Nudity, Art and Pornography

I have had a thoroughly enjoyable birthday week. There was a lot of self indulgence and sensory and emotional overload. I often use my blog as a way to decompress and evaluate things going on in and around my life but this week I felt that words were inadequate and I intended instead to post a few pictures just to give a sense of what the week had been like. There were some photos which I wanted to manipulate and photoshop a bit and I wanted to include some other art to convey some of the colours and impressions of the past week.

While looking through pinterest for some art to cut and paste I came across this.

Now this probably isn’t the greatest art but I like it, and it resonated with some of my experiences during the past week. However when I tried to “pin” the painting  I got a message from pinterest saying that the link was blocked because it contains nudity!

My first reaction was WTF! But then I started thinking and exploring and found a lot of inconsistency in what pinterest allowed and didn’t allow. Thankfully Dali is allowed and so is Donatello.

These two works of art are favourites of mine, but why is nudity in art okay sometimes and not others? Is it to do with the degree of blatant sexuality? I find all of these artworks sexual to a degree… And what is wrong with sexual or erotic art anyway? Surely sex and sexuality are fundamental aspects of the human condition which art has a duty to represent ? And anyway is nudity always sexual? Artists of every genre and generation have been fascinated with the human body, with the nude.  Should museums and art galleries be “X” or “R” rated if they display nakedness, nudity or any form of sexuality?

I have noticed that some websites, especially those based in America (including wordpress to a degree) are quite prudish when it comes to nudity and sex. Well okay, I wouldn’t advocate allowing hard core porn (close up details of various acts of copulation) on sites such as this, although I have no objection to adults being able to access such places when they wish to. But arbitrarily banning or censoring any art or content which contains or alludes to sex and sexuality seems silly. Especially when the reference to sex is simple nudity!

I understand that most people don’t want to parade around naked all the time; for practical as well as aesthetic reasons! And nor do they want to e exposed to other people being nude in unexpected situations. However, we are born naked, it is our natural state and I think it sad that many corners of society encourage us to be shameful about our naked bodies. The human body is beautiful and fascinating and the artistic community have been trumpeting that truth since people started painting on the walls of caves.

So I was left with a dilemma. I have had problems before here at wordpress with posting images which I thought were pretty tame but did contain some nudity or sexual content. I can live without ever being on “Freshly Pressed”, but I don’t want to be banned altogether. Yet my artistic tastes and sentiments probably go beyond what some of the powers that be find acceptable. I have no problem with nudity in general or in art. To be honest I don’t have any problem with erotic art or even pornography. My artistic tastes are wide and divergent; I like Monet and Turner, I like classical and modern art. But I also like darker things which challenge ideas and taboos and, yes, I like erotica. So I came to the conclusion that some of the images I might want to post here would not be welcomed.

A reliable source (Thanks T!) informed me that Tumbir is a bit more permissive when it comes to imagery so I am thinking of starting a new blog there just to vent my artistic leanings (or just post some naughty pictures)!

Meanwhile, from my birthday week, maybe I can get away with this…

Kissing

 

And I might try a bit more on Devil’s Advocate…

8 responses to “Nudity, Art and Pornography

  1. Pingback: Looking back… | Cassie Being Cassie

  2. I have been asking the same question. I have been a member of pinterest for a while, and recently they have been removing a number of my pins due to nudity. These are all very tasteful and beautiful pieces, not at all pornographic, but deemed as such. I find it all very frustrating…..

