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Colombian artist Fernando Botero has been one of my favorite artists ever since I moved to Florence, Italy for my junior year abroad in college.  Upon my arrival, Botero’s enormous sculptures of voluminous men and women conversed with replicas of Michelangelo’s David and other Renaissance sculptures all over the piazzas of the city center. I was truly saddened when cranes came into the city just a few days later to lift away the statues–seeing as how this was my first trip to Florence, I was under the impression that Botero’s figures were going to delight me every day on my way to and from class. 

As I become more voluminous every day with my pregnancy, Botero’s nude ladies inspire me even more. Full of confidence, grit, sensuality and matter-of-factness, Botero’s quirky style speaks to me on many levels. 

It was for this reason that I pinned a few Botero paintings this week. Due to my large following on Pinterest, it no longer surprises me when there are smatterings of rude or off-color comments on my pins.  Although, I must admit, that I was quite dumbfounded by some of the comments that ensued on the three Botero Painting pins.  What strikes me as inspiring and beautiful—apparently strikes certain people as inappropriate, gross, and unsafe for kids.

I keep on looking at the paintings, trying to be empathetic. Do I see how this work could be inappropriate for Pinterest? Do I see how this could, in any way, be unsafe or unfit for kids to see? Seeing as how I’m about to become a parent, I am taking these types of questions very seriously. But even after doing some deep thinking, my answer remains the same. No. No no no no no. 

This is art. It’s not some trashy photo of celebrity nipple.  Do kids not visit art museums anymore? Do kids, themselves, not contain bodies, sometimes nude?  Do kids not have mothers whose breasts they drink from as babies and small children?  I feel that this closed-mindedness can only be the result of one thing–MAJOR lack of arts education in public schools in this country. 

It deeply saddens me. So, to make myself feel better about this whole situation–I will donate a dollar for each comment* that is left on this post to the NAEA. It may not amount to much, but I can’t be inactive anymore.

Thoughts? I’m deeply curious to hear your feelings about this…
(*I will donate one dollar per comment, up to $300)

73 Responses to Botero, Pinterest, and the NAEA
  1. I don’t see how art can be inappropriate, gross or unsafe for kids. Junk food every day? Yes, certainly unsafe, not only for kids. TV program nowadays? Mostly inappropriate and often gross. But art? Seriously? Where do these people live?? I mean in what kind of universe??

  2. Manu says:

    Sometimes it’s hard to believe how people can be so narrow minded. For me it’s both sad and scary at the same time. Besos et bon week-end!

  3. Faith says:

    I could not agree more!! Amen. More art in public schools. Amen to beautiful full bodies naked women. Amen to life!

  4. Carlene says:

    I agree whole-heartedly with you, but I am going to guess that the problem is a little combo of overweight plus pubic hair (underarm, too) that people think is “gross”. Just guessing.

  5. LizzyB Loves says:

    I was in such awe as to some of the comments…I can’t believe there is still such narrow-mindedness and ignorance out there. Of course, there are people who don’t know the artist nor his concept, nor his art, but in that case keep your words to your self.

    As soon as I read the name ‘Botero’ in your tweet, beautiful images of voluptuous women came to mind. I instantly clicked to read your post.

    Yay to you for standing up for what you believe! The beauty in those images goes far beyond the voluptuous forms, it’s not about body image, nor pubic hairs, nor chubby arms, legs, and belly…it’s so much more.

    Pinterest has become, unfortunately, so much more than it’s initial intention…stop w/ the stupid comments people, you’re polluting such a creative space!!

  6. Carrie says:

    Hmmm. I probably wouldn’t take the time to comment on a pin like this, but I don’t necessarily love looking at it. And probably, I wouldn’t just willingly show it to small children. My major in college was art history.

    It’s not that there is anything wrong with the painting(s). A few years back there was an art show of very graphic nudes in a public space around here, and I thought it was pretty inappropriate. I could respect the artist’s statement; however, I just did not desire to see that kind of thing as I walked to and fro.

    Anyway, I think this is a matter of opinion. Every person chooses to raise their children differently, and what is nice and beautiful to one person might not be to another. The world wouldn’t evolve if everyone agreed.

    Anyway, I am all for art education. But I, personally, would rather look at something different.

