Wednesday, March 13, 2013

3-13-13 or Shades of Art & Porn

MaksbeingpaintedI love Pinterest. I really do. As a visual and artsy person, it’s a wonderful place to spend some downtime. Of course, I also use it for promo and have boards to depict each of my books in images. A lighthouse photo I found there last year inspired a new story.

They might, however, need humans to watch for inappropriate images instead of bots, which I’m guessing is what they use.

I also love Michelangelo. He is my all-time favorite artist. The guy was pure passionate genius mixed with a lot of hard work and creative talent. Of course I re-pinned someone’s photo of the David in all its glory. It’s a truly gorgeous sculpture that I’ve been lucky enough to see in real life. The muscles and sinews are life-like, other than being marble, and it does show the beauty of the male body. Michelangelo did believe the male body is far more artistically beautiful than the female body. I very much agree with him, although maybe I’m biased. David is more than just a statue of a legendary Biblical figure. And it’s more than the small man defeats the giant theme. It’s an artistic statement of the beauty of the human body.

It got deleted by the site for nudity.

Now anyone who has been on the site knows darn well what kind of pictures you can find that show pretty much everything and likely barely covered in lazy black undergarments and in provocative photos. So I was rather aghast that Michelangelo’s David was removed.

Being the smart aleck I can be at times, I put it back up, covered by a big fig leaf with bright red border. Maybe I should have used black lace undergarments.

Either way, I mentioned it on Facebook and it led to a conversation about the difference between art and pornography. Many artists, as they call themselves, have done shows of nude photos in the name of art and they are open to the public. Is this art? I think that’s borderline. Maybe, depending on composition and such. But then what’s to keep artists from posting any kind of nude pose online and claiming artistic license? And why would a nude marble statue be less okay for public viewing than a photo of a woman in black lace lingerie?

It all comes down to common sense. We all know David is an artistic masterpiece, as are Renoir’s nude women and other classics. They are, however, paint or marble. Does it follow, then, that anyone could sit and draw an obscene pose and call it art that should be publicly available? Of course not. (Yes, obscene is a judgment call, but I bet you all know what I mean.)

As I see it, sex in fiction is the same. Is it there just for the titillation factor (or for the sales)? Or is it artistry and character development? There is a difference. Each viewer/reader has his/her own taste, of course, but common sense is common sense. There is gray area. But there is also black and white and the difference between the two is clear.

By the way, the photo above is not mine and I have no rights to it. Maksim Chmerkovskiy posted it on Facebook, and art lover that I am, I couldn’t help appreciate its beauty. He’s a dancer, you know.


7 comments:

Valerie Rutherford said...

This is one of those things, which is different depending on the person. But I do think it mostly comes down to the intent of the creator. You know I'm pretty sensitive to sexual stuff, so I don't know how much more I can add to this conversation.

Still, I'm way on the other side of the other debate. I think the female body is lovely, but the male body... well, not so much. (Jill calls it "functional".) I don't like big muscles, and I can get weirded out even by guys without shirts on. I know, I'm a "prude", right? It's just that, for me, there's only one guy in the world, whose body I want to see... and I haven't met him yet.

Oh, Maks. Such an arrogant guy. :P (I mean that in a silly way! I love him.)

Celia Yeary said...

Interesting thoughts on nudity.
I saw the real Michelangelo, too, in Florence, Italy. I was amazed by how big it was.
Good for you for returning him to your Pinterest board. One day I'll look into that, too.

LK Hunsaker said...

Valerie, I agree that intent matters. An interesting take on the "functional" aspect. As far as outer strength, I agree, but I tend to think the female body is more functional as in what it can do. I'm not sure we haven't been a bit brainwashed in thinking the female is the sexier of the species because of the ads and photos and such. Even at awards shows, it's the dresses and hairdos and builds of the women that is the big deal, while the men just wear suits and show off their dates. Look at all the Miss America and Miss World pageants. Why is there not a Mr. America pageant? The male is less valued for his body than for his ability, and it's sadly opposite for women. I tend to disagree with that way of thinking.

Guess I better stop. ;-)

LK Hunsaker said...

Celia, it is breathtaking, isn't it?

LK Hunsaker said...

Oh, and I don't think you're a prude at all. I'd rather men keep their shirts on in public and save that for the beach (or with Maks, for dancing!)

Andra M. said...

It's as though the world is upside-down. It's okay to show off body parts in award shows, and sell pure sexiness in photos, but art such as sculptures and paintings that show of the beauty of the human form is somehow bad.

I don't get it, but maybe that's a good thing.

LK Hunsaker said...

Andra, I'd agree with that on so many levels and so many topics.