THE BLOG
09/30/2016 09:18 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Pornosophy: Nudity

2016-09-30-1475241352-1229810-OriginoftheWorld.jpg

Nude is a word that has both academic and pleasurable, if somewhat transgressive connotations. From the academic point of view a nude is a classic form in which both painters and sculptors have worked. There are of course infamous nudes, like the one in Courbet's "The Origin of the World," in which the wanton pose of the subject was deemed so risqué that for many years the painting was hidden from public view. Nude when used as an adjective is hardly academic and refers to a state in which lovers find themselves in anticipation of a sexual act. When you get nude or you see someone in the nude you're viewing them or being viewed in a state that has to do with revelation as well as sensory gratification. One always questions why nudity has such significance. Biblically Adam and Eve experienced shame after they ate the forbidden fruit, but nudity is also associated with the idea of truth. What makes nudity so special is not that we're exposing our so called private parts, but rather seeking a kind of veracity. Nudity is a metaphor. It's consecrated (and also forbidden) because of the way in which it symbolizes the striving that transpires when one individual tries to show another his or her real self.

Courbet's "The Origin of the World"

{This was originally posted to The Screaming Pope, Francis Levy's blog of rants and reactions to contemporary politics, art and culture}