Welcome to my blog. Some of you may have visited before, but for those of you who have not I would just like to say, "My posts are few and far between as finding time to write is not something that is easy for me to do. However when I do post I hope that my posts provoke a small amount of thought and are of some interest to you.
I have been reading a lot lately on social media about people’s perceptions and opinions of what they class as art and Porn.
Having read many opinions on the subject I have decided to run a little experiment to find out what is the general opinion on what some would class as an artistic nude and yet others would class as obscene or porn.
Below are a series of images and I am asking you to decide which ones you see as art and which ones you see as nothing more than porn.
This first image titled, Women Lovers by acclaimed Australian artist Charles Blackman caught my eye as it was recently banned by facebook much to the disgust of the gallery that wanted to display it for auction purposes. I assume for containing lesbian connotations, nudity a bare bottom and a partially visible breast.
For me, I see nothing wrong with the image. It is a subtle portrayal of a couple who are in love and cherish each others company. It is in no way offensive and portrays what is, in fact, an everyday part of normal life whether we choose to acknowledge it or not.
This next image by the Gustave Courbet is a highly debated piece which is currently hanging in the Musée d’Orsay. Its title is The origin of the world and is a realistic portrayal of an erotic female nude which leaves nothing to the imagination.
Although at its time, when first painted I believe it had a more political agenda, for me, its title clearly states that it is an interpretation of what some may consider being, The origin of the world, as without the urge or ability to reproduce there would be no world, for mankind, at least. I personally find this in no way offensive and more a celebration of the female form and its power to reproduce and nurture mankind and therefore I would definitely not class it as porn.
This next painting by BALTHASAR KŁOSSOWSKI DE ROLA, aka, Balthus is titled The guitar lesson and features a young female bent backward over the knee of an older female. There is nothing left to the imagination as it is clear what is happening. For the uncensored image please visit Here
For me, you could raise several arguments over the content portrayed within the painting and argue that it is abusive, obscene, explicit even, but is it still art?
It is my humble opinion that art is for everyone. To be more specific the creation of art. The actual act of putting pencil to paper or paint to canvas. These are my preferences but art comes in many forms and endless mediums.
Why, because by doing so we are able to leave the world we are in, forget about all our fears, woes, and problems, leaving us free to indulge ourselves in a world of passion, creativity and make-believe.
For me creating art is like reading a book. Once we open the jacket and begin to read the first page we are no longer trapped within the confines of our everyday lives. We are the villains, the hero’s, the lovers and the dreamers immersed in a world of make believe with only our imaginations to limit us. The Dumbledores of the art world with the capability to conjure up infinite possibilities. For a brief moment in time, we are calm, relaxed and at one with ourselves, masters of our own universe with the endless potential to produce whatever we desire with the luxury of being able to be oblivious to all that is around us, and like reading a book we can pick it up and put it back down whenever we choose.
Art is a fantastic free way to destress, it helps you relax. It frees your mind of all the clutter of everyday life and allows you to escape within yourself. It improves your hand-eye coordination and helps you express yourself, your passions, your desires, it channels your emotions into something productive and worthwhile with an end product that you can be proud of and say “I made this”. Yes sometimes it can be frustrating and many times you will mess up but there is no pressure or expectations other than those you put upon yourself and like all things, the more you do it the better you will get.
So come on people, get some art therapy and start learning to enjoy your creativity, start expressing yourselves through art because like I said, art is for everyone.
We are all in some way conscious of how we look but have you ever stood in front of the mirror and really taken notice of yourself. I’m not talking about your everyday routine beauty check before you leave the house. Or the does my bum look big in this, as you glance over your shoulder. I’m talking about taking the time to really look and pay attention to yourself. To explore your body and look at every detail of what you see. Yeah, right I hear you say.
