Monday, May 28, 2012

How it was

Regrettably, I did not get to paint out this past weekend, in spite of my plans.  But rather than continue to brood about that, now that I have nothing very serious to brood on, I've decided to post something other than my paintings.  These are photographs taken by my father.  Unfortunately, I can't identify any of the people or paintings depicted.  They are pretty obviously pictures of an art show, probably around 1968.  Notice anything about the paintings?

I don't enter a lot of art shows, but I get plenty of announcements.  Many, probably most of the shows, are open to works in various mediums, of various sizes, and of any subject matter, except nudes.  Which strikes me as nuts, because people who paint figures, way back since the beginning of recorded history, have painted nude figures.  Artists look at nudes not strictly because they are a salacious lot, but because that's how you learn about the human form.  Paintings of unadorned human figures are beautiful and expressive and timeless.

I've asked a few times, why no nudes?  The answer?  Children might view the art show.  So?  We're not talking about pornography.  What exactly would we protect children from?  If you took those children to the world's great museums, they would see paintings of figures.  

It is possible that art shows prohibit nudes because they don't want to distinguish between what is tasteful and beautiful and what is not.  But then again, they have to do that with works of all other subjects.  If it is really because of the children, that is just so wrong-headed.   I think everybody wants to protect children, but honestly, there are a million things more dangerous to them than two-dimensional depictions of breasts and buttocks. 

I think Blogger may also have a policy about hiding nudes from children.  


  1. Stranger Danger! Buttocks and boobs - clear the path immediately

    I don't get the whole bubble wrap generation thing, but you raise an interesting question about "taste and not" Never have I heard a playboy bunny NOT refer to her centerfold as tasteful and artistic...

    gads-those photos are a riot

  2. Bubble wrap is a good way to describe it. I tend to call it wussification, which sounds a little illiterate.

    I think a big part of the nude exclusion might be fear of showing man parts. I'm not sure if images of naked men were prohibited or just not popular in those racy 60s art shows.

  3. My school class took a trip to LACMA back in the late 60's. It was a pop show of sorts but with lots of Finish Fettish artist (Craig Kauffman, Robert Irwin) but it also had pop art paintings. It was where I discovered Spam (thanks to Ed Ruche's work) and also a realistic painting of a nude man walking on his hands. It was the first time I discovered men didn't look like my younger brother. Yes, the discovery of pubes... I don't think I was scarred by the incident.

    More likely to be scarred for life by those catholic priests noodling under the radar.