Artistic naiveté

The Accusation

Some people believe that the nude figure should be kept hidden in art and in the artist’s classroom. Although it may appear to be a minor irritation at first, such individuals frequently try to prevent others from observing or learning from the human form, infringing on their rights to produce and consume art as they see fit. Numerous paintings and sculptures with naked figures can be found on the ARC website. This anti-nudity topic occasionally appears in the ARC website feedback and on the Good Art mailing list, usually after someone writes something to the effect of “All of this would be perfect if only you could hide or eradicate the existence of nudity on the site.”

This type of remark, I feel, stems from a lack of awareness of how the best work is taught and made. Nude figure drawing is included in the curriculum of all of ARC’s recommended art instruction programmes, and it has always been that way, dating back to the days of the ancient Greeks. In fact, without this vital tool, it would be very impossible to teach someone how to draw correct human anatomy. Even depicting a clothed figure necessitates a thorough understanding of the mechanics of what lies beneath. Drawing the naked person, as well as understanding how to draw the bones and muscles beneath the skin, is the only method to do this.

“Looking at nudes has a harmful impact on the mind, most notably by making one obsessive with sex.”

Even if it isn’t stated as simply and explicitly as this, this is the premise of the majority of concerns. To avoid turning us all into sex-crazed creatures, sexual imagery must be locked away and/or psychologically suppressed, according to the theory. This viewpoint necessitates the storage of all images that can elicit sexual ideas, including nudity.

“I can’t let my kids look at the website because there are nudes on it,” says the mother.

These objections are usually made by well-intentioned people who enjoy beautiful art but are concerned about the effects on their children if they see naked bodies. It’s essentially the same issue as the one above, but with the exception of children who require extra protection against sexual preoccupation. People disagree about the age at which various types of images are appropriate for viewing by children of various ages, often with slightly different rules for those before and after puberty, but everyone is concerned about children under a certain age being exposed to artistic nudity for whatever reason.