I can remember a discussion in our art history class, yeah ages ago, about ( nude ) male statues created by renaissance masters. Michelangelo for example, or a bit later by baroque masters like Bernini.
How on earth could they get away with displaying the nude, so explicit, and in our opinion quite queer as well, in even the most holy places?
All the cliches came by, Michelangelo was actually a gay man, or they just followed the classical examples ( and weren’t the Greek not known for their male on male erotica?). Or more in general, artists and creative souls are often gay, so the amount of “gayish” art is just bigger, and therefore displayed more. Maybe a childish discussion, but our professor could not explain it, and even after all these years, studying art. I still wonder how it’s possible that so much nudity is displayed in a Christian environment. Sure, we know about the humanistic ideas in the renaissance, the adoration of the classical culture, the progressive popes etc. Still it’s a remarkable phenomenon, and every time I visit Rome, or Florence, the same question pops up in my head, how such a thing is possible. But maybe I’m getting deformed, I see to much erotic art and photography I guess, writing for the Art of Love must have it’s price.
I remembered this whole discussion while browsing trough a collection of images from the photographer Daniel Nassoy. He has a few “nude statues” series displayed in his online portfolio. Most of his work is about male nudes and gay lifestyle (will write about that part in the future) but he also photographed statues, marble figures, clearly through the eyes of a gay man. So in a way the whole idea is turned around, he looks at the statues, takes out parts that are sensual, showing males touching each other, or have an erotic nature otherwise. If the artists who created these pieces of art, had any gay intentions at all, we simple don’t know, and why would we care? The nicest thing about art is “it’s all in the eyes of the beholder”, right?