Mark A. Nelson



To paint the nipple or not to paint the nipple, that is the question. If you paint them, do you trust that your audience is steeped in enough great art and normal human body image to see the whole painting? With so much Victorian prudery and so much porn out there, do you risk a pervy reference? Is that all they’re going to see? Me, I walk a thin line. I hate prudery in painters as much I hate pure perviness, of which there is a ton in amateur art. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate a bluntly erotic image. But be that. Don’t shy away from it. I just hate chickenshit decisions made supposedly in the name of art, the kind of ball-less decisions into which both perviness and prudery fall.

As with Mr. Nelson above, every artist has to walk that line and it’s often tough to know the artist’s intention. When the chickenshittery is bluntly on display though, as when digital artists photoshop away the nipples of a photographed model, I become a quickdraw on my browser’s Back button.

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