  7. mary says:

    agreed. this is art. how ridiculous of people to be saying it is innapropriate. yes, some may choose not to hang it in their house because it is a nude woman. i get that. but it’s still art, and is not innapropriate to be viewed, even by children. like you said, doesn’t anyone take their children to museums anymore??

  8. Emily M says:

    I like your challenge to take action and donate a dollar for every comment. I’m surprised there aren’t more comments actually. Does this mean people only look at images (pinterest) and no longer read (blogs)? (Kidding here.) To each their own about taste in art, but it worries me a bit that a voluptuous woman in a painting can be deemed inappropriate.

  9. GB says:

    Justina, I can think of a lot of things on pinterest that might not be appropriate for kids(f’instance this one: http://pinterest.com/pin/26880928995945481/) (also, are there any kids actually perusing pinterest? really?). I hardly think this painting qualifies as inappropriate where there are images of people smoking(hello, lung cancer) and anorexic women (hello, body image issues). My question to the fine folks who would like to censor this painting from pinterest is: why are your kids browsing this site?

    Seriously, it’s just a load of cr#p–don’t let it bug you.

    PS: I think what you’re doing is awesome! Hopefully you’ll get bucketloads of comments!

  10. Serena says:

    I follow you on Pinterest as well and as I was admiring your pins of those paintings I saw the comments. I have to say I was a bit surprised by them as well. I wouldn’t worry about those downers. The people who love your blog and love your posts and pins know your style. The people with an issue are just vultures looking for attention. I like seeing your posts because they are fresh and inspiring. Being a curvy girl I thought the paintings were lovely. Keep doin’ what you do!

  11. cerebral e says:

    I can think of so many more offensive things on Pinterest.

  12. Eleni says:

    I love Botero and not even once did it come to my mind that he might be insulting or gross (??!!!!). There will always be haters to great art but that’s what art is all about; to arouse arguments and provoke thinking!

  13. I find being on Pinterest more and more trying lately. I think photos of Donatella from inspiration & realisation modeling a lace lengthened shirt receiving rude comments for how she looked was the last straw for me. It’s like open season on everything on Pinterest – not just Botero (and really, most of those people were ignorant and didn’t even know who Botero was so I feel sorry for them). It’s ironic because the true porn on Pinterest – like GIFs that you have to click on to see people literraly having sex – are still up after I wrote Ben 3x about them and flagged them. Never underestimate the level of ignorance on Pinterest.

  14. Anna says:

    i will simply say that those paintings are beautiful! thank you for introducing me to a wonderful artist



  15. mari says:

    You’re right in questioning why some people see a world-adored painter’s work as inappropriate. I don’t think I would have ever thought about it being because of lack of arts education. Usually, that’s because I get angry before I get thoughtful! So I appreciate your stop and listen kind of attitude. My first reaction is that due to people’s ignorance of art, it only comes down to what they think is beautiful, and in the world we live in, big women, especially big naked women is considered grotesque. I don’t use Pinterest but it seems so awful what people are doing with their comments!

    We need more real nakedness to help us better appreciate our bodies, our skin, ourselves. I wish I would have grown up seeing more naked bodies so that I didn’t have all the hang ups I did/do. With the pleasure you take in art and showing off your bad self, your baby girl will also be able to stand up for real beauty and hopefully always see herself as enough and beautiful.

  16. It begs the question, why are their kids on Pinterest? If ya wanna’ judge, one could wonder why they’re not playing a board game or some such superior-to-Botero activity. Yikes, mute the haters, and celebrate your mourning-into-action.Your donation plan is inspiring and brilliant. Thinking of the Twala Tharpism: “Art is the only way to run away without leaving home,” and action is the only stay against a failure of imagination. xo

  17. I just posted on your Pinterest board, because I was annoyed by the childish comments. Botero’s art. ART. I don’t think we have an appreciation of ART in this country. It’s sad. On the other hand, perhaps the comments on your board are signs that Botero’s art is hitting a chord in people. They definitely have something to say about it, don’t they?

  18. as an art teacher, i am so happy to see you promoting the arts. they are getting pushed to the side during testing-mania. art and community are what makes life worthwhile! thank you!

