On being an Artist and LDS, nudity in art


trixie
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But I don't think nudity should elicit no response....or similar to looking at a bottle of Coppetone

I don't know if you are familiar with it or not. But Coppertone bottles depict the nude rear end of a small girl. The response to the dog tugging off her diaper/shorts is, "aww... cute." as opposed to, "hubhuba". I was referring to the iconic art as opposed to the bottle itself.

Yes, I know nudity is used for various reasons, it isn't limited to, "aww... cute!" But the idea was it would elicit a response other than sexual.

Actually, in the art world, that hasn't been too far off. When society has taken a more extreme twist where nudity = porn (or at least inappropriate to the more delicate class' senses) art was censored or entirely destroyed. It was a method of instilling conformity and eliminating oppsing viewpoints in the cultural sense.

I'm aware of why book burning (or other censorship) is done, that's why I highlighted it. It is a horrible thing, which is why I react so strongly that merely thinking all nudity is pornography is the equivalent. It's like saying being angry with somebody (a prime motivator for violence) is the same as beating them senseless or even killing them.

People have used the position of all nudity is pornography to 'burn books'. That does not mean all those who think all nudity is pornography want to 'burn books'. People have used the position that taking the name of the Lord in vain is profane. They have used that as justification against limiting speech in the past. So people who think taking the name of the Lord in vain is profane want to restrict speech by force or coercion? Not only that but it is as if they've already done it? You've gone from, some people have used a position as justification for doing something to people who hold that view are identical to those who burn books?

Can I point out that the human body is nothing to be ashamed is a view that has been used to promote pornography (and I mean pornography, not nudity in art)? Can I then say that said position is the same as being a pornographer? No? Why? Same reason you can't say thinking nudity is pornography, though it has been used in the past to do such, is the same thing as burning books.

If she wanted to say, that's the kind of thinking that leads to banning dancing or burning books, and that worries me (and maybe, in all honesty that's what she was trying to say). Less of a reaction would have been forthcoming. I won't lie, accusing somebody of book burning makes me see red. How you feel about the visual medium I may feel about the written. 1984 contains some stuff that I'm sure people find questionable (as do various other books), but try as I might I don't automatically make the leap from, "Any books that depicts X is of no redeeming value/immoral" to, he wants to ban my books! It's the same as if he was actually burning them right now! It's not as bad as burning books until you are actually burning books (or other mediums).

Edited by Dravin
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I am not LDS but I do have a question for LDS artists out there. First I apologize if this is in the wrong place, wasn't sure where the right place is. Anyhow my question is this. How do you all feel about nudity in art? Is there a church stance on this? I attend an art school a figure drawing is required of us. I've met a couple LDS kids at the art school I go to. One of them sees no problem with it, another one seems to think it's pornographic. Further more we have a gallery with teacher work and student work on display some of which is nude, I happen to find it artistically done and tasteful. How do the church schools go about teaching figure drawing? Just curious, any insight would be great, thanks ^_^

One only has to look at magazine covers to realize that the human form is very popular in our culture. So I suppose it's only normal that how to use it as art is taught in art schools.

As a Mormon, I'm not sure it would be right to get into nudity etc commercially because of the things it could lead to.:(

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  • 11 months later...

First off, I like the discution on this forum. It seems open and overall an insightful environment.

Different cultures have different beleifs on the subject of nudity. In some cultures, people are almost completely nude all the time. They also haven't read the Bible. There is nothing sexual about it for them. There is probably not much meaningful about it for them either.

One of the first things Adam and Eve did when they tasted the fruit was to cover themseves of their nakedness. Being one of the first thigs in the Bible, this seems to be an important thing.

My personal belief is that I want to keep certain things meaningful and special. Everyone has their opinion and choice. Mine is to limit my own exposure to nudity in any form and save it for marriage. In my opinion nudity for medical necesity is tolerable.

For me it just adds something nice to the relationship.

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To Wingnut. I dont read that lucifer told them they ought to be ashamed of it. I read

"And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons."

and later in the same chapter God mentions that they have become like gods in knowing good and evil.

Then...

"Unto Adam also and to his wife did the Lord God make coats of skins and clothe them."

This is just my opinion, but why would God give them coats of skins to cover themselves if he were going to say go ahead and make nude art. They were the only two on earth at this point. I believe it was an introduction to modesty and respect each other and God's creation.

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To Wingnut. I dont read that . . .

AFAIK, Wingnut's conclusion is drawn primarily from the LDS temple liturgy. If you aren't familiar with it, it's going to be difficult to continue this conversation because we don't really discuss the temple liturgy in detail outside of the temple itself.

(If you're already a Mormon, sorry if I'm re-stating the obvious; from your profile I can't tell your background vis a vis the LDS Church.)

Then...

"Unto Adam also and to his wife did the Lord God make coats of skins and clothe them."

This is just my opinion, but why would God give them coats of skins to cover themselves if he were going to say go ahead and make nude art. They were the only two on earth at this point. I believe it was an introduction to modesty and respect each other and God's creation.

Sure; but it isn't necessarily that nudity is sinful per se--just that God didn't necessarily trust the newly-sexually-aware Adam and Eve (or their posterity) to be able to handle the temptations that tend to accompany constant nudity.

