Painting Nudes In Public – Is This Art or Soft Pornography?

Painting Nudes In Public – Is This Art or Soft Pornography?

PAINTING NUDES IN PUBLIC – IS THIS ART OR SOFT PORNOGRAPHY? - Ah, New York.  It is your first trip to the Big Apple and there are so many places you would like to visit. There is the Statue of Liberty, Times Square and of course, The Metropolitan Opera.

You’ve planned to see the history, the culture and the dynamics of the city when you realize a crowd has formed and in the midst of them is a young lady, apparently nude, covered in paint.  This was not on your itinerary.

Recently a group of artist decided ot paint nudes in New York - by painting I mean their naked bodies. Is Painting Nudes Art or Soft Pornography?

Should painting a nude body be considered art or is it soft pornography?  There have been few exhibits that raise eyebrows and criticism as much as the recent surge in painting nudes.

Not painting a picture of a nude person, but rather painting on the body of a nude person.  To some, what is found particularly offensive is the public display before the “art” has been achieved.

In New York it is legal for a woman to be topless in any area it is also appropriate for a man to be shirtless, like the beach or just out walking about.  This has given rise to many forms of expression, which includes body painting.

Although the street fair in the video was taken during the day, you will notice the young lady does keep her panties on. With the intent to protect little eyes and to silence the more conservative voices, recent changes in the city’s law allow for full nudity painting to be allowed only after dark.

Two ladies with full body painting strolling around New York.While we are talking about little eyes, it might interest you to note that you can also watch pornography at any of the city’s public libraries.  Yes, you read that right.

You see, while most of us think of the library as a place to sit and relax or take our children to story hour, there are those who will go for the free access to explicit videos and photos available through the public computers.  Although there are filters installed on their computers, NY law has decreed that anyone over the age of 17 has the right to disable the filter and access sites normally prohibited.

It is their right, protected by the First Amendment.  Just as the body painters may use completely naked models after dark.  They have rights.

But when does a right for one person turn into being an infringement of rights for someone else?  The answer is not clear and in the vain attempt to not limit anyone’s freedom, New York has crossed a line that while accepted, makes many of us glad it is not our town.

Watch the following video and then consider if this is indeed art.  Do you feel, should this be allowed on the streets out in public?  Is New York on the cutting edge, or just teetering on the edge of public decency and morality?

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  • Mike

    Why not! And what is wrong, I have seen many pictures of body art and quite frankly most of them are very very good. Is the model a voyer? an exhibitionist? I dont know but in most cases the human body is a thing of beauty. We need also to consider what we would prefer to see, nondescript Graffiti on walls that cost the local government tax payers money to clean and remove, or some lady adorned in paint that quite often is tactfully and attractively painted. I should imagine that there are some people who may get a kick out of seeing this while other’s, like myself, are fascinated by the artwork itself, in general it is very clever and the use of the human body and it’s shape is used to define the lines of the artwork. Should this become an every day occurence where we se it on street corners everywhere, it is possible that feelings maybe “enough is enough” at which time it may just go away.

    • Donna Wozny

      My concern also centers on the fact we teach our children that their bodies are private and not to be seen. Then there are models or topless men/women walking the street. The “after” painting is not an issue for me as much as the naked canvas. Seems we are teaching one thing and showing another.

  • meebal

    Nice article Dee. I’m a real art fan and I do not view nude art as either soft or hard pornography. The human form, especially a woman, is a beautiful thing and I’m not sure our children would be corrupted in any way with this type of art – there just isn’t, in my view anything sexual about it.

    • Donna Wozny

      I too appreciate many forms of art, however personally believe our bodies belong to us and when we are married to our spouse. They are not to be shared visually or physically with anyone outside of marriage. Call me a prude or a modest conservative, but I do not think we should revere or revel in the flesh.