July 8, 2014
I have in the past posted about depictions of Leyda and the Swan (http://wp.me/p2IaNZ-hY). Depictions of rape in art are hard for me to swallow. They seem to allow the viewer to gloss over the subject matter in rapt awe of the artist’s skill or the beauty of the depiction. Such arguments concerning art, the content versus the aesthetics is not new and not unique to visual arts. I do not in any way advocate censorship. I don’t think we should destroy paintings, put paintings away, stop viewing paintings, or even stop talking about depictions of Leyda and the Swan – I think though that you cannot divorce these pieces of artwork from the larger discussion of rape. They depict rape. You can’t talk about them, present them without acknowledging that, or knowing that someone, somewhere is going to say something. Forget triggering warnings, but if I say maybe we need to find some new archetype to hold up instead of Leyda I’m not screaming censorship, nor am I a raving feminist who wants to censor art to fit a political view point. On the contrary, this art should spur discussion and the fact that it doesn’t or that when it does the person who is asking the questions gets called repressed (true quote from the creep who said I should be turned on by art depicting rape and bestiality) maybe means I will keep asking the question. Keep bringing up the issue. I don’t want this or any art to go away.
So when I see the problems faced by artist Leena McCall it seems to come full circle. This western culture, really world culture, we live in has all sorts of twisty turny kinks in it. Her artwork was taken down, even though the figure presented was nearly fully clothed. No nipple was shown. The pants were unbuttoned and pubic hair was exposed – Nude? Hardly. Yet sexy and erotic. The picture that replaced her work – a full nude. Would a picture of Leyda and Swan been welcome in the forum – I can only guess but as a Master work, I would hazard a guess . . . . . You can see the picture yourself HERE, but as I am committed to making this blog a place that my niece and nephew can look at any time I will not post it. I think the picture is gorgeous. I think it is an entirely appropriate expression of female sexuality, on par with any of the female nude paintings and statues I have seen. It is not vulgar, or exploitative in any way. Some of Leena McCall’s other work is much more. . .daring and definitely NSFW, just know that if you go to her website. All of her work is beautiful though.