Art, Advertising or Pornography?  

mi_mwpm 51M
1175 posts
6/7/2005 4:23 pm

Last Read:
3/5/2006 9:27 pm

Art, Advertising or Pornography?

In violation of the blog description, here's something to actually think about. JF will return to his normal silliness soon.

I was reading an article in today's Detroit Free Press this morning, while on the plane to Chicago, about an artist in Texas that has been forced to cover the bare (gasp!) breasts on a painting of Eve he put on the side of his studio. Normally, this wouldn't be news in Detroit, but we have a local artist that had a rendition of Michelangelo’s “Creation of Man” on the side of his studio and he was also forced to cover Eve's bare (gasp! again) breasts.

In the case of the Detroit-area artist the city deemed the artwork as advertising since he had included the word "Love" as part of the design. It should be noted that he had agreed to a deal with the city to prevent prosecution on a previous sign ordinance violation. That agreement specifically forbade the depiction of bare breasts and any verbiage on any art he painted on the side of his building. He's been sentenced to 30 days in jail, 2 years probation and fined $500. He's out on bond while appealing.

The Texas case is far more interesting... this artist was accused of pornography ‒ “displaying harmful materials to minors.” Now, I realize some can't take the titillation (pun definitely intended) of a couple of fine breasts, but pornography? Does this mean we need to drape (or paint over) the same types of artwork inside the gallery, or even in public museums? Where's the line? If it's OK to hang a copy of “Creation of Man” inside a museum that's accessible to anyone without covering Eve's breasts and for Victoria's Secret to show nearly naked breasts on prime time television, is it really that big of a deal when an artist uses the same type of image on the side of his studio? When does a child become harmed by seeing breasts? Is it at 1, 3, 5, or is it after some “adult” makes a big deal about them being exposed?

Breasts are not, at least technically, a sex organ. They are feeding devices in the case of women, relics of genetics in the case of men and erogenous zones for at least some subset of both, but not sex organs. I fail to grasp how they could ever be considered pornographic in and of themselves... maybe that's just the breast-man in me speaking though. I also fail to understand how even the simple depiction of a fully nude male or female would be considered as pornography... it's only placing them in sexual situations that causes that line to be crossed, although my (and many - most? - of my readers' ) tolerance for those depictions would probably be greater than that of the average member of society.

What do my readers say? When does art become advertising, and thus subject to sign ordinances, or pornographic?


rm_jayR63 59F
1884 posts
6/7/2005 5:36 pm

Have you forgotten the Ashcroft/Justice/Boob Debacle?

AN OPEN LETTER TO JOHN ASCROFT, ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE UNITED STATES

On January 28, 2002, Attorney General John Ashcroft, announced that he spent $8000 of taxpayer's money for drapes to cover up the exposed breast of The Spirit of Justice, an 18ft aluminum statue of a woman that stands in the Hall of Justice.

John, John, John,
you've got your priorities all wrong.
While men fly airplanes into skyscrapers,
dive bomb the pentagon,
while they stick explosives into their shoes,
and then book a seat right next to us,
while they hide knives in their luggage,
steal kids on school buses,
take little girls from their beds at night
drive trucks into our state capital buildings,
while our president calls dangerous men all over the world
evildoers and devils,
while we live in the threat of biological warfare
nuclear destruction,
annihilation,
you are out buying yardage
to save Americans
from the appalling
alarming, abominable
aluminum alloy of evil,
that terrible ten foot tin tittie.
You might not be able to find Bin Laden
But you sure as hell found the hooter in the hall of justice.

It's not that we aren't grateful
But while we were begging the women of Afghanistan
to not cover up their faces,
you are begging your staff members to
just cover up that nipple,
to save the American people
from that monstrous metal mammary.
How can we ever thank you?

So, in your office every morning,
in your secret prayer meeting,
while an American woman is sexually assaulted every 6 seconds,
while anthrax floats around the post office,
and settles in the chest of senior citizens,
you've got another chest on your mind.
While American sons arrive home in body bags
and heat seeking missiles,
fly around a foreign country,
looking for any warm body,
you think of another body.
And you pray for the biggest bra in the world John,
because you see that breast on the spirit of justice
in the spirit of your
own inhibited sexuality.
And when we women see
our grandmothers, our mothers, our daughters, our granddaughters,
our sisters, ourselves,
when we women see that
statue the spirit of justice
we see the spirit of strength
the spirit of survival.
While every day
we view innocent bodies dragged out of rubble
and women and children laid out
like thin limp dolls
and baptized into death as collateral damage,
and the hollow eyed Afghani mother's milk has dried
up underneath her burka,
in famine, in shame,
and her children are dead at her breast.

