different than those imposing the “morals” of sharia law in countries that we are so quick to scorn. Yet, we don’t see ourselves that way, do we?
Whatever offends our sensibilities is a problem within us and should never be used as a measuring stick of what to allow others to see, or ways in which they should behave. Our own standards are never the gold standard, nor should they be.
I am tired of people judging others for their “unacceptable morals” or “deviant” behaviors and particularly when it comes to an art form, we have no right to judge.
We should save our judgements for moments where people are being hurt or abused. Only then do they become valid.
We use shaming as a soft method of ensuring compliance and this too needs to stop. Though slightly more gentle than more rigorous methods, it is nonetheless a control mechanism.
Thankfully the other evening, I stood among a group of people that were not easily shamed and the artist was able to fully express their vision without encumbrance.
The end piece was magnificent but the process to arrive at it was even better. Those of us there to experience the creation enjoyed laughter, camaraderie, and achievement.
All art breathes with the breath of its artist and it is far better to supply the oxygen than smother it with restriction.
… just a thought.