  19. Nola says:

    I sooo agree with you. Art education will actually help open up people’s minds, not just to different types of art but also to different ways of thinking, different points of view, to diversity. These people’s negative reaction to your pin just shows the narrow mindedness still present in our society. :(

  20. Jessi Goebel says:

    As an artist, and as an outreach coordinator for opera in public schools (mostly in rural mountain towns in Colorado), I see time and again kids whose natural curiosity and creativity are stifled because of a lack of funding or gaps in art education. Still, as soon as we end our concerts and open the floor for questions, I am continually impressed and touched by their incredible capacity for learning, growth, and imagination. Art encourages people to think for themselves, to have opinions, and to be courageous in expressing themselves in ways that are creative, passionate, and enriching to our world. When we cut funding for the arts in our schools, we cut one more way our kids can learn to express themselves.

    While I personally see this work as full of sensuality and humor, it’s certainly not wrong to have a different opinion, or to express that opinion. That said, when people choose to express their dislike for a piece of art in a way that attacks or condemns others, it encourages short-sighted or narrow-minded behavior rather than imagination or ingenuity. I don’t have an account on Pinterest, but it seems to me that beyond “a content sharing service” and social networking device, it offers a chance to share and express oneself within a respectful and safe creative community. A comment that attacks someone else’s self-expression does not foster respect, creativity, or community.

    Kids browsing Pinterest is a whole other can of worms…

  21. Behind you 100% and continuously admire your ability to be a voice for change, equality and diversity in a world that is so heavily lacking.

  22. Anonymous says:

    Yeah, I knew there would be rude comments when I saw these pins which is why I stoped reading the comments on pintrest…Plump and Nude seem to offend Americans! I don’t like Picasso so there! LOL I don’t think it’s gross or inappropriate and YES I would’ve let my son see it when he was younger because nudity in my home is not taboo! It’s nature! Go Justina!

  23. K says:

    It is really interesting (sadly so) that when images of nudity that display the body in non-sexualized, relatively more realistic ways (and by this I mean in everyday settings, displaying diversity, etc) are censored and provoke such distaste from people. Kids – people, really – should be more exposed to nudity that is not filtered through a heavily sexualized and commercialized lens. The fact that the natural naked body in all its gorgeous and diverse forms has become something to hide, whereas hyperreal and over-sexed, over-touched images don’t get a second look, nor the same amount of critique on pinterest, is just scary and disappointing. If kids had more access to these kinds of images (the Botero prints; any sort of thoughtful representation of the human body), maybe they’d grow up feeling a little bit more comfortable with their bodies, including those quirks and characteristics that are frequently painted over but exist in the real world, and should not induce shame and guilt but should, instead, be embraced. So, thank you, for posting the images you do and breaking up the majority of pinterest boards that feature half-naked and model-esque women with their mouths open that are, quite frankly, more problematic than a few beautiful Botero paintings of voluptuous women.

  24. alejandra says:

    I completely agree with you about all the above. Art is something to be revered and appreciated and so is the nude, human body. Yes there are inappropriate ways of portraying the nude body but in my eyes nudity in art is rarely, purposefully offensive. I am so for increasing arts education in schools and found out we have something else in common, i also went to florence for the first time my junior year, fell in love with that place!

  25. stephanie says:

    I think that the content and images that you post are inspiring and often thought provoking. i am thankful you offer beautiful and (more importantly) unique images. i enjoy looking at art with my three year old…..in books and at the museum. nudes are not something that concern me at all. it is important that she learn about her body and feel comfortable in her own skin. i admire what you are doing!

  26. i definitely agree & support you. with so many ways of thinking, ways of viewing the world, it would be almost impossible to have us all experience the world around us in the same way, but it doesn’t mean that we can’t try to open our minds more, to try and understand the universe we live in more, to have a deeper appreciation for the life that we breathe each day, to tolerate if not appreciate the differences that make us unique.

    i think it’s inspiring what you’re doing! hip hip hooray for more art & culture in our lives!

  27. Susan says:

    A perfect solution to such ignorance from others…this is ART, and I love it too.

  28. I admire how true to your core beliefs you remain, especially under these pressures. You are an excellent role model in transcendence and will be a better mother for it. Thanks for sharing your charity and values!