  3. Reblogged this on Infernal Deity of a Psychotic Mind and commented:
    You raise a great point which I have had to deal with myself.
    Years ago a friend of mine studying photography at Colombia University in Chicago was given an assignment to shoot 5 people in their “natural environment” (where they felt more comfortable) and I was one of them. The shoot took place in my apt and since in my apt I’m always naked, all the pictures depicted me doing my regular stuff around all naked. When he showed my pictures in class, my friend’s professor stopped him right in the middle of the presentation and told him out loud he couldn’t allow pornography in his class. Though none of the pictures portrayed me in any sexual act (or with a boner for that matter) he and most of the other students didn’t see anything wrong with them and couldn’t understand why the professor was being such a dick (yet none of them spoke out in my friend’s defense). He gave him a non passing grade even though my friend explained to him that I was an individual who felt very comfortable being naked and did so all the time, so there was nothing pornographic about someone who likes being nude in his natural environmental such as my apt. Fortunately he took this matter with the Dean and the grade was changed to a B-.
    As you see my dear Cassie, we’re all pray of someone, or a whole group which feels that by using censorship as to “protect” others from pornography and “deviant behavior” are the real killers of self-expression in art and more.
    On a more personal note; I will never understand men and women who are so adverse to their own nudity and speaking from experience I’ve met countless of men who had such a handicap. As soon as the act (sex) was over they got dressed like their lives depended on it, and intimacy was a no go after that. I don’t have a great body, never had, but I be damned if that stopped me from enjoying my nudity wherever I live, and most of all it’s not like I’m parading around town. It is my affinity to my own body (with all its flaws) which makes me love myself even more.
    Go on Cassie, do your thang wit yo bad self

  4. You raise a great point which I have had to deal with myself.
    Years ago a friend of mine studying photography at Colombia University in Chicago was given an assignment to shoot 5 people in their “natural environment” (where they felt more comfortable) and I was one of them. The shoot took place in my apt and since in my apt I’m always naked, all the pictures depicted me doing my regular stuff around all naked. When he showed my pictures in class, my friend’s professor stopped him right in the middle of the presentation and told him out loud he couldn’t allow pornography in his class. Though none of the pictures portrayed me in any sexual act (or with a boner for that matter) he and most of the other students didn’t see anything wrong with them and couldn’t understand why the professor was being such a dick (yet none of them spoke out in my friend’s defense). He gave him a non passing grade even though my friend explained to him that I was an individual who felt very comfortable being naked and did so all the time, so there was nothing pornographic about someone who likes being nude in his natural environmental such as my apt. Fortunately he took this matter with the Dean and the grade was changed to a B-.
    As you see my dear Cassie, we’re all pray of someone, or a whole group which feels that by using censorship as to “protect” others from pornography and “deviant behavior” are the real killers of self-expression in art and more.
    On a more personal note; I will never understand men and women who are so adverse to their own nudity and speaking from experience I’ve met countless of men who had such a handicap. As soon as the act (sex) was over they got dressed like their lives depended on it, and intimacy was a no go after that. I don’t have a great body, never had, but I be damned if that stopped me from enjoying my nudity wherever I live, and most of all it’s not like I’m parading around town. It is my affinity to my own body (with all its flaws) which makes me love myself even more.
    Go on Cassie, do your thang wit yo bad self 😀

  5. There is Definitely a difference between pornography and erotic art whether in the form of paintings or photography. If i post the rare pic that shows breasts I put some warning at the beginning of the post like “must be 18 or 21 to view depending on the laws of your country”. The USA is definitely conservative regarding and i think WP only acts if someone else reports the site to them. Here is an example of an incredible tumblr site i found last week that i think you will appreciate http://talkingtoclara.tumblr.com/ which has 234 pages or you can choose the archives for faster perusing. I think this is ART. And feel free to delete this comment if you do not want the link on your blog. I have been tempted to post it as a link, but then i am cautious also.

    • Thanks for the tip. I love that site and to me it is certainly art; very much the type of thing I like. I will leave the link up unless anybody objects. (And if anybody does object please just ask me to remove it).
      I am curious though what do you think is the difference between erotic art and pornography? For myself I think I know it when I see it but it is very difficult to explain in words.

      • i don’t think anyone will ask you to remove it as they know it is an erotic art site and they have the free will and choice whether to hit a link or not. It’s not like you are posting pics from the site. Hmmm that’s a hard question to answer. I think in erotic art the desire is implied from you, not in your face. For instance breasts almost peaking out of a corset is more erotic than full nudity because, at least for me as a male, there is anticipation and thus imagination and projection. Porn on the other hand leaves nothing to the imagination unless it is POV. But then both have their uses for better or for worse, but for me as a male porn tends to numb me. I hope this is not TMI, but you asked.

      • Not TMI, but an interesting perspective.

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