Friday, November 7, 2008

Parent Advisory

You know its a good show or at least one worth seeing when you are greeted at the entrance with a parent advisory notice.

I was pleased and also dumbfounded why a photograph of just my breasts cause such a ruckus when viewed within an artistic context. And in this specific case in an exhibition. I don't blame the gallery or museum I blame the public.

Its a heated topic for me and I'm sure other artists whose work is called pornographic, racy or is censored. I go round and round on how to change the public's view on nudity or partially nudity when a piece of art is being considered. Are all Greek and Roman statues now censored? I went to the Louvre several years ago but do they have a WARNING outside the entrance or before the many, many nude or partial clothed female figures which are seen covering the walls? I think the human body is amazing. Its beautiful, its mysterious, its erotic, its natural, its life giving and nurturing. The body is unique and at the same time ordinary when compared to everyone else's.

I realize my work has a specific audience. However I am always amazed by the comments I receive from perfect strangers. Last night, I met an older couple at the opening who loved the work. They did not mention the nudity and only commented on how moved they were by the work and how the women was brought to tears. This is not the first time this has been said to me about the work.

I don't usually blame the venue however, I feel its a real shame the Grace Museum in Abilene which is the next venue for the New Art in Austin: 20 To Watch exhibition is censoring the two partial/semi nude self-portraits. Unfortunately I will only have once piece in this venue. I can understand excluding or censoring work which is clearly pornographic or has specific sexual intentions. This couldn't be further from the truth with my work. So many woman have related to the self-portraits on many levels and I truly am sorry the woman of Abilene will miss the opportunity to see the images at their intended scale and final form. Luckily they will have two more opportunity's to see the work at Art League in March and at Diverseworks in May.