  29. Shelky Bean says:

    Justina, thank you for bringing this to my attention. I grew up in the states and thankfully had a very open minded art teacher in my Catholic grammar school. Unfortunately, here in Ireland, they don’t really have art class until you enter high school here. It is very unfortunate and deeply saddening that something so valuable and important to the development of children is being ignored.
    I feel that looking at these paintings from a mother’s point of view is so important. If we could all put ourselves into the other person’s shoes more often, I think the world would be a better place. And I honestly don’t see anything wrong with this particular painting. Of course there is art out there that most definitely be shielded from little eyes, and bigger eyes even. Sometimes, even for artists, it is difficult to understand why something offensive/pornographic/vulgar etc can still be considered art. But, each to his own, and all that.

    I think the ultra pc, controlled and regulated to the last world that we live in has gotten a bit farcical, and it is deeply upsetting. Good for you for following your heart of this one, your little baby is very lucky :)

  30. Bekka says:

    Amen, sister! The ignorance of many Pinterest commenters has almost killed me a few times. I think you are going to be the BEST parent, so let the haters hate.

  31. Chedva says:

    First, thanks for the introduction to these gorgeous paintings. As a parent, I do understand parents who would rather to have control on the amount and sort of nudity their children see. Having said that: a. I have a feeling a lot of these comments wouldn’t be written if the “nudity” was more mainstream (ie, slim, no hair, etc…). B. It seems contrived for people to complain about that bc i can think of a bunch of other images on pinterest which are so bad for a child’s self esteem, ideas about gender roles etc… And I haven’t heard anyone complain. C. Since when is pinterest for kids?!
    PS kudos for the donation!

  32. Zara says:

    Rest assured. This is art.

  33. I really admire your ability to articulately stand up for what you believe in. I think Botero’s work is gorgeous. I do think it’s sad that certain people are so close-minded, but also with all the awful things they are showing on TV these days – that’s what they should be worried about. Not to mention the things I hear certain youth say while I’m on the bus. I think certain people just don’t have it straight. They think certain things should be worried about when its really others.


  34. YES! Love teaching the next generation of artists – what a fantastic way to take all that bad energy and turn it into something good!

  35. Alicia says:

    Art is supposed to create a reaction and engage people in dialogue. It’s just sad when people react so negatively to something as basic and beautiful as the human form. But you’re getting people talking, which is always a good thing, even if the results are disheartening. Keep it up!

  36. ACG says:

    Could not agree more the all the supportive and obviously creative individuals commenting thus far. I applaud you for taking an unfortunate scenario and turning it into an opportunity for something positive. As a mother myself, I think this is the definition of good parenting – working to assure the world your child enters is a better and more tolerant place to live…leading by example. Way to go, Justina!

  37. Anonymous says:

    Love Botero. And love art in schools.

  38. Jessy says:

    Hi! I can’t remember how I found your blog initially, or how long I’ve been following it now (at least 6 months?) but I adore it. I didn’t realize how much I was missing out on indoor plants until your jungalow popped up in my newsfeed everyday. (issue partially resolved…) Now on to business: the US has a very puritan sense of what is taboo in PUBLIC (even if on the sly when no one is watching the good girls do what everyone on the planet does in bed or pops pills or whatever…) In Europe this is less so. Nakedness is a part of life. So is art. I’ve never seen Botero before, but I liked this painting very much… People are haters, particularly on the internet, where they feel they have no responsiblity to be polite or censor their ideas. Whatever happened to ‘if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all’ COME ON! FOLLOW THUMPERS PHILOSOPHY! I’m happy to represent a dollar for art education. ( If I post multiple times does that count? ;) )

  39. Anonymous says:

    Thanks Justina, I’m commenting here to support your contribution to arts education and to applaud you for promoting healthy attitudes towards body image. And just for inspiring us to add more beauty and apply critical thinking in our every day. Your blog & pinterest are amazing!

  40. debra says:

    it is adults who are not comfortable or confident with themselves that deny children the opportunity to view art as what it is…art. Children need museums, not IPhones, IPads or TV…

    Thoughtful and emotional post!

