<<In a message dated 97-11-10 11:34:37 EST, mesande writes:
<< In your opinion what is the difference between nude art and
Pornography debases the human form through the selling of a glossed-over
piece of artwork, be it a photo or drawing. It reduces our bodies to a
commondity to be sold for a buck on the market shelves.
Nude art celebrates the human body, including all of all it's flaws. (Yes,
there are exceptions, but not all of us hate the female form or "our Mother
figure.) The extra bit of weight, the protruding bone, the small dimple or
scar...these add character. In art, we try with all our might to duplicate,
through charcoal, paint, bronze, whatever medium, the joy of the human
body.....but we fall short, for we can't make our creation breathe. Only one
artist can do that.....
Let us not forget to ask ourselves and our students what gender are most
nudes? Who had the opportunity to paint and sculpt nudes (historically) and
who did not? Why? For whom and why were they created? How is nudity and
the "celebration" of nudes in art similar AND different to pornography today?
What is the (male) gaze and how does it appear in and effect art, pop
culture, other structures? Is art only about "duplicating with all our
might," or might it also be about other things, purposes, reasons,
I ask these questions because although I agree with Deb about the
commodification of the human body via pornography--not to forget
pornography's intent to overpower and abuse women--I think it is important
that we challenge the artist's intentions and the context of those intentions
when discussing the origins of nude art.
Elizabeth B. Reese
The Pennsylvania State University