I mean, when do any of us get time to actually pay attention to ourselves let alone study ourselves on an intimate personal level, after all, we spend most if not all of our time running around after everyone else, trying to please and delight those around us and meeting deadlines within our strict routines, it’s no surprise really that we overlook the most important thing of all. OURSELVES. Besides which, when, or if we do finally get time alone, we are too exhausted to take advantage of it anyway let alone sit in front of a mirror and explore ourselves.
So I’m asking you to indulge me for a moment. If you could find the time to study yourself, and I mean really look and take note of what you see, paying attention to every line, wrinkle, dimple and curve, and all the minute details that we so often take for granted and yet make you so special and unique, could you also imagine yourself as the subject of a work of art, and if so how would you see yourself and want to be portrayed. Throughout history, both males and females have been the subject of infinite works of art, portrayed in many guises and many forms. Some works show full frontal nudity with the subjects positioned in alluring poses that hold our attention and lead our imaginations into a world of thought-provoking fantasy, inviting us to imagine all kinds scenarios while others leave nothing to the imagination, some invite us to look deeper into the soul of the subject, seeking out their personalities and second guessing their very thoughts. Some offer us just a glimpse, barely enough, leaving the rest to our own imaginations.
Throughout history, both males and females have been the subject of infinite works of art, portrayed in many guises and many forms. Some works show full frontal nudity with the subjects positioned in alluring poses that hold our attention and lead our imaginations into a world of thought-provoking fantasy, inviting us to imagine all kinds scenarios while others leave nothing to the imagination, some invite us to look deeper into the soul of the subject, seeking out their personalities and second guessing their very thoughts. Some offer us just a glimpse, barely enough, leaving the rest to our own imaginations.
How would you choose to be seen? Would you choose a specific part of your body, perhaps your shoulders, the curve of your breast or back, your face, an eye or your lips, would you choose to portray your whole body, and if so would it be clothed, partially clothed perhaps in the sexiest lingerie and jewellery you possess, draped in silk or naked, vulnerable and exposed to the gaze of your admirers, would you prefer to be standing, lying or sitting, perhaps posed in a wooden rocking chair with a soft blanket draped across your partially exposed body. Your stockinged leg showing just beneath the cover offering a glimpse of what lies beneath. What mood would you want to portray, perhaps how you are feeling at that moment, fed up, excited, aroused and yet at the same time scared as you feel vulnerable and slightly out of your comfort zone, or maybe you would prefer to be portrayed how you felt before you actually took the time to take notice of yourself. Exhausted, tired, Shy and unaware of just how beautiful you really are.
Don’t be afraid to touch and explore yourself feeling every detail of who you are. The way your body dips and rises. the softness of your skin and all the little dimples, curves, folds, bumps and creases that make up its surface. Experience the sensation of your touch and how it makes you feel. Try to find the mood that you seek then apply it to your work. Once you have decided on how you want to portray yourself, you now only have to decide by what means you wish to do it. There are many ways to capture your image, all you have to do is decide. Perhaps on paper using graphite or paint, or even by a photograph as we all now seem to have the luxury of the selfie.
It doesn’t matter how it looks, this is about you paying attention to yourself. If at first, it looks nothing like what you set out to do don’t worry. Once you have the initial basic idea you can fine tune the details later. This is your chance to portray yourself in a way that you decide, you are in control and can be seen in a way that you want to be seen, so take your time, indulge yourself and enjoy the experience. There are no judgements here.
The most important thing is to be proud of who you are and take pleasure from yourself, your body and what you are seeing. You are the subject, the muse and the centre of your attention, you decide what to portray and how you want to portray it.
Not only is this an artistic exercise it is also an exercise in self-awareness and self-confidence. So many of us have low self-esteem and lack the courage to put ourselves out there as we are so judgemental of ourselves that we are constantly paranoid of what others may think of us and so lack the confidence to be around others on a more personal level. this exercise is designed to make you aware of who you really are, a chance for you to step out of your comfort zone and indulge yourself and realise that you are a beautiful being.
