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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Artist vs. Pervert

Left: Silhouette Masterpiece Theater by Wilhelm Staehle
Right: Le déjeuner sur l'herbe by Édouard Manet

Staehle's description of the artist vs. pervert is such a hilarious one. It immediately brought to mind Manet's 'The Luncheon' and the controversy that it started when first presented in the late 1800's. The issue is one of context - both social and artistic. However, art nor artist is ever free of either. Manet was widely criticized for his depiction of the female nude outside of its acceptable artistic context. And now the same picture is studied as part of a master's body of work: lauded publicly and discussed broadly.

Is there a line that you readers can distinguish between artist and pervert or art and pornography?

It is funny to think about the artists who stir up controversy today and what their lasting (if any) impact on art and society will be. Borat? Bruno?

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