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Nudity in Art

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  • Feb. 21, 2007
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Nudity in art, or as some may call it pornography, has placed people at opposite ends of the political spectrum. Artists many times will include depictions or description of nudes of the human form in their works. The artists themselves and many liberal, art-loving patrons argue that the world of art needs to have the freedoms to express the human form in the most basic of forms. In opposite of that opinion, many also find the nude human form disgusting and to be categorized as pornography and treated as such. This argument is valid and important, but as found in the Art Journal, Dennis Barrie says this about art, "sometimes art is not beautiful, and sometimes it's challenging, and sometimes it's even offensive, and yet it can be art" ( Barrie 30). Reprisal for being an artist or the fear of public outcry when creating a piece of art several limits the artist's ability to fully express what they see.

The First Amendment is one of the cornerstones of the American Society. When asked, many Americans name the greatest right they are provided by our constitution as the freedom of speech and the right to express one's self. Clashes happen over the First Amendment when someone is offended by another's free act of speech or expression. The laws were created to protect one's right and another's freedom to disagree on that subject. This does create times where a common agreement must be made to consider both parties involved. In Cincinnati, at the Contemporary Arts Center, Dennis Barrie was indicted and acquitted for displaying at an exhibition photographs depicting human bondage and nudity. After Barrie's discourse on the events of that day, one thing stood out for him, "More than anything, that image-that image of policeman in uniforms pushing patrons out of a museum because of what is on the walls-is the image that's going to haunt me for the rest of my life. Because that isn't our country, or it shouldn't be our country" ( Barrie 30). Barrie alludes to the First...