Colombian artist Fernando Botero has been one of my favorite artists ever since I moved to Florence, Italy for my junior year abroad in college. Upon my arrival, Botero’s enormous sculptures of voluminous men and women conversed with replicas of Michelangelo’s David and other Renaissance sculptures all over the piazzas of the city center. I was truly saddened when cranes came into the city just a few days later to lift away the statues–seeing as how this was my first trip to Florence, I was under the impression that Botero’s figures were going to delight me every day on my way to and from class.
As I become more voluminous every day with my pregnancy, Botero’s nude ladies inspire me even more. Full of confidence, grit, sensuality and matter-of-factness, Botero’s quirky style speaks to me on many levels.
It was for this reason that I pinned a few Botero paintings this week. Due to my large following on Pinterest, it no longer surprises me when there are smatterings of rude or off-color comments on my pins. Although, I must admit, that I was quite dumbfounded by some of the comments that ensued on the three Botero Painting pins. What strikes me as inspiring and beautiful—apparently strikes certain people as inappropriate, gross, and unsafe for kids.
I keep on looking at the paintings, trying to be empathetic. Do I see how this work could be inappropriate for Pinterest? Do I see how this could, in any way, be unsafe or unfit for kids to see? Seeing as how I’m about to become a parent, I am taking these types of questions very seriously. But even after doing some deep thinking, my answer remains the same. No. No no no no no.
This is art. It’s not some trashy photo of celebrity nipple. Do kids not visit art museums anymore? Do kids, themselves, not contain bodies, sometimes nude? Do kids not have mothers whose breasts they drink from as babies and small children? I feel that this closed-mindedness can only be the result of one thing–MAJOR lack of arts education in public schools in this country.
It deeply saddens me. So, to make myself feel better about this whole situation–I will donate a dollar for each comment* that is left on this post to the NAEA. It may not amount to much, but I can’t be inactive anymore.
Thoughts? I’m deeply curious to hear your feelings about this…
(*I will donate one dollar per comment, up to $300)