Monday, May 10, 2010
About the time in man's evolution that he discovered scratching a cave wall with a stone would result in a mark being left, man began leaving his mark. And, as soon as he figured out that controlled scratching left marks resembling something, he began to draw.
And as learned to draw, he drew those "things" that were important to him: "things" he ate; "things" that wanted to eat him; and "things" with whom he ate and with home he had sex. Behold, the nude.
Artists and patrons of the arts in the community of Sturgis, South Dakota, have recently discovered what communities in Rome discovered prior to the birth of Christ; communities in Africa discovered long before that; and communities in the New World discovered long before the white man appeared on this continent's eastern shores: public art enriches society. They have created a sculpture walk in their town.
Included in that sculpture walk are some sculptures two local ministers of the faith have determined to be inappropriate for public view – to the best of my knowledge – because they include ... boobies. Read about it here.
Before all of us nose-in-the-air sophisticates from Rapid City get too huffy about how unsophisticated those rubes in Sturgis are, I would remind you the partially tax-supported Dahl Fine Arts Center is forbidden by its benefactor from ever displaying a nude within its walls.
That is a shame. Many of the Black Hills community's best artists have in their portfolios unseen depictions of the human figure. Richard DuBois and James Van Nuys come to mind.
Much of Christianity's most treasured images are of the nude figure. Most of those images are displayed in view of the general public. But the two numbskulls in Sturgis believe anything depicting a nipple is obscene, and they are making their voices heard.
The images in this post could not have taken place if art students had not studied the human body, recognized its beauty and applied it to their art.
We shall hope that the city fathers who allowed the sculpture walk to take place in Sturgis will have the intestinal fortitude to tell the two reverends to learn to live with it.
Posted by Michael Sanborn at 12:36 PM