Thursday, July 29, 2010

Shockingly Unshocking

                                            Ingres (1780- 1867)

                                                      Toulouse-Lautrec (1864-1901)

Is sex really a source of shock in our society? I have been thinking about this for awhile and it was exacerbated by the ”Shock Art” episode on Bravo’s Work of Art. ( I realize that this was aired awhile ago but I have been out of town and dealing with more important family matters lately) I have included a link to the artwork from this show for anyone who doesn't watch the show. A majority of the artists on this show chose to do something sex-related as a way of shocking their audience. America is one of the few countries who still seem to find sex and our sexuality “shocking”. For most countries this is simply a daily activity. For centuries artists have shocked their audiences with sexually based artwork. I have included some within this blog and trust me when I tell you that this is in no way even scratching the surface. If this is the case, is it really shocking still? Seriously? After all of this time?

                                                          Schiele (1890- 1918)

I almost wish that Work of Art extended themselves to include artists from other countries. I feel pretty sure( though I may be wrong) that their shock related art would be about quite different subject matters. I personally think that the atrocities of war or tyrannical governments are shocking. The fact that we have become so desensitized to violence and that we want to see actual live executions broadcasted on the television is pretty shocking. The buying and selling of young girls for sex is pretty shocking. The lengths to which we are willing to go for beauty and sex., the disfiguration, pain and even death… these are shocking ideas. Yet no one seemed to touch these ideas. I see it time and time again whenever an assignment like this is given to artists at school and now I’m seeing it yet again with artists who have long since graduated. The world is falling to pieces around us and is progressing in new and sometimes dangerous ways, but all we can think about is what’s in our underpants.

                                                       Beardsley (1872-1898)

No comments:

Post a Comment