I am currently exhibiting wonderful artwork by an insightful artist named Prue Scott. Prue is a sculptor and her current exhibition is a collection of nude bronzes portraying scenes of humanity, support and joy. There is nothing sexual about the images and they are an excellent representation of the human form, both physical and emotional.
What makes this exhibition ‘different’ is that all of the bronze sculptures are male.
I hadn’t given that fact a second thought; however the majority of our visitors during the past week have found the innocent images very confronting and have asked questions like ‘what’s the artist’s infatuation with naked men?’; and ‘why so many penises?’
What I found even more interesting is that many of these comments and questions were made by women.
It dawned on me that if these bronzes were female, they would not have evoked the same reaction or response. I would not have heard the questions ‘what’s the artist’s infatuation with naked women?’; nor would have I heard ‘why so many boobies?’
As a society, we are used to seeing naked females, not just in art but in general. There is no shock; no awe; we seem to be desensitised.
So here we are in 2012, and 30cm sculptures of naked men elicit responses from both men and women that suggest we are living in a time long long ago.
This post doesn’t aim to preach, or change the world. I thought I’d write it as this is the first exhibition that we have hosted that has elicited so much response and so much conversation. By my measure, it is therefore the first time we have shown a true art exhibition.
Equability by Prue Scott ends this Sunday 9 December at 6pm.
one hundredth gallery is for everyone new to art | 49 Porter St Prahran