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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This subject started in another thread, so I thought we should move it here!

Personally I think the nude human form is a worthwhile subject of art. The nude male and female bodies are beautiful and a great artist can capture that moment of beauty in main ways. The greatest artists have painted or sculpted people in the nude. Michealangelo's David is one of the most famous schulptures in the world. He's completely nude to represent his strength. Most if the figures on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel are in the nude, as well. Very few people would make a painting of Adam and Eve wearing clothes because their innocence is represented in their nudity! Christ is depicted wearing almost nothing in most of His Crucifixion paintings and I even found one in my History of Art book from college where he is painted completely nude(by Fiorentino!) That would be to show his vulnerability at that precise moment.

Many of the beautiful Greek marble statues from antiquity are in the nude, too. For them is represented strength and virility for the most part. You know, the original Olympics were played by men wearing nothing but oil! So all the artistic portrayals of the old Olympics are of nude men. Most depictions of Venus are in the nude, too.

I really think that artists can capture the human body so beautifully! We just shouldn't be ashamed of nudity in art.
 

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Very well said! And exactly my take on the nude figure and on the beauty of the human form in general...and because of the beauty and purity of the body in it's natural state...I have no problem with nudes on the covers of classical music...

...if you look back at many of the ancient Greek and Roman statues you'll also see them posed in a special 'classical' way, with their weight balanced primarily on one leg...including 'David'...this is called the contrapposto pose...and anyone interested can read a little more on this site...

http://employees.oneonta.edu/farberas/arth...an_measure.html

...now, having said that...it's the classic nude that I appreciate...there is also a lot of what I consider tasteless vulgarity and 'nakedness' out there...but they are as distinct as the music of J.S. Bach and The Sex Pistols...
 

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Originally posted by becky@Aug 4 2004, 10:16 PM
This subject started in another thread, so I thought we should move it here!

Michealangelo's David is one of the most famous schulptures in the world. He's completely nude to represent his strength. Most if the figures on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel are in the nude, as well. ..... Christ is depicted wearing almost nothing in most of His Crucifixion paintings and I even found one in my History of Art book from college where he is painted completely nude(by Fiorentino!) That would be to show his vulnerability at that precise moment.

Many of the beautiful Greek marble statues from antiquity are in the nude, too. For them is represented strength and virility for the most part. .... Most depictions of Venus are in the nude, too.

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Yep. And the corollary to that is that the Greeks left their old, and babies up to a year old or more, by the roadside to die. Case in point. The human body was valuable primarily for its strength and its beauty of form, and you see that the old, and certain babies were not strong or beautiful anymore. So they "had to" get rid of them, because they were not valuable. The same pattern is being started in our culture today, and for the same reason. You may say it's just art, but there is a philosophy behind it, a way of life, and the Greeks are a very good example of it.

The human for his own sake and the human for the sake of his utilitarian value must necessarily compete for our recognition. We cannot overemphasize one without underemphasizing the other. A society that puts the beauty of the human form and strength on a pedestal like the Greeks did always has and always will trash those who lack those qualities, but who have every bit as much right to life as any other human being.

You were also speaking of Christ being painted in the nude to show His vulnerablity at that time. Very true. And that goes for others too. When the object part you is what is emphasized, you become vulnerable to whatever people want to do with their object. And you may consider yourself lucky if all they want to do is adore. That was not all the Greeks did, to be sure. They got the mentality, from nudity in art and sports, the adoration of the human form, of people as objects to be valued for their utilitarian worth. That is simply how the human mind works, but it often goes unnoticed because it is subtle, and to an extent subconscious.

You were talking about the beauty of the human form. "Form", object, is the word here. Yes it is beautiful. But we are not animals. We are intelligent beings, to whom there is much more than the form. My chief contention here is that nudity in art emphasises the human as an object, instead of an intelligent being worthy of respect. This is degrading, and puts us on the level of animals. We begin to be judged for our value as objects, and worshiped and/or dispensed with accordingly.

We live in a society where people are far too much regarded as objects, commodities. I am not just talking about the prostitutes lined up in the red-light districts, though this is one example. This is greatly encouraged by television commercialism, also. When you look at the human as an object he or she goes way down in value, as the example of Greek society shows. Also when a man or a woman is valued primarily as an object for the physical gratification of another, what you get is the love 'em and leave 'em syndrome. And if you don't enjoy a broken heart, it is only right (whatever your religion) to not treat someone else that way. God made the human body beautiful for our enjoyment, but that enjoyment is an abuse, an animalism, if it is not brought into subjection and balance by a true value of the other person for who he or she is, not for what we can get out of him or her.

The logical conclusion of all this is in no less than Hitler's death camps. He got rid of the old, the weak, the disabled, as well as those he felt were inferior races. He valued strength and beauty, and he valued people only according to their usefulness, what could be gotten out of them, rather than simply because they were people.
 

