An art lesson.

There’s a controversial statue in town.

It is placed inside the Overland Park Arboretum and Botanical Gardens. All ages are welcome to visit for free. There are places for kids to play and explore. I have been on playdates there. Emma’s class took a field trip there. It is a popular spot for prom pictures.

Children are always present.

I don’t normally watch a lot of news. But this statue has created enough controversy on facebook and blogs that I took notice.

I looked for a picture of this statue online, knowing it involved nudity since people were getting upset. This is what I found:

20120606-143130.jpg

To be honest, my first thought was “I hope my girls don’t do that when they’re older.”

So yeah, I get it. Moms don’t want their daughters to see the idea of “whoring out” to a camera. It’s art that depicts what some young women do.

I do not mind the sculpture. I find no reason to protest it. It’s art. You can’t censor every piece of nudity from kids – even if it is shown in a more modern and real context. I don’t know, showing my kids metal nipples just doesn’t bother me. I’m sure there are other nude statues around Kansas City. I’ve never noticed them. Neither have my kids. Scott probably has.

I took Emma and Kate to the Arboretum today. I stopped in front of the statue. I casually asked Emma what she thought.

I don’t like it, mom.

Really? Why?

She doesn’t have a head! Or feet!

That’s true. It’s a style of art. Some people like it. Some don’t.

Oh. Well, I don’t.

I asked Kate what she thought.
Kate looked then got distracted at a butterfly. She said nothing.

I know they would have kept walking if I didn’t stop to ask them what they thought.

My kids confirmed what I think: it’s just body parts to them.

Maybe if they were a little older, like in the full blown “sexting” teenage years, they will see something different.

Maybe years from now they will see what I see – the woman is taking a picture of her boobs and losing her identity at the same time.

Maybe Emma and Kate will interpret it completely different.

But I definitely don’t think the statue will say to them, “hey, take a picture of your boobs.”

I think if I were to make a big deal about the statue, the girls would make a big deal too. Kinda like me picking tomatoes off my sandwich. They do the same thing. Or if a bee is chasing me, I start screaming. In return, they start screaming. If I freak out, they freak out.

If I protested this statue in front of them, they would wonder why certain body parts are bad. Because that is all they can see for now – body parts. They don’t understand or even notice the camera the woman is holding.

I try not to judge others. I could care less if the statue is moved or not.

But it did give my child a small lesson in art today.

2 thoughts on “An art lesson.

  1. I didn’t actually notice any nudity until I read about it in your text 🙂 I don’t normally like modern art, but this one drew my attention – it made my eyes feel funny with all those broken lines and patterns. I can’t say I like it, but it was kind of entertaining to have a look at it. Thanks for posting!

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  2. I think I noticed the boobs right off because of all the local talk about them. But the broken lines do mess with my eyes too.

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