Naked Artist


"Technical skill is mastery of complexity while creativity is mastery of simplicity." ~ E.C. Zeeman

airborne dancer

Joko Anwar is a bit off the generic celebrity scale. He’s a movie maker, indulgently lazy blogger and a believer in PLU religion: “Peace, love and understanding according to St. Elvis Costello”.

On the third day of Eid 1430H, Joko Anwar said,

And, very quickly, his followers passed the 10 thousand mark, forcing him to illegally, unfashionably walk into that ill-fated 24-hrs convenient store.

[Fortunately, it only happened once, and not every time his followers multiplied in 3000s.]


I have a thing for artists who short fuse their shame wires. You know, that committed group of artists who have lost the ability to blush. The kind that is to strip – without being sexual - naked. I’m thinking Alanis Morisette in “Thank You”, Sting by Annie Leibovitz, and every time Kate Winslet got naked.


Naked – when done properly - challenges the audience’s blushing threshold. Remember the last time you saw someone naked? Did you stare? Did you hear the model’s breath?

Or did you just COMPARE?

Naked art isn’t supposed to get you sexually tingled. Rather than having blood rushing to the genitals, the artistic nude provokes emotion and contemplation. Rather than stating the obvious [“LOOK, BOOBIE!!!”], artists emphasize the understated, using the flesh as canvass.

In Joko Anwar’s case, the understatement might have been

@jokoanwar Ultimately, nudity in the absence of a relevant message, does NOT sell. And does not last. It would only grab the attention of the bored and overdressed, before quickly fleeting to vulgar oblivion.

Whether it’s a naked Joko Anwar or a crazy hobo, whether it is an eternal nude art or a smutty flick, what is it about nudity that stirs so much shock? Is it THEIR brutal honesty?

Or is it the weight of our own secrets and masks?

Thanks to CK-Stuff for the links she’s compiled on the subject.


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