  41. Meg says:

    I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a Botero before, but I’m happy that I have now. Thanks :) I took a look at your pins and was deeply disappointed by some of the comments. Nudity is nothing to be ashamed of, whether your body type is small, large or anywhere in between. Teaching children that nudity is somehow vulgar or wrong is something I can’t get on board with. Kids love being naked! Botero’s paintings are gorgeous and inspiring. There is a lot of negative association with fat bodies, despite the growing size of bodies worldwide and particularly in the US. Fat isn’t ugly. Close mindedness, on the other hand, is ugly. At least to me.

    Thanks for posting these paintings and your own response. I would be thrilled to live in a city with sculptures of Botero’s work or hang a print of his paintings in my home for all to see.

  42. Brandie says:

    Thanks for posting this. As someone with years of required art education which fostered my undying love for the arts, I can only explain this “unsafe for kids” business as uneducated silliness from people with not enough things to do with their day!

    Botero’s works are gorgeous PERIOD

  43. I can’t believe some people. Art like this is light years away from adult magazines–it’s the American prudishness that’s showing its head… in Europe it’s common to see topless women in ads and even on TV! Brings me back to a story my friend tells about being in an art appreciation class… IN COLLEGE, and before showing The Birth of Venus, she apologized for the nudity and gave students permission to look away! Unbelievable.

  44. coral says:

    I have an almost-2-year-old daughter and it daunting to me to raise a healthy and happy girl in a world where women are supposed to be completely grossed out and scared of their own bodies! To say nothing of being surrounded by grown woman who can’t tell the difference between fine art and pornos! Yeesh. Thank you for standing up for the arts, for woman, and for common sense

  45. I am happy to see this discussion taking place. Both on body image and arts education. Thank you for introducing me to a new-to-me artist.

  46. Lydia says:

    Thank you for being a voice of reason in an unreasonable world. And thank you for donating $1 because I think you’re neat!

  47. Mara Dawn says:

    I love that you posted about this. I saw those pins from your feed. Sadly, the first thing I thought is, “She’s going to get a lot of rude comments.” I didn’t even want to read them because I knew they’d be disheartening. You’re right, people really lack an appreciation for fine art in this country.

  48. It baffles me that people feel the need to cover everything in negativity. Beyond Botero’s images being beautiful they are (unfortunately) an uncommon image of women being highlighted these days. Indeed, what a constant battle that women have to face: made to feel that their only worth comes from their body and then told that they should be ashamed of that same body. We should all rejoice that we have been given a beautiful body to house our mind and soul…and put our mind and soul to better use than bashing artwork! Thanks again for showing us how easy it is to put a positive spin on the negativity of others! Arts Education and You RULE!

  49. lily says:

    I’m not a fan of Botero, but I completely agree with you that there’s nothing offensive or “unsafe” about these images. Jeez — nude bodies have been the subject of some of the greatest art throughout history!

  50. Janna Morton says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this artwork! I find it incredibly beautiful and inspiring. Some people just need to chill out. Bodies are something to be celebrated, not ashamed of.

  51. januari says:

    I am always amazed at some people’s reaction to nudes in art… Part of me wonders though if it was just because it was a large woman that the reaction was so strong. I was flipping through the others works you posted, not one comment on the painting of a nude thin woman.

  52. Anonymous says:

    Way to go Justina! The human body is a work of art in it’s own and should be celebrated. It’s just natural and work that depicts it should not be shunned because we “don’t get it.” Your blog rocks!

  53. Bravo!!! For sticking to your guns and standing up for art. I have had similar comments on pins of mine and sometimes, when I can’t seem to ignore it any longer, it makes me feel deeply disheartened and confused. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this matter!

  54. Julie says:

    Agreed. Why should we feel so ashamed/frightened/shocked by the sight of the human form? There is nothing lewd about Botero’s work.

  55. Aw, this makes me sad, too. I just read this post about a woman that went topless in Central Park. While it’s drastic, she shares a lot of the same sentiments. Check it out if you’d like: thegloss.com/beauty/sunday-in-the-park-with-boobs/

    Thanks for sharing, Justina! xo

  56. Brannigan says:

    Expose children to art!

  57. TulipTuesday says:

    I agree with everyone above this is art! It is so sad that the human form is “offensive” and “off-limits”. Thank you for sharing diverse images and ideas.

  58. Tina Taul says:

    Dear Justina!