I appreciate that all of us are not brilliant artists so if you have chosen to capture your image on paper or canvas don’t be too disappointed if the finished piece isn’t perfect or bears little or no resemblance to what you set out to do. The object of this exercise is for you to see the brilliance and uniqueness of who you are and to become aware of yourself. It’s not about producing a masterpiece or a picture perfect representation of yourself unless of course, this is your objective. At the end of the exercise, you might just be amazed at how beautiful and perfect you are. You may want to keep your work for yourself or to show it to others or you may decide to discard it. It’s your choice. You are in control. You decide. Just take the time. It’s yours after all.
I have looked at thousands of paintings, photos and other interpretations of art by various artists to seek out what to me is a genuine masterpiece, but it wasn’t until yesterday that it dawned on me. Are we not all a genuine masterpiece in our own right? Are we not unique, do we not all have the ability to be influential, are we not all priceless and irreplaceable. Every part of us is a genuine masterpiece in its own unique and to a certain extent flawed way. Our uniqueness comes from the fact that we could never be exactly reproduced, in the same way, that with a work of art there can only be one original piece and any reproduction will never capture nor match its unique original quality.
We as humans can have the same effect on a person that a work of art can have, be it positive or negative, and our very presence can influence others who see us, be it pleasurable, passionate, repulsion or aggression. I am not talking about personality as that is a hidden aspect of who we are and can only be experienced through interaction. I am just referring to our pure physical presence, the moment when we are first noticed by a total stranger.
Have you ever passed someone in the street or spotted someone across the way and, at that very moment in time turned to glimpse them and then continued on your way? Have you thought Wow who was that, and been captivated and held on the spot, did you think, oh my god or thought, I wish I could look like that, did you just ignore them and take no notice what so ever of them or did they for some reason disgust or upset you. Did he or she make you feel happy or sad, jealous or possibly even offended, did you look at that person and find yourself being critical of them, of their appearance or their very existence. Did you think that you would have done something different. Used a different make up or hair color, wore a different outfit or combined different styles, or just have not bothered and stayed out of sight.
What would you have changed if you were them. Have you commented to those around on their appearance and drawn others into your thoughts and provoked a debate about their look or presence, or did their presence have such a profound effect on you that you have returned day after day to the very spot that you first glanced them in the hope to get another look.
All of the above are not dissimilar to how you would view a work of art and the effect it can have on you.
When you see yourself in the mirror what do you see. Do you stand there and criticize your every flaw and try to redesign yourself as an artist would toil over a piece, or do you see the unique masterpiece that you really are. There is, and never will be another like you. You are a genuine masterpiece, a one off and irreplaceable.
There is no price that can be put on you as you are priceless, as no monetary value could ever be legally placed upon you. You are irreplaceable and as with a genuine work of art you have the ability to leave your lasting impression on those who see you once you are gone.
We as humans spend so much of our time seeking beauty and perfection in all that is around us that we seldom see what is right there in front of us. Our favorite subject seems to be each other, we strive to look and be like each other and yet little do any of us realize, there is no need. We are all in our own unique way a genuine masterpiece, a one-off that can never be reproduced.
I was recently doing some research into how to make my website more attractive and appealing to my visitors. While doing so I stumbled upon several articles and studies about colour and the effects they have on our moods.
This got me to thinking about how colour is used within the arts, and whether specific colours are used during the portrayal of a subject as that is what is expected of the artist. Or then again perhaps they are used as that is what is expected by the viewer.
For example if Giorgione had painted his sleeping Venus using darker colours, perhaps against a thunderous sky with the trees thrashing in the wind and the hills and houses shrouded in darkness would we still see his Venus as a beautiful young woman resting peacefully on a hill and have that feeling of calm, peace and serenity when we viewed it, or would we see his venus as a dangerous threat that is to be avoided at all cost.
