March 13, 2006

Can I get off this Puritan Train please?

Pete Panse, a high school art teacher for 25 years faces suspension after suggesting, (just suggesting mind you, not actually doing anything) that some of his top students attend life drawing classes in order to get into an art collage:

I know that most Americans are just a bunch of pricks that freak out if they see any tit. Example: we fined CBS $550,000 for Janet Jackson's alleged "Wardrobe Malfunction". Yet for the death of 12 miners we fined the MSHA $60,000. Americans put money where their mouth is, we fear the tit more then death.

The sad thing is this is it's nothing new! Every few years I hear a story just like this one. Art Teachers are getting fired every day for drawing or suggesting drawing anything that contains nudity.

Now I took life drawing when I was in 9th grade. Thanks to my enlightened mother who knew that I wanted to go to an art school. She knew that I'd never get in unless I beefed up my portfolio. Life drawing is just basic. So I took life drawing at the local community collage and I got into CalArts because of it.

The fact is, I wouldn't be an animator today if I had not attended CalArts, and I wouldn't have gotten into CalArts if I hadn't taken those life drawing classes. So if my mom feared the tit, I wouldn't be an animator. That's why this story hits me so hard.

You can argure that high school boys are just a pack of hormones looking for release. So you could wonder if the idea of sending 15 year olds to Life Drawing is such a good idea. Wouldn't going to a class where you stare at a nude model for 3-4 hours 2-3 times a week would just drive them to lock the bathroom door untell they went blind or develiped harry knuckles? It's not like a strip club, your not sticking dollar bills down her pants. The model hits a pose, you focus on your drawing, if your doing a good enough job you get high from the drawing. If your not doing a good enough job, you struggle. Either way the human form ends up becoming a challenge of form, gesture, light and shade and less of a pin cushion in your head.

I have heard some people ask why does it have to be nude. The fact is if you can't draw the form under the cloths, you'll never be able to draw the cloths over the form.

I also saw this connected to this. How do you teach art to Muslim students who can't create human images:
It just puts the whole "Americans fear the tit" thing into better perspective. We're a bunch of uptight bastards, but compared to this school, we've got it a lot easer.



Dork 4 said...

Ha! "we fear the tit more the death"
That's pithy, that is. Tho' it seems to me it's a weird fear/worship combination--I mean, the FCC might have fined CBS half a mil', but why was Janet Jackson on TV in the first place? (Okay, ridiculously interesting/screwy family... bad example--but what about Lindsey Lohan, Britney Spears, J-Lo, etc, etc.)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the enlightened mother comment!!!

Greