Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Censorship of Art at a Midwest County Fair

     I have stood in front of Michelangelo's David, unable to take my eyes off of his . . . well . . . you know. I mean, it was right there - at eye level. I was not offended. I knew, before I came into the room, that David was naked.
     I have a portfolio from college full of nude drawings. I am not offended by myself. In fact, my children at very young ages saw the pictures of naked people that Mommy drew. I'm pretty sure they were not offended.
     It is my opinion that the human body is just that - a human body - beautiful and expressive. There is no better way to learn how to draw humans than to draw them unclothed. It is important to see the skeletal form and musculature to understand how it all works.
     I support artists who want to exhibit their nudes in local art shows. There are plenty in our surrounding area throughout the year that accept works of art containing the nude form.
     Having said all that, here's where I stand (for now) on our county fair. (Deep breath). I would like it to remain a safe zone. Parents eating cotton-candy and navigating strollers through the crowd should not have to worry about covering their children's eyes. Again, I would not cover up the eyes of my own children. (They are all grown and would absolutely not allow that anyway.) Can't we, however, respect the feelings of families who do not feel like I do? Can't the county fair remain friendly to all families? 
     There's also the issue of the slippery slope. Let's say some side-boob makes it into the exhibit this year. Next year the same, or maybe a different artist comes in to display butt-cheek or nipple. Before you know it (and although unlikely (?) this could happen), the people who pushed for nudity that they considered tasteful, are being offended by a more sexual content. Where does the line get drawn? Who draws it? Does that person face threats and public persecution?
     I've weighed in. I'm not the queen of the world (in case you were thinking I might be). I could be wrong and this is an issue open to debate, voting, etc. Change of procedure and change of opinion can be a good thing. 
     I would just recommend that people attack the issue and not each other.
    The piece above is a work in progress study, in acrylic on illustration board, for a larger oil painting I want to do. I covered up the mask of Pinocchio because . . . you've probably heard the nose jokes.

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