We have had many wonderful letters recently which expand on the philosophy and attitude of DOMAI. Here is another one, with a fine explanation I have not heard before. Enjoy.
Letter of the week, from Shane:
The Flower and the Nude
I was in a discussion of what was considered art and what was pornography. I was confronted with the question of, "If the purpose is not sexual, then why young and attractive girls? Why not naked old men?" I felt a strong resistance and felt that without a good answer, it would be just a loosing argument so I just said, "whatever" and left it at that, rather than arguing the point. Later I thought of my answer. Unfortunately, I would never see this person again being the chance encounter it was, but for the next person I would have my answer.
The answer came later while working in my garden. I was working over a flower bed of roses and iris and saw a mix of new buds, flowers in full bloom and flowers that were now withered. The answer hit me like a ton of bricks. The flower has been used in poetry and so many other forms of art but I had never thought to put the correlation together between nude art and flowers themselves.
To answer the question "if it is not sexual, why young girls and not old men?" The answer is simply a matter of taste. A photograph of a naked old man is art as well. So is a photo of a young man, an old woman or a young woman. But it is a matter of personal taste that makes one choose the young female. This is true of the flower as it is will all living art objects. Who wants to view a flower that is withered and old? Is a picture of an old withered flower art? The answer is yes. But what is painted on pictures, furniture, houses, buildings, vases and everything else? An old withered flower or a young vibrant live flower? It is natural to be drawn to a fully developed fresh fully opened flower.
As a bud it is regarded as a promise of something that will be great, typically wrapped to protect its tender flower petals with a wrap of green. It really isnât pretty but the thought of what it will be some day if kept protected is exciting. Once it opens and fully matures and "blossoms" it is one of this planets most desired objects. They are young and full of life. They are picked, painted and photographed. Once it withers, if it has not been painted or photographed the beauty is lost forever. I cannot draw a more perfect parallel to nude art.
As far as why I prefer women to men. All I can say is that I like iris better than roses. Why? I don't know. I just like them better. I have a few roses, but my yard is covered in iris. I like it better. It is a matter of taste. Someone else may disagree and find roses prettier and they would have a lot of company. That does not make it wrong or right. It is just their taste.
A bud has to have cover to protect it so that it will be able to blossom. A withered or damaged flower is removed from view because of aesthetic reasons. To hide a fully blossomed flower is unthinkable. As a baby, we need cover for protection against, well everything. If a person's body is old or ugly, cover it. This is a choice of taste. But to cover a beautiful body is just unthinkable.
Thank You So Much,
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