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Nudity And Sex In Art Still Cause A Stir

Even though artists have been paying homage to the human form since the beginning, nudity and sex in art still cause a major commotion. Two works of art — one newish and one really old — are getting a lot of attention lately and making some people a little uncomfortable.

On “The View,” Barbara Walters described her trip to see one of Marina Abramovic‘s performance art pieces at MoMA over the weekend. The gist of it is that two people, sometimes male, sometimes female, stand in the nude facing one another. Patrons can walk through the two individuals if they’d like, and Barbara described her trouble getting past them without touching something in the video above, acknowledging that one of the men was more endowed than the other. The second piece that’s the talk of the town is a Pablo Picasso painting that shows a man getting a blow job from a naked woman (see on Animal if your work allows). Painted at the turn of the 19th century, “Erotic Scene” will be included in The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s upcoming Picasso exhibit, but, apparently, it was almost left out because, according to the Met’s curator, Gary Tinterow, the work is “not very good.” However, it will go on display, even though it’s not one of the exhibit’s showpieces (I think because the museum knew it would get media attention).

When I was in elementary school and high school, we made trips to art museums in the area, but there certainly wasn’t anything like these at the local gallery in small town Ohio. Now I’m fairly used to this type of art, but I still can’t imagine being a student and seeing these pieces my teachers. However, it would be an easy way for instructors to broach subjects like oral sex without having to say, “Class, today we’re going to talk about fellatio!”

[The View, AP, Animal]

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