Friday, November 16, 2007

Erotic Mystic: Musings on God and Sex

I was fascinated by this quote by artist Tom Cubbage:

"You have an Irish Catholic background. How did you resolve the conflict between that upbringing and your shooting nudes?
I finally figured out that if it (portraying nudes) was good enough for the Sistine Chapel, then it wasn't going to hurt me to do it. In Oklahoma here, we’re very much in the Bible Belt, and you don’t have camera clubs doing figure art... It's some of the best art there is, so if you want to do it, you just need to forget about what people say.
On my website, I have an article about the time I was working with a model who was in the middle of an emotional crisis. At first I thought, "This isn’t going to work." But we kept talking and, while we were, I just kept shooting. I came away with… beautiful and haunting pictures… in which you could touch the pain.
When I look back on that experience, it’s hard to say there’s anything wrong with doing figure art… It (the experience) had so much spirituality and God presence in it. There are a lot of people who go to church on Sunday because they know that's what they're supposed to do, and I don’t think they ever have an encounter with a living God. Yet there are photographers who have this experience whenever they shoot nudes. I don’t know how you can explain it to those who haven’t experienced this, but if you’ve been there and it's happened, then you know it."

Why do I think the human body could contain so much God presence in it?
Because women are created by the Master Artist. and if your heart is in the right place, you can notice and applaud the artist's handiwork and praise the artist not the art. That's easier for me to say because I am straight as an arrow so I can look at a female nude and experience artistic joy not sexual attraction. But there's something there. There's that glimpse of Eden when you see a glimpse of Original Created Glory. Back when we were all naked and unashamed because there was no sin in the world and therefore nothing icky or shameful about nudity.

I say this having endured years of sexual abuse from boys who were influenced and driven by porn. I know what porn can do (victimless crime pshaw!) but this ain't porn. Not all artistic representations of the human body are porn. And there's a beauty lost that's reclaimed by this kind of art. And I am exceedingly grateful.

Beauty reclaimed is one of my favorite things on earth. -SW

2 comments:

Tom Cubbage said...

SW, what a surprise to see this quote. It is evidence that somebody is reading my thoughts as well as looking at my photo art. I think I will just have to start following your Blog.

Sensuous Wife said...

Please do, Tom. Glad you stopped by. (quiet smile) PS Isn't it one of the sweetest underestimated pleasures to speak your thoughts and know someone is listening? God, I love being human. -SW