It's the same reason I don't let my four-year-old walk around with matches--not that matches or fire are evil; it's just that certain temptations come to a person holding a box of matches and a child may not be ready or able to properly resist them.

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Sure; but it isn't necessarily that nudity is sinful per se--just that God didn't necessarily trust the newly-sexually-aware Adam and Eve (or their posterity) to be able to handle the temptations that tend to accompany constant nudity.

There are also certain practical applications for clothing beyond modesty. Us mortal folks can get sunburned or hypothermia and the like. Garments (both the normal type and the covenant connected type) are a protection.

Edited by Dravin
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Just want to point out (and it has been hinted at in the much older posts here), that legally speaking, nudity =/= pornography, and pornography =/= obscenity.

Marginoferror laid out the Miller v. California standard, which is the governing legal precedent for when something falls outside of the First Amendment's protection. This is fine, as far as it goes, but the reality is that very little has ever actually been prohibited under that standard (which is probably a good thing). Obscenity, as a legal term, encompasses an extremely narrow category of material and expression.

I have become convinced that trying to say "stuff involving X is pornography" is pretty useless, and things can only be evaluated on a case-by-case basis, tedious as it may be. Like Justice Potter Stewart, I know pornography when I see it, and far from everything involving nudity is pornography.

Just throwin' it out there, as they say.

Edited by Last_Daze
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Sure; but it isn't necessarily that nudity is sinful per se--just that God didn't necessarily trust the newly-sexually-aware Adam and Eve (or their posterity) to be able to handle the temptations that tend to accompany constant nudity.

It's the same reason I don't let my four-year-old walk around with matches--not that matches or fire are evil; it's just that certain temptations come to a person holding a box of matches and a child may not be ready or able to properly resist them.

This is an understandable view.

That being said; (Trust or no trust) How would you feel if your son, daughter or spouse wanted to pose nude for an art project? How would they feel if you wanted to?

I read some of the book of Moses, similar to Genesis. The wording I quoted earlier is almost word for word. The church has petitioned for modest clothing and dress that is not revealing or even too tight or form fitting.

I don't think nudity is nececarily evil, but I do think it should be kept for medical necesity and more importantly for a connection between man and wife.

If figure drawing is okay, then how about photography for the purpose of art? Art is intended to incite feelings and emotions. You can justify a little at a time until you get what you want, but the bottom line is if there is a question about it, you should probably NOT be involved.

Edited by newguy
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  • 3 months later...

I have a question regarding artist nudes used for art and more specifically being the artist nude for other artist. I have posed clothed but wouldn't mind posing nude either. As an artist myself I have taken life drawing with nude models. As a Member of the Church I do feel somewhat guilty about the desire to pose but nevertheless would like to experience that side of the art world. Does anyone know of any doctrine or "rules" that would prevent a good member in good standing to pose nude?

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I have a question regarding artist nudes used for art and more specifically being the artist nude for other artist. I have posed clothed but wouldn't mind posing nude either. As an artist myself I have taken life drawing with nude models. As a Member of the Church I do feel somewhat guilty about the desire to pose but nevertheless would like to experience that side of the art world. Does anyone know of any doctrine or "rules" that would prevent a good member in good standing to pose nude?

Nope.

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I definitely get aroused by looking at paintings, drawings, sculptures, etc of nude women. I'm an artist too, but have never done figure drawing because I know I wouldn't be able to do it without sinful thoughts. So for myself, it definitely would be pornography.

If you can't draw a naked person of the opposite sex without getting aroused, you could draw a fat old person of your same sex for the figure drawing class to avoid the temptation. lol. That's probably the route I'd have to go.

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  • 3 months later...

It's natural to be attracted to the opposite sex. God created us that way. As long as we don't make those thoughts lustful then your fine.after all, there is a big difference between seeing a beautiful woma and seeing an sexy woman. Just when your in the presence of one of these nude models, don't thinly so hard about the sexual features of her body, ratherfocus on her body as a whole; how her hair flows long over her shoulders, or how her waste and pelvis makes an awkward triangle shape as that pose she's in. If you get aroused its ok, that means your body is functioning properly. Just try to resist lustful thoughts. Like its ok to think het body looks nice, even if its something intimate, its your job snd you're trained for it. Just don't allow yourself to turn that thought into a lustful one, and wonder about touching, seeing, etc things that is clearly not good. I recommend just silently singing a hymn. It will definitely help keep your mind clean. If your still unsure, just pray, ask of God for your answer concerning what you must do.

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Guest LiterateParakeet

I have a question regarding artist nudes used for art and more specifically being the artist nude for other artist. I have posed clothed but wouldn't mind posing nude either.

For me this is the heart of the matter. I felt pretty open about it until I imagined MY daughter as the model. I have a big problem with that. I'm guessing your bishop would feel the same.

BTW a great book on this topic is My Name is Asher Lev by Chaim Potok. It's one of my favorite books.

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Well since the OP hasn't visited this site in over a year and there are responses to a poster who hasn't been here in almost 5 months..I'm closing this thread.

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