    I am a danish woman, who just recently discovered your beautiful, thoughtful and inspiring blog. I have followed your stories about the curvy women you sometimes pin on Pinterest with great interest, as I try to be a happy, confident, and sporty curvy person myself! You have just the right attitude, I think, and dress faboulusly! Wow.

    It is quite shocking to read some of the commentaries as a Scandinavian – it is not that we don’t have all sorts of idiotic body issues, but we still remain relatively sane when it comes to natural relaxed nudity, and would never think of the work of an artist such as Botero as inappropriate in any way. In fact he is very popular in Denmark, and posters of his work is seen in lots of homes. He may not be my personal favourite, but he fascinates me, nevertheless; I imagine a lot of his work stems from boyhood memories of seeing ladies getting ready to go out dancing etc., their abundant bodies is somehow as I imagine a grown woman could be seen through the eyes of a little boy. And in all the rotundity, there is something eerie, no? He IS fascinating. But that was me, getting lost in Botero!

    You should never stop adressing the body issue – you do it so elegantly and with such heart.

    In Scandinavian countries we admire USA and Americans for many things, and rightfully so, but I wish you would all take a lesson or two from us, about a more relaxed take on bodily issues, such as nudity. It is not that we walk around naked in public, but we are naked around our kids, as a completely natural thing, we have common showers in schools, gyms etc., and of course we take our kids to art museums. And I think my three year old son would love Botero ladies. He is very intrigued by all the complexities of the body, and I will hopefully educate him to be natural, respectful and full of adoration for the wonder that our bodies are, be they large, small, old, young or any of all the lovely colors they might have.

  59. Sara says:

    Isn’t it funny how representations of women who have the ‘right’ kind of body get a free pass in our culture, but any representation a woman who has the ‘wrong’ type of body is instantly branded gross and inappropriate. Such a double standard. Anyway, I know how disheartening internet negativity can be, so I applaud you for responding to it in such a positive way. (And for exposing me to a new artist. He’s fantastic.)

  60. Kim says:

    Well, seriously, everyone has an opinion
    It’s how we let ourselves be affected by those opinions.

    My opinion is
    That we teach our children morals, right from wrong, let them trip and fall, let them be themselves, show them the world, in all it’s ugliness, and beauty, give them tools to deal with all of life’s situations, understand that they are their own persons with their own raison d’être, honour that raison d’être, really SEE our kids, be happy, that they may be happy too.
    And show them that the things important to us are only our opinions and that if our opinions differ, that’s ok, honorable and embraceable
    Let them hang out with lots of different people, lots of different ages, that they may be exposed to many many ideas, opinions and lifestyles that are not ours.
    Expose them to as much as we possible can, good, bad and ugly. Teach and live non judgement!
    We shouldn’t cocoon our kids, ever.
    Our world needs people who love it and understand it.
    There is such life force in our kids, just think of their birth! that I believe if we could let them be true, great things would happen!
    So have your opinions, and let others have theirs, and laugh, and discuss, but let them choose.
    The world that is our children’s world is not the same world that is our world. They are meant to outdo us, why hobble that?
    Nudity? Ha! We arrive naked, is that shameful?
    Sex?, we are born of sex, we are sex, to deny that is to deny ourselves!
    Teach acceptance, tolerance, and most of all self love.
    And I’m sure you know that quote
    ” it is not our smallness that we fear, rather our greatness…….”
    Someone I once knew would give me pretend rhino hide injections, so I could better withstand life’s difficulties.
    Give your kids rhino hide injections, that they may be strong and love themselves and be true to their dreams.

  61. Kim says:

    And honestly, I have a strong dislike for Victoria’s secret! The very pornographic (to me) sexualization of women. The catalogues, the nymph like models larger than life in the shop windows, deliver a message that concerns me.
    I would discuss this with my kids, male and female, and pull out their opinions and thoughts, be open and non judge mental, but honest.

  62. Kim says:

    Oh, and, I’m a mother of four adult children, and 2 little grandchildren.

  63. I have so much admiration for you, your thoughts, and your voice, Justina. Thank you for this post!

  64. Amee says:

    Botero, huh? I think you’ve turned me on to a new artist!

    Personally, I love the paintings. She looks whimsical and confident and her curves make me wanna hug her.