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I absolutely agree with you, baroque!!! I can't add anything.

....the strange thing is, i have art as major, but we hadn't to do anything like acts yet. The school doesn't allow that, fortunetly.
 

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I don't like things getting too complicated <_<

the way I see it, a large part of art focuses on depicting beauty, and the human body is beautiful. period :mellow:

the important thing is not to fall into vulgarity.

as for the usefullness issue, I don't think that's what michelangelo was thinking with david or the ceiling, or what most artists were thinking with the female nude.

My chief contention here is that nudity in art emphasises the human as an object, instead of an intelligent being worthy of respect.
a fault in any arguement is generalization. any "art" that emphasizes humans as objects isn't really "art".

while you see any nudity as an emphasis on humans as objects, I again mention michelangelo's david, or adam and eve.

the other way I see it, sometimes a great artist depicts a human in the nude in an attempt to focus on "purity", and the rejection of "earthly" desires and values, if he is trying to get philosophical.

then again, it could just be the beauty issue
 

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...classic beauty doesn't necessarily mean 'perfect' beauty...there is beauty in a newborn infant, a gangly teenager, a pregnant woman, an old man reflecting on his life...wrinkles and other badges of time are not necess. unattractive...laugh lines around peoples eyes for example...I love those! All those features can be (and have been beautifully portrayed) in various works of art.

Now, whether or not the Greeks and Romans left babies and the elderly out die on roadsides doesn't really diminish the point that the human body is beautiful...all it shows is a callous disregard for human life...a disregard by the way...that's shown by almost every culture or peoples on every continent (in one form or another)...and using Hitler as an example isn't fair either...he was a charismatic madman with the ability to brainwash the masses...he's also not the only player in our world history of genocide...but that's for another debate...

...what I consider 'classic beauty' is also not nec. today's 'flavour of the day'...that varies greatly with each period of time...wealthy women used to pluck their hairlines (receding) because high foreheads were considered a sign of beauty...they whitened their faces with toxic lead paint because 'pale' was fashionable (partly to stand apart from the comman man...who was tanned from hours in the field or other outside work)...they removed ribs because tiny waists were the ideal of lovely...very heavy women in some cultures are considered beautiful because the comman woman who is poor is skinny due to lack of food...the list is endless...chinese foot binding...neck rings...tattoos...good complexions (in reaction to those scarred by smallpox for example)...

...basically...anything that isn't easily afforded may become a sign of beauty (mostly associated with wealth)...but you can even the score to some extent when portraying the body on it's own...without the associated symbols of prosperity or poverty...it equalizes the playing field...

...today we have rampant needless cosmetic surgery (some woman have their toes removed to fit into spiky, narrow toed shoes...oh yes, and 'toe cleavage' has become very popular...)...including breast implants and even braces? How many people today have had braces? And how many truly needed them to correct a bad bite? I'd say most braces are soley for cosmetic purposes...

Clothing came into being for practical purposes such as warmth and protection from the elements...as soon as practical clothing needs were met we began to 'decorate' clothing...and it has become it's own art form...

...in my opinion, a well-dressed individual is rather like having 'art on art'...and again, what constitutes a well-dressed individual is time- and culturally-based...and in Western culture currently depends on designers in fashion houses...

...sorry for the poorly organized rambling...I'll have to take the time some day to write a proper essay...;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I don't think art is so much placing value on the young human body as much as an appreciation of the body. The most famous works are of the young and strong, but artists have captured the elderly human body in beautiful ways. There are also many, many paintings of the very young in the nude, and I think they are beautiful. There is nothing so sweet as watching my toddler and her friend (also 1) run around in our backyard in the nude with the sprinkler.

I think part of the problem is separating nudity in art and nudity for arousal. Any adult can tell the difference between art and porn pretty much immediately. Most people, who are not middle school aged boys, look at a piece of nude art and do not get turned on by the sight. It's a very mature response to just appreciate the sight of a well done painting or sculpture. The lines of musculature on a man are beautiful, and the curves of woman's body are beautiful, at least idealistically, at any age.

I remember one sermon when I was growing up where my Baptist minister brought up the topic of the beauty of the human form. He was talking about women, in particular because he was discussing the creation of Eve. He talked quite a bit about from the creation point of view ... how God created this beautiful companion, who was beautiful on all levels, not just sexually. There are very few people more conservative in the USA, than a Baptist minister! From a christian perspective, Genesis says Adam and Eve were created in the image of God, therefore the human body must be beautiful.

The current objectification of the human body has nothing to do with art. Oh, how I wish that the current trend in female bodies looked like Renoir's nude paintings! I wouldn't need to worry about losing weight.

