NUDES: aesthetic?, erotic?, literal? ... or singularly apathetic?
When I am doing something that requires great mental acuity I cannot play classical music in the background because that music’s mental demand conflicts with my other task. I cannot ‘listen’ to classical music without directing an intense mental focus to it.
Likewise, I find that the human body’s potential erotic ‘beauty’ gets in the way of any loftier aesthetic that strives to be noted and evaluated. I do not find the human body ‘beautiful’ in any sublimated way.
Decades ago, in 1970 (when the US dollar was worth something), I was in Europe on a three month First Class Eurailpass. I made a point to visit Michelangelo. In Firenze, I visited David and was amazed with the intricacy and detail that the master had captured. But, I will treasure my intimacy with his (Vatican) Pieta much, much more. I saw the Pieta before it was smashed by the deranged Lazlo Toth’s hammer (and subsequently reconstructed in Brazil). I saw it without Plexiglas.
In fact, I walked up to it and, alone, I glided my hand over it quietly and lovingly. That made a big impression on me: the form of the poses, the empathy and nobility of the subjects, the grace with which the clothing flowed. Far more than a depiction of a grieving mother, here Michelangelo masterfully imparted a successful conflation of spiritual and worldly. I almost was waiting for Mary to verbally communicate her remorse to the dead Jesus.
I post this to ask others if they witness the nude human body in the same pedestrian way in which I perceive it, be it photographed, painted, or sculpted. Art must say something, I believe, and although humans, be they nude or clothed, might perform, as conduit, the artist’s yeoman’s task of allowing the full, underlying aesthetic to boldly manifest … yet, without the communicative denouement, without subordination of the isolated human form, without other more ennobling factors handily overriding the literalness of the human paradigm, we have, essentially, ‘classical music’ revealed and reviled as, but, enhanced background noise. – David Lyga
Last edited by David Lyga; 02-10-2013 at 12:40 PM. Click to view previous post history.