Monday, February 20, 2012

Are We Prudes?

The BFF and I were headed to a cafe a few weeks ago and we were discussing art. She had seen and fallen in love with a photograph of a model hanging in a coffee joint she frequents near her Virginia home. She described it as stunning and eye-catching, and fortuitously, for sale.

Me: "So? You're going to get it?"

Her: "Nope," she said, stone faced.

Me: "What? Why?"

GiGi: "The model in it... she's naked. Nothing is really showing, but you 'know' she's naked."

Me: "..."

GiGi: "Li, where I live, that would be considered 'too New York'. I guess I can get it and hang it in our bedroom..."

"Ah, no. If you like it, you should hang it where you want. It's your house! It's your dag-on house," I started in on all of GiGi's hypothetical judgmental neighbors who would poo poo art because of bare shoulders or calves.

Me: "... So it's a new time! You get that painting..."

GiGi:"... photo..."

Me: "... yeah, photo, same difference. You get it!"

GiGi: "..."

I recall this convo because I was reminded of it when I did the "Cussing" post a few days ago. I was thinking how many Christians still shy away from any form of nudity, even if it's shown tastefully (think Rose in "Titanic") or classically (think Michelangelo's "David"). Or in a totally non-sexual situation (like a breastfeeding mom).

I grew up hearing all about modesty (and I'm talking about old-school, holly-roller Pentecostal modesty with long, ankle grazing, ill-fitting dresses that managed to be dowdier than a burka). But being modest isn't the same thing as being a prude.

Maybe the setting does play a big part in nudity being acceptable or not, much like swearing. Giddel does have a point about her locale. While it's no backwoods hillbillyville, it's definitely within the span of the Bible Belt which is more conservative in every way than where I live.

How do you feel about nudity in artwork? How about in general? Comment away!


Don said...

I'm indifferent, although there are many instances where I am kinda turned off by blatant nudity. I always felt the beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder and nudity completely takes away from that concept.

Even in the second image, the woman appears more attractive and sexy with clothes.

Yet in still i wouldn't pass on the opportunity to witness Sanaa Lathan in the nude. So, I guess tastefulness makes a world of a difference as well.

W David Hubbard said...

The photo is nude?! Gigi and I were just looking at it today. I swear I had no idea and I looked straight at the thing! I guess it was done that well.

Plus she didn't even mention that when I told her to buy it. She only said that she didn't have any place to put it. I must be blind. That's too funny.

Alisha De Freitas said...

Well, none of her lady parts are exposed, but there is artistic exposure which is suggestive, Dave. But I think your reaction shows that it's most likely not very revealing at all... But for some, even hinted at sexuality is too sexy.

Alisha De Freitas said...

@Don, Sanaa in the nude... is that for artistic purposes? ;-)

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