    As far as the Pinterest comments, it doesn’t surprise me. I’ve always seen our society as repressed and guilt-ridden when it comes to nudity and sex. We (as a whole) glamorize characteristics (ie., unhealthy diet, drug abuse, excessive living) and somehow demonize what’s natural and beautiful. I get it, but it bothers me. On the other hand, I look at the negative comments as a barometer for how much work we have to do to get our heads right. And if anything, you’ve started amazing dialogues about the subject and that’s always a great thing.

    Thanks for pointing out how the lack of arts education in our schools impacts our youth. I never thought of it from the perspective. I have an 8-year-old cousin who was sad that her elementary school recently took away their music and arts programs. It’s sad because she wants very much to be an artist when she grows up. :(

    My hubby and I are thinking of having kids soon, too, and we’re thinking a lot about how we want to raise them. I asked myself if this is something I’d allow them to look at, and it wasn’t even a no-brainer: of course! I AM more uncomfortable about having them read folk tales that embed stereotypical characteristics ie., Cinderlla, Snow White, or letting them watch some mainstream TV.

    By the way, I LOVE how you’re going to donate to the NAEA! How much of a mover+shaker are you?! Here’s my 2 cents ($1?) for the mission. ;)


  65. Amanda says:

    What is wrong with people?! There are SO many things to object to in the world – why would art, especially such happy quirky art, be one of those things?! Protest violence, greed, selfishness, cruelty, war (and the list goes on) but leave the art to bring us joy, make us think and to appreciate in our own personal way. I’m a huge Botero fan and find his work to be happy and hopeful. I was delighted when my husband and I went on our honeymoon in Costa Rica and one of his lovely ladies was hanging in the bathroom, perfectly corresponding with the brightly colored tile.

  66. Kristin says:

    I think these images are beautiful, and I immediately showed my two year old daughter when I read this post! We will NOT be teaching body shaming/objectification in our home.

  67. Anonymous says:

    A real woman. A women a man would want to bury himself in; to caress the folds; to feel the female. Not a hard body like a man…sensuous, promise of fertility, enclosure and, if lucky, rapture.

    A body the novelist Emile Zola understood – the highest paid courtesans, the most admired and most sought after – often for foreplay that was little other than parading naked in candle light…the ripple of the thighs, gentle movement of the flesh giving rise to arousal unbounded.

    It may interest some to know that recent studies have shown than modern men say they like thin women…those with thin partners stray the most. Looking for, if nothing else, deeply ingrained evolutionary comfort.

  68. Anonymous says:

    Anon, from above.

    I’ll add, I have nudes (painting and prints) around the house – together with art books and biographies. My son has grown up with this. And he is fine.

  69. Michelle says:

    How strange that people would see this as inappropriate. Why follow you. I have not heard of this artist but agree that his paintings are beautiful. His statues must have looked amazing “conversing” with Michaelangelo’s muscular counterparts. I really love when I go to a gallery and see parents with their children discussing pieces and would love to see it more.

  70. Anonymous says:

    it never ceases to amaze me that a thoughtful nude will provoke more ire from the public than the bumping and grinding and just-barely-there bikinis of the currently hot trendsetter. I will let my kids watch a Botero over Katy Perry ever, ever, ever.

  71. bob says:

    the weird thing is i found your post searching around to see if anyone else was a bit tiered of being constantly bombarded by photos of faceless women/parts of women in all manner of undress usually labeled “health” or “fitness” or “weight loss” etc. so imagine my surprise to find that these lovely paintings attracted so much vitriol, when so much of pinterest has become far less “appropriate” and in generally less interesting.

  72. Kaspia says:

    I can totally understand your curiosity as to why people find these images of beauty gross and confronting. Maybe they aren’t comfortable with their own bodies or they are conditioned to think super skinny, blonde and tall is beauty? Working as a Visual Merchandiser a few years ago in a boutique jewellery shop, I blew up three gorgeous images of Frida Kahlo and had them in the windows nestled amongst Yucca palms and jewellery. The comments were amazing along the lines of ‘Who is that ugly man?’ ‘she needs to wax’ and when I mentioned she is the most prolific female painter of our time the answer was ‘Who?’. I am puzzled as much as you are!

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