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raised eyebrows

July 16, 2010

[NYTimes] MORE than 30 years ago, when the artist Larry Rivers filmed his two adolescent daughters on the subject of their developing breasts for a project he titled “Growing,” it seems that his intention was to make art. He zoomed in on their breasts and genitalia, asked them to describe their feelings about their changing bodies. He admitted, in the voiceover, that he made the film despite the “raised eyebrows” of his friends and the reluctance of his daughters.

After all, this is what artists do — isn’t it? Art is subversive. It pushes boundaries. The moment we label a subject off limits, we create censorship. Where would we be, after all, if “Lolita” had been forever banned? Or “Lady Chatterley’s Lover” ? “Ulysses” ? What’s the difference between, say, Michelangelo’s “David” and the celluloid representations of Rivers’s daughters? (read)

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