Is This Art?


The Scream

Art is esoteric. It is not meant for all. Certainly for the hungry and poor, art has no place in their lives. Art appreciation transcends norms that most people are accustomed to. What is art to some could well be trash to another. The 1895 pastel-on-board version of the painting “Scream”, owned by Norwegian businessman Petter Olsen, was sold at Sotheby’s for a record US$120 million at auction on 2 May 2012 (Wikipedia). At that price, many people will surely scream. They either scream at the price or the painting which is not exactly a pretty sight.


Pablo Picasso’s Nude, Green Leaves and Bust

Before the record breaking “Scream” auction,  the previous record for the most expensive work of art sold at auction had been held by Picasso’s Nude, Green Leaves and Bust, which went for US$106.5 million at Christie’s two years prior. To unappreciative gazers, this piece isn’t much of a looker as well. Beauty is indeed in the eyes of the beholder. From another perspective, beauty is what it cost to acquire, measured in dollars and cents. There is no better way to value the “beauty” in a piece of art other than in money power.

Nudity is like a shadow of artistic works. A naked woman is invariably the subject of art. It could be the subliminal pronographic content that is being masqueraded as art that makes naked art so popular. A naked woman does have great appeal to masculine eyes. But in today’s internet world of pornography, there’s no need to have a artistic rendition of a naked woman when the real ones are readily available, and rendered in full motion.

Why is it then that this obsession with human naked forms still prevalent? A University of California (San Diego) professor Dominguez has taken this to another extreme. He mandates all his students to go naked, else she or he fails. Is this art or simply abuse of power to satisfy the feasting eyes of a sex pervert? The story was reported in

Ricardo Dominguez has been teaching Visual Arts 104A: Performing the Self for 11 years. The project is entitled, “The Erotic Self.”

“The class that focuses on the history of body art and performance art in relation to the question of the self or subjectivity,” Dominguez described to US TV station KGTV.

He also stressed that students are offered the option of being figuratively or emotionally naked instead.

“There are many ways to perform nudity or nakedness, summoning art history conventions of the nude or laying bare of one’s ‘traumatic’ or most fragile and vulnerable self’, the University of California, San Diego said in a statement.

But one parent is furious over the rule.

“It bothers me, I’m not sending her to school for this,” she told ABC 10.

“To blanket say you must be naked in order to pass my class. It makes me sick to my stomach.”

Dominguez stands by his examination technique.

Fortunately, Dr Jordan Crandall, the chair of the Visual Arts Department, released the following statement yesterday to KGTV.

“The concerns of our students are our department’s first priority, and I’d like to offer some contextual information that will help answer questions regarding the pedagogy of VIS 104A.

“Removing your clothes is not required in this class. The course is not required for graduation.”

PS: Playing catch up, hot from the news (

Pablo Picasso’s “Les Femme d’ Alger”

Pablo Picasso’s “Les Femme d’ Alger”

Pablo Picasso’s “Les Femme d’ Alger” sold at Christie’s in New York last night for $179 million – the highest price ever paid at auction for a painting.

It smashed the record previously held by Francis Bacon’s “Three Studies of Lucian Freud” which sold for $142 million in 2013.

Romans 12:2
And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.


, , , , ,