Friday, June 18, 2004

Part 2 Nude Debate: The Respectability Factor

Artists as a rule are just as moral or immoral as the rest of the world.. we just document what we do so you know about it. At least we aren’t pretending to be good righteous people when we aren’t.(nudge, nudge, hint, hint)

Artists are no more or no less human or prone to human foibles than another. But people are afraid of us because we sometimes reflect back to society and civilization that hidden reality that no one wants to deal with. We strip away or hide the cover-ups and improprieties at our creative whims. We think for ourselves and express for ourselves with minds that God gave us to either use for his purposes or to use for ourselves at our choice. Artists are uncontrollable and yet very disciplined.

The trouble is people forget even the studies and the sketches of the old masters were not meant to be seen by the general public. Now the private sketches of Degas, Da Vinci, Michelangelo and numerous others are published with their papers for students, scholars and every day people to look through and study to see what process they used to get to the point of making their masterworks.

These were just a part of the process of the artist in making the art. I agree there were some artists that actually used the subject of the intimate activities of the human body as the final product. But the final product of the artist usually reflects the artist’s life style and the daily activities of the artist and what that artist is influenced by. The final product of the artist is the responsibility of the artist and everything that the artist does to prepare for that final product is just the necessary technical aspect of that art.

I fail to see how that is offensive. Or is it offensive because it is public?? Its more outrageous that it was made public with out the artists knowledge or permission and that someone is making money off of it while the artist himself (or herself) sacrificed, lived in poverty and sometimes didn’t have enough food to feed his children. Its even more outrageous that we except that as the artist’s lot in life while we exploit him or her. There is more than one way to pillage a city, I suppose. If you cant steal their money and resources, then bind up the keepers of their culture. That’s what we are: Keepers of the culture.

Is it any less respectable for an artist to paint humans and document their daily life as it is for a dress designer to create clothing after studying the human body and how it moves, or a doctor to study medicine and examine his patients, or a nurse who probably has more hands on touching of human bodies than anyone else. And what about the guy who designs car seats.. is he less respectable because one of the things he has to think about is how the seat and the shocks of the road will affect the bladder of a pregnant woman?? Or an aging gentle man with brittle bones. UNSPEAKABLE! What makes these careers more respectable?? Because they sometimes save lives and/or make us more comfortable? And is not what the artist does just as respectable? Artists just look and study; they rarely touch their subjects in a physical sense.

Perhaps it is because some artists have the reputation for allowing their free spiritedness to roll over into a very liberal morality. Yes of course there are some. Yet, I have met other of artists that are of very high moral charactor, good family men or women, who attend church, support missions, teach sunday school, ect. One of those women was a Minister's wife who when widowed kept her children fed by teaching art classes and running an art supply store. Sounds pretty respectable to me. To Be Continued

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