Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Will you join the revolution?

This morning I was confronted with an uncomfortable reality: there are people who do NOT like nudity.  I guess I know this theoretically, but it confuses me each time I run smack dab into it yet again.  I find the human body so fascinating, so surprising, so beautiful in all its forms that I don't quite know what to do when people express to me how offended they are by my depictions of said bodies.

In the past and again recently I have learned that some businesses which have supported me as an artist have paid a price in lost business because some customers haven't wanted to be around paintings of nude women.  On the other hand, some folks were drawn into the businesses by the paintings, so I'm hoping it goes both ways.

But I find it ultimately so sad that people would find my depictions of the human form to be disgusting.  I don't take it personally.  I realize they're not commenting on my talent or abilities.  Rather, they are apparently provoked by the subject matter.  I would guess it doesn't have much to do with the specific form of the woman they're looking at either. Fat, thin, black, white, green or blue - people have commented on almost all of my paintings with equal reverence and disgust.  It's quite a wide spectrum.  It's fascinating.

My take on it is that some people are not comfortable in their own skins, so they get triggered by looking at a nude body, particularly one which is not considered to be conventionally beautiful.  "How dare she have the gall to stand there naked?  She's so (fill in an offending adjective)!" 

I wept this morning thinking about the grief and pain some people must experience being confronted with their own bodies each day.  But truly there is nothing heinous about our bodies.  Nothing disgusting.  Nothing bad.  The curve of my thigh is beautiful.  The spots that are showing up on my skin each day as I age - interesting and fascinating.  The fat on my belly - smooth, curvy, sensuous.  None of it is horrible.  I am not horrible, or bad, or disgusting.

It's a challenge sometimes to stand by these beliefs and listen to people who feel differently.  It's hard to hear people rail against my paintings and against the idea, for example, that fat people don't deserve to be painted - or live, for that matter!  They're too gross!  Wow.  Really?  That's extreme.

All I'm saying is that our bodies are fundamentally beautiful and worthy of love.  We will feel happier if we can love our bodies and be grateful for all they do for us to allow us to exist on this earth.  I didn't know it  when I started these paintings, but I'm learning more each day that, in fact, it is hugely revolutionary to insist that we are fabulous, gorgeous and completely loveable.  Will you join the revolution?


  1. Well I think what you are doing is beautiful.. and if we can accept the natural beauty of our individual bodies, it is better for everyone. Heck, one day I shall get a nude of myself and I will treasure the piece.

  2. yeah, strangely those that label and rail against the "unmentionable" are also in pain..where does the pain inflict/absorb cycle end?
    Saw a funny sweet movie last night- City Lights (Andy Garcia) and the young son has a fetish with women that you may enjoy seeing in a main stream movie! He likes to feed women... and the women are celebrated for loving to eat...you have to see it maybe. It's cute and good diversion!
    Love tom