For current nudes, some of my CD's have nude covers and I thought they were quite tasteful. Alannis Morrisette's Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie CD has the singer naked in an artistic manner to show her feeling of vulnerability. I know you're going to say "Aha! Vulnerability!" but actually it's because she's trying to put down her defenses and thank you to the people who've helped her. Vulnerability does not have to mean physical vulnerability, in her case it was emotional vulnerability ... I wonder if there's a term for a vulnerable ego :rolleyes:
 

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I think as long as it is not a tastless use of nudity, there is nothing wrong with showing the human body anywhere. I think humans have just gotten so used to wearing clothes, they think it is bad to show what is underneath.
 

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I think I'll close off my side of the debate now. I can sense that most of you don't want to hear what I would have to say, so I would just be wasting my time. I do not have the time or the desire to research the subject further for debate purposes, especially since it would be only for the purpose of making enemies.

Our culture is steeped in the utilitarian mentality that I was talking about, so much so that I think it is something that most people don't see past. (This mentality is : if it's beautiful it's good, if it pleases me or if I get something out of it it's good--with no thought for what the long term effects might be on society or on any other people. And when thought cannot run deeper than that all debate is useless. Meaning no offense or accusation, this "animal" side of our brain is incapable of TRUE open debate.)

I am not angry with you guys at all, (though I am disappointed) but I think it is best to just agree to disagree at this point. :) Thanks, Daniel, for speaking up!! :) I am glad you have a good art school.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Oh well, I thought we were all up to a debate, and I did read your post! Just because I disagree doesn't mean I wasn't listening. And I understand not wanting to do extra research for a silly on-line debate ... unless you're really interested in art, like me! No hard feelings, I guess.
 

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The point of debate is to argue opposing points of view...if we're all in agreement then there is no debate.

I'm interested in all opinions...but no one has to agree with anyone else's...and there should be no making of enemies...as I said...we all need to agree to disagree...this is what makes the debate so stimulating...the free and open discourse of a topic...
 

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Baroque, I read this whole thread, and this is what I think.Not about nudes,but about what you were just talking about. I'm sure you could find people who would agree with you. Maybe just not here and now,or maybe that person just has'nt read and responded to this thread yet. We are all entitled to our opinions, and you should not have felt threatened by the other posts because they don't agree. Each of those posts were different, and, although they are 'kind of cohesive', were not compleetly the same. So no one ganging up on you. Your opinion seems heartfelt , and no one here would object to you having one. Your attitude seems to be (at the end anyway) I'm gonna go play somewere else were people are more like me, and I could,but don't want to actually beat anyone up! I found your post to be very dismissave, uncalled for, and rude to the rest of your threadmates. I for one, value your opinion,and I'm sure everyone else that has posted here does also. They just don't agree.Debate changes minds, and no one on this thread was attacking you. (This last thing from an observer,not a partisipant)To finish up, I find it disturbing that *you would think maybe this was a coordinated thing* ( This is not what you said,but what I guess OK? ),and contemplate doing research to prove your point.Your comment about doing research just to make enemies I find VERY disturbing.You are (I say again) entiteled to your opinions, no matter your age,your religion,race or color.Everyone on this site is. And we WANT you to post your opinions. If you get mad at us, just calm down,articulate your feelings and listen to other humans, maybe (for sure!) articulate again...Instead of cutting them off like that, and stopping posting because your getting so mad, maybe you could have won someone's opinion. One last point...None of the people who disagreed with you were trying to prothelatize you. (convert to another...)They were stating thier own valuable much needed opinions on a debate. Did you take the other posts as a coordinated attack ?We need you here and STILL value your opinion and All your posts. ....Kerry ... PS I've read almost all your posts on this site and it would be a shame for you not to be posting here. You are both valued AND needed. Between you and me,,, PEACE?
 

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Becky, the reason I even LOOKED at this thread was ,well ,I thought all you people were loostening up, and if someone wanted to participate in your thread ,they would have to POST IN THE NUDE!.I am disheartened that this was not the case.(I'll put my underwear back on now)....Kerry
 

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Originally posted by krishna@Aug 11 2004, 05:38 PM
Becky, the reason I even LOOKED at this thread was ,well ,I thought all you people were loostening up, and if someone wanted to participate in your thread ,they would have to POST IN THE NUDE!.I am disheartened that this was not the case.(I'll put my underwear back on now)....Kerry
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:lol: You are a very funny and intelligent person, it seems. I think I will like reading your posts very much. Right on, man! :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Originally posted by krishna@Aug 11 2004, 03:38 PM
Becky, the reason I even LOOKED at this thread was ,well ,I thought all you people were loostening up, and if someone wanted to participate in your thread ,they would have to POST IN THE NUDE!.I am disheartened that this was not the case.(I'll put my underwear back on now)....Kerry
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ROFL :lol: :lol: :lol: I was too sick to even turn on the computer yesterday, so I missed this! It's just too funny!
 
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