Up Front by Emma Hart

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Up Front: The Naked and the Dude

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  • uroskin,

    Sounds like the exhibition and its curators are way behind the times on the very contemporary fashion (brought back obviously from the Renaissance) of males clamouring to ogle at other males. Metrosexuality has only kicked off that trend, now resulting in "nude calendars" of sportsmen outselling all else.
    Surely they could have found some strappingly naked Canterbury lads posing for local artists so they had some more up to date work to choose from?

    Waiheke Island • Since Feb 2007 • 178 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    males clamouring to ogle at other males. Metrosexuality has only kicked off that trend, now resulting in "nude calendars" of sportsmen outselling all else.

    Um... it didn't occur to you that perhaps SOME of those 'nude calendars' are selling to women?

    Hoping to be able to get in touch with the people involved for a future column, but issue 3 of Filament includes an article on people launching a magazine featuring photos of gay male couples, marketed to women.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4651 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    "gay male couples, marketed to women"

    Let's hope gay males don't buy those magazines and spoil the marketing.

    "Perhaps it’s a Victorian thing: Renaissance art is full of beautiful naked men."

    Hide the sausage (as it's known in technical artistic lingo) predates the Victorians, actually. It would be interesting to learn exactly how it come about, does anybody know? But people were hiding Adam's genitals on Masaccio's frescoes and chiselling penises off statues well before the 19th century.

    In contemporary terms, I'd say that a non young, non classically beautiful female naked body is as unacceptable as a classically beautiful male's naked body, if not more so.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Amy Gale,

    the values and traits associated with them is quite different from what, say, this says about women. You'll note, however, still no genitalia.

    Anyone else look at that and see a woman texting in bed?

    tha Ith • Since May 2007 • 471 posts Report Reply

  • Lyndon Hood,

    I understand it's also easier for a male to be convicted (of of public idencency?) for being publicly naked than a woman.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1115 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    In contemporary terms, I'd say that a non young, non classically beautiful female naked body is as unacceptable as a classically beautiful male's naked body, if not more so.

    Indeed. This is probably why I found Fiona Pardington's Proud Flesh (no pics online, unfortunately) so fascinating. Scarring, like ageing and fat, is not supposed to be attractive. Yet in its own way scarification sorta kinda is. I think it's the idea that any body can be beautiful if you present it as if it is. Being as how "I don't know much about art", I don't know how that's done, technically.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4651 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    So, were there any female genitals? No sausage, no bacon?

    It is my impression that society is rather uncomfortable with the genitals of either sex being portrayed in non-pornographic ways, and with female genitals being easier to hide, it is almost as if they do not exist.

    No wonder there is still so much female genital dismorphia (among the many other dismorphias that predominate).

    WLG • Since Nov 2006 • 2264 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    Anyone else look at that and see a woman texting in bed?

    I do NOW. Well, waking up and reading her texts and trying to summon the energy to stumble as far as 'coffee'.

    That's one painting that looks a great deal better in the flesh, so to speak. I really liked it.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4651 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    So, were there any female genitals?

    I'd hate to unequivocably say 'none', and then be proved wrong, but that was my impression. And no body hair. There was one sculpture that was as anatomically correct as a Barbie.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4651 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    Funny, how do you discreetly view art at the public art gallery?

    I believe a docent provides a paper bag with eye holes and an old mac at the door - the more fastidious may prefer to bring their own macs

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2622 posts Report Reply

  • Jolisa,

    I love Summer Morn; we have it on the wall here in New Haven, along with Pohutukawa Rina.

    I once heard from someone (who was closely related to the artist, and claimed to have heard it from her) that the reason the figure with the parasol is so obscure and blurred is that it wasn't the intended model.

    The story goes that when the lass who was meant to show up didn't arrive, Evelyn bundled her husband Fred into a frock and sat him in the boat.

    I don't care if it's true or not: the mere possibility tweaks the painting enough to make me smile every time I look at it.

    Auckland, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 1472 posts Report Reply

  • Grace Dalley,

    I love that story, Jolisa! It makes me like Summer Morn even more than I do already.

    It bothers me that realistic female genitals are still so unacceptable in art. Is there something wrong with them? I can think of a lot of examples of male genitalia in historical art, and none of female, unless you go all the way back to palaeolithic statuary.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2008 • 138 posts Report Reply

  • FletcherB,

    I understand it's also easier for a male to be convicted (of of public idencency?) for being publicly naked than a woman.

    I recall reading of a case where a husband and wife walked naked down Queen St (Auck) in the late '70's or early '80's, and while both were charged with public indecency, only the male was convicted.

    I believe it came down the the conclusion that the male's genitals were visible, but the females were not?

    West Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 893 posts Report Reply

  • Brent Jackson,

    Grace Dalley wrote:

    It bothers me that realistic female genitals are still so unacceptable in art.

    Some of Miriam Saphira's art includes female genitalia (eg Take her fancy), but her art is not particularly realistic.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 620 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    unless you go all the way back to palaeolithic statuary

    And who doesn't?

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Jeremy Andrew,

    According to theregister.co.uk the Aussies have been busy tackling the issue of art vs porn, specifically images of nude underaged people. They had an exemption in their child porn laws for artistic purposes, but felt it was insufficiently defined, so formed a working party who have considered deeply, and decided that art don't come into it, if they're not dressed it's porn.

    Hamiltron - City of the F… • Since Nov 2006 • 900 posts Report Reply

  • Courtney Johnston,

    Appreciation of the male nude in earlier New Zealand photography is not unknown: for example, this 1916 portrait of the muscular Mr Garland

    Wellington • Since Jan 2010 • 2 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    Appreciation of the male nude in earlier New Zealand photography is not unknown: for example, this 1916 portrait of the muscular Mr Garland

    He is a muscular one... I wonder what exactly they were thinking when they got him to hold his stick (a gun?) like that.

    WLG • Since Nov 2006 • 2264 posts Report Reply

  • Courtney Johnston,

    I wonder what exactly they were thinking when they got him to hold his stick (a gun?) like that.

    A question for the ages. We've also spent some time pondering the implement - I'm going for hockey stick.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2010 • 2 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    It bothers me that realistic female genitals are still so unacceptable in art. Is there something wrong with them?

    Another question Australia has the answer to: yes.

    According to theregister.co.uk the Aussies have been busy tackling the issue of art vs porn, specifically images of nude underaged people.

    I have a deep love for Australia's censorship crazy*, but I'm pretty sure there hasn't been a law change. After the kerfuffle over the Henson exhibition calmed down, I'm pretty sure it ended up being rated M15+. Certainly making any picture of a naked child porn would make every parent a pornographer.

    *Not actually saying everything on that list was acceptable. What Kyle Sandilands did was fucking insane.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4651 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    According to Google he was a lieutenant, but that does look more like a hockey stick. Is this the origin of the naked sports-calendar?

    WLG • Since Nov 2006 • 2264 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    I'm pretty sure there hasn't been a law change.

    The state of New South Wales is on track to remove the defence of artistic merit from the law, despite the fact that it has only been used twice in NSW history, both unsuccessfully. Artistic groups are concerned about the chilling effect it is likely to have on all representations of children.

    What is needed isn't a change to the law, but stronger enforcement

    WLG • Since Nov 2006 • 2264 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    Thanks for clarifying, George.

    That's... any pictures of the Baby Jesus hanging in NSW art galleries?

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4651 posts Report Reply

  • Just thinking,

    I'm still scared from the larger than life full frontal nudity of Mika in the permanent collection. Not nudity per se, but Mika scares me.

    Putaringamotu • Since Apr 2009 • 1158 posts Report Reply

  • Isabel Hitchings,

    I've always really loved that photo of Mika - the combination beauty, confidence and playing with people's preconceptions is hugely compelling.

    Christchurch • Since Jul 2007 • 719 posts Report Reply

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