I'm in the art world and I've come to know many, many talented and wonderful artists throughout the years at galleries and art events. I've so enjoyed getting to know people and I've learned so much. There is one issue that has concerned me, though, especially with believers in the art world and that is the practice of painting, sketching, and attending figure drawing/painting classes that have live nude models.
I must challenge this practice among both Christian men and women in the art world. My thoughts are this, if God commands women to dress modestly, then why is it ok for a Christian man to pay a woman to disrobe in front of him so that he can sketch or paint her? The same goes for women, but I am mostly speaking to the men in this post since it seems like the prevalence in art is for men to artistically portray nude women in suggestive poses.
I can honestly see no caveat in the command for a man not to look upon a woman with lust (Matthew 5:28) and for a woman to dress modestly (1 Timothy 2:9-10). Those verses are not accompanied with an asterisk and with fine print elaborating that "it's ok if it's art, though".
Why is this acceptable? You are paying a woman to view her body unclothed. There is no excuse for this and it greatly disappoints me to see Christian men engaging in this activity in the art world. Where is your sense of decency? When you are sketching that model's breasts to be unrealistically perky, are you thinking of her as a person with an eternal soul, worthy of dignity and respect?
I sincerely doubt it.
It is demeaning a person who was made in the image of God. A person that you could have possibly reached out to in love. It is degrading a person that you could have possibly shared the gospel with, but how awkward it is now that you've seen her in an intimate situation that should only be reserved for the eyes of her husband. And you, sir, should be guarding your eyes and reserving your naked perusals only for your wife.....the one you have committed yourself to.
It is what God requires of us...both men and women....and it does not matter what popular culture does. You can be a light.
Christian men....I challenge you to hold women in such high regard that you would never dream of paying a model to disrobe in front of you. Would you be ok if your wife, sister, mother or daughter volunteered to be that disrobed woman in a room full of men? I challenge you to be a bastion of honor when it comes to how you think about, treat or portray women in your art. I challenge you to go against the popular opinion that it's perfectly acceptable....if it's ART....to view a woman naked. How is a naked woman lying in a seductive pose any different than pornography?
It is no different, sir. There is no difference at all.
Now...all that being said, this post is NOT addressed to unbelievers. It is solely for men and women who claim to be followers of Christ and of the Bible.
There is a higher standard that God has called you to, talented artist who just happens to be a man. A women can be portrayed in art in ways that accentuates her femininity and exalts her beauty without having to always rely on the sexual/naked side of the drawing board.
This is a challenge to come up higher.
1 Corinthians 6:19 ESV Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own.
You are not your own, if you are a follower of Christ. Be a man of honor.
P.S. All comments are moderated. If you have something ugly to say, please don't expend the typing effort. It won't be read or posted as a valid and intelligently thought through observation on this blog. Thanks! :)