I pondered on this for a while and then began to think that perhaps an artists choice and use of colour is, in fact, a deliberate way of influencing how we see the work and a way of influencing our mood as we viewed the piece. After all, Venus would still be the same person, an innocent looking maiden sleeping peacefully on a hill, but would we still see the piece this way?
I saw you looking.
Scrutinising me with every glance.
Staring with pearlescent eyes and holding my gaze.
What power do you possess that holds my attention and keeps me transfixed on you.
Studying every line and curve of you.
Building an indelible image in my mind so that I will never forget.
I try to portray you, but I am paralysed by you.
I can neither put to canvas nor imagine what I am trying to express.
My intention is there, but my mind cannot perceive the concept.
I will my body to execute, but I am frozen in the moment.
You sense my hesitation.
With subtle intention you adjust your position, changing the light, exposing more of you to me,
The presence you exude with your confident demeanour.
You are exposed and yet unafraid, unnerving my senses.
Quickly you sense the hold you have over me, as you dare my eyes to see you differently.
Teasing my thoughts.
Inviting my scrutiny and challenging me to find your inner soul.
How can I portray such perfection?
The subtleties of colour and line of your body as you sit motionless before me.
The tense heady atmosphere that transpires between us.
You will my hand toward canvas yet I cannot find composition.
Imagining in the moment how desperately I want it and how easily it could be lost.
To know that in a moment, I could capture it and it would always be there, never to be taken.
Held in immortal portrayal for all to see.
The tension is building with every second you are in the room.
Making me want, even more to capture it before you leave and it is gone forever.
We are lost in the moment.
Neither of us knowing the difference between reality and art.
I saw you looking.
A work of art can depict many things, document many historical events, tell many stories, and in a lot of cases shed light or provide us with a fleeting glimpse into the lives of the artists themselves. How much passion, guilt, or betrayal is there depicted throughout history in the art world, for example, many of the greats were known or believed to have used their lovers or mistresses as muses in their works. It has often been suggested that Flora, one of Titian’s more poetic images of a young provocative looking women, was, in fact, his mistress Cecilia, whom he finally married in 1525. Pablo Picasso was renowned for taking his muses as lovers as is evident in a lot of his work.
So when we view a work of art are we briefly being invited to form our own opinion or cast our own judgment not only on the piece but on the artist themselves.
Titian’s Flora c.1515-1520
Is the artist inviting us to view them as more than just artists, perhaps they are desperate to be seen as people, with emotions and desires with pent up frustrations or hidden agendas that can only be expressed and released through their work,
as art, after all, is a form of expression, a way of venting our feelings, sharing our emotions or possibly even confessing what was not at first obvious, and capturing them for everyone to share. With art, there is always a thought process where an idea is conceived, and then a design process where we decide how to best express our initial thoughts, feelings or emotions. It is a psychological outlet that provides both spiritual relief and satisfaction and invokes emotion in its purest form.
So when an artist creates a piece, are they really laying themselves bare to our approval, or are they just giving us a brief glimpse through a window into their soul, letting us know how they feel, confessing their innermost thoughts or fears through their work, regardless of what we might think.
Some, so-called great works of art look as if a child was fed caffeine and sweets all day and then let loose with a packet of crayons or gallons of paint. It leaves you questioning the piece and wondering whatever was going on in the mind of the artists when they created it, what madness could have invoked such chaos and how can this be taken seriously as art? While others leave you feeling mesmerized and astounded by their beauty and composition, inviting you into a world of make believe where fantasy appears to be reality and, for a brief moment in time you are lost in the artist’s world.
Art excites our minds and teases our emotions. Some works can leave you with a feeling of emptiness, sorrow or remorse, while others excite the senses and dare you to look deeper into the piece and imagine what madness, power, passion or desire inspired such an arousing piece of art. What is it that a work of art has that it can lift you to a higher plain, warming the soul and fueling a passion buried deep within?