I was watching “Everybody loves Raymond” season 6 episode 5. In its raw sense of humor, Marie made this giant statue of a female vagina which everybody except Debra thought was abstract art. Now should one blame the artist for creating this work or the patron for the narrow point of view?
However this opens up a different question. “La Fin Du Topless Sur La Plage?” French Elle 2014 (End of toplessness in French Beaches?). A common social phenomenon of topless sun-bathing, much like community heated steam baths in the rest of the world is on the decline because people link it with feminist movement. Sometimes we have to attach a context to our depictions. The same dress in different social & cultural situations will exuberate different messages. Should you judge it from the displayer’s point of view or from the cultural & emotional point of view of the observer?
Moral police is not always right. Take Kareena Kapoor’s movie Chameli. The same 5m long drape that covers you from head to toe can reveal your identity from a trashy prostitute to a cultured noble woman. Jeans & western tops worn by most college girls in contrast are plain and non-descript. Should the BJP goons manhandle the girls or their celibate cadre for having a dirty mind?
The definition of what is art and what is porn has changed over time. Forget Khajrao, any old temple in any part of India would have topless deities, and depictions that are too sensational even for today’s actress. People pour milk over the Shivling which is nothing more than act of copulation cast in stone. However they never arouse wrong feelings or thoughts. M.F. Hussain’s goddess Lakshmi was vandalized but nobody is etching these stone sculptures. Why?
Who is polluting the young mind? In school, we were administered Rorschach Inkblot Test. The psychiatrists in my school used to say that these are abstract random patterns of dye and the mind sees what they want to see or obsessed with. Sex deprived adults and psychopaths will only see vivid sexually stimulating imagery, while an innocent child will see an animal face or a scene from the fairy tale. Should one chastise the artist for creating the provocative inkblots or the psychiatrist for distributing it to students or the student for linking it with porn? Sometimes (not always) abstract art is like the cloud in the sky or the smoke from the chimney. People are free to draw their own conclusions.