My Bucket of Parts: Displayed art projects hardly art at all

I am not an art critic - but I can't stay silent any longer.

Photographs of a Barbie hanging upside-down wrapped in twine? Black and white photos of a naked wet woman that looks like someone just gave birth to her? A naked overweight person wrapped in Saran wrap?

What is up with all that art photography displayed in the Arts and Journalism building on the second floor?

Questions, questions, questions.

Yes, I suppose that the body can be a beautiful canvas, especially when a photographer paints a naked man green and takes pictures. I'm sure the "artist" has an idea and a reason for all this nakedness, but who are they getting to pose?

"Mom, I need to take pictures of someone naked. Interested?"

Granted, I have a feeling that some of these photographs are self portraits, and I too will be taking self portraits in my photography class, but don't worry, I'm sparing everyone and snapping those shots with - gasp - all my clothes on. I'm not in the mood to act like a Calvin Klein advertisement. People would get the wrong idea because I'm so thin, think that I'm twelve, and call the authorities.

I'm not looking for trouble.

Is a fully-clothed self portrait possible? Or should I lather myself with a full container of Vaseline, paste gummy bears all over me and pose, blushing, at the camera? I have markers as well, should I stick those somewhere, too?

"Look Ma, no hands."

Or should I be like Stephen King's "Carrie" and pour goat blood all over myself, spray paint vulgar words all over my body and put foil around my private parts and say, "Cheese"?

"What does the foil have to do with anything, Evan?" someone will ask.

"I'm trying to receive messages from aliens."

It all reminds me of those jokes: What do you call a man with no arms and no legs floating in the ocean? Bob. What do you call a naked man with no arms and legs hanging from a wall? Art.

Believe it or not, I do come from an artistic family.

My father, mother and brother all took art classes, had oils, painted and sculpted. My mother had a scholarship and took classes at Herron Art School in downtown Indianapolis. My brother has a massive abstract water color painting hanging in the living room. My father taught himself how to use a manual camera and uses an Olympus older than my brother and I.

But with all these artists living in my house, I have yet to come across a set of painted nipples, drawn butt cracks or photographed private parts.

They must be behind in the times. I need to call them and let them in on the little secret that the art tide to catch is "naked" art.

Speaking of "naked" art, Ball State also employs students (for minimum wage) to pose for nude modeling. If you enjoy the buff, definitely check it out - I'm sure the photographers are tired of using themselves. There's only so much one can do with their own body before they have to alter it with piercings and tattoos.

Although, personally, I don't understand how the human body can be so artful (you're talking to someone who sleeps fully clothed) I have a feeling more pictures are on their way that would make Hugh Hefner blush.

Perhaps I should put myself in the position to better understand art. Perhaps I should model. What do you think?

I did see an advertisement for a clothed model the other day.

Write to Evan at emann@mr-potatohead.com


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