I’m averting my eyes, Oh Lord

by Andrea Elizabeth

In researching the prevalence of nudity in college figure drawing classes, I came across this article, Nudity in Art: A Virtue or Vice. Some good points are made, especially the one about how certain poses and gestures done by clothed people can be more sexual, but I think the article minimizes the power of the private parts of human bodies and our response to them. I agree that some objections are based in the wrong idea that bodies and sex are bad, but, maybe it’s just me, I think that showing our most intimate parts is distracting. My eye is drawn to them and not the rest. You can avoid being prudish amd Puritanical by seeing these parts as too bright, instead of dark, to view comfortably. Do we really want to become desensitized to that power? Draping those parts can better lead attention to the overall structure, form, grace, and luminescence of the human body. I think the painting in the right margin by Vitaly Schtonko of the shepherd with the beautiful drapes is the most glorious depiction of skin on the page.