While you look at that breast John,
that jug on the spirit of justice,
and deal with your thoughts of lust,
and sex, and nakedness,
we see it as a testimony motherhood,
And you see it as a tit.

It's not the money it cost.
It's the message you send.
We've got the right to live in freedom.
We got the right to cheat Americans out
of millions of dollars and then
just not want to tell congress about it.
We've got the right
to drop bombs night and day
on a small country that has no army,
no navy, no military at all,
because we've got the right to bear arms
but we just better not even think
about not the right to bare breasts.
So now John, you can be photographed
while you stand there and talk about
guns,and bombs, and poisons,
without the breast appearing over your right shoulder,
without that bodacious bosom bothering you,
and we just wanted to tell you,
in the spirit of justice,
in the spirit of truth,
John,
there is still one very big boob left standing there in that picture.

Claire Braz-Valentine


wyvernrose 38F
3895 posts
6/7/2005 7:06 pm

ROFLMAO people see more 'breast' as babies than throughout the remainder of their life, in fact they tend to suck on them for prolonged periods every few hours for at the very least the first few months from birth....

and they are worried about titties on a painting lol

WyvernRose


lustmirror 63M
2897 posts
6/8/2005 2:03 am

okay....the cadillac fins...
were not of a nose...
not of an imperfect nose, not of a perfect nose, but of....
bullet breasts....
the tabooo
that you
can have.....
sanctioned salvation from pre-------occupation

indirectly, we all buy into it, support it,
it wouldn't work, if we didn't


cajunpet 70M
1185 posts
6/8/2005 5:29 am

It seems like the minority of prudes makes these stupid laws around our land and country. You have paintings of nude Adam and Eve except for the leaf, in different churches around the world. If it alright to have them in several public places, why have laws to stop it on private property. Good art is not about pornography.


Keep On Blogging!!!! Have a great day.


rm_talldarkavg1 105M
10172 posts
6/8/2005 6:15 am

As we all know, breasts are extremely offensive protuberances that should never be discussed, glanced upon, or given the occassional head-butt.

Besides, everyone knows if you oogle boobies you'll go blind.

Here you have merely two examples of government acting in our best interest. Protecting our eyesight from the evil hooters.

[blog talldarkavg1]


Apolybear 54M

6/8/2005 4:33 pm

Damn JayR, I was going to mention the Ashcroft and the Spirit of Justice draping Let’s face it JR, Americans have real hang ups when it comes to nudity.


keithcancook 60M
17718 posts
6/8/2005 5:51 pm

"feeding devices?" [/] I have never heard it put quite that way before.

These types of censoring decisions are relics of history. As are the historical periods that produced the art in the first place. Obviously they reflect the Puritan and Calvanist morality that was brought to this continent from Europe nearly 400 years ago.

Some things are hard to shake it would seem. Yet one still has the freedom to display such art inside their private residences or businesses. Art of this form is still taught in our educational systems and portrayed in our media.

Also, these restrictions do not extend across the U.S. Not all communities are as tight assed as the one portrayed in The Detroit Free Press.


keithcancook 60M
17718 posts
6/8/2005 5:54 pm

"feeding devices?" I have never heard it put quite that way before.

These types of censoring decisions are relics of history. As are the historical periods that produced the art in the first place. Obviously they reflect the Puritan and Calvanist morality that was brought to this continent from Europe nearly 400 years ago.

Some things are hard to shake it would seem. Yet one still has the freedom to display such art inside their private residences or businesses. Art of this form is still taught in our educational systems and portrayed in our media.

Also, these restrictions do not extend across the U.S. Not all communities are as tight assed as the one portrayed in The Detroit Free Press.

PS: grrr. Another bout of papyitis has smitten me.


rockwriter58 56M
1389 posts
6/8/2005 7:52 pm

You gotta luv jayR's Ashcroft flame...

Could this also be why nursing mothers still get hassled in some places... including the sometimes not-so-friendly capital city?


mi_mwpm 51M

6/10/2005 6:47 am

OK Keith, ya got me... probably not the most eloquent choice of phrasing I could have made.


keithcancook 60M
17718 posts
6/20/2005 1:45 pm

Hey buddy, u could have at least deleted the evidence from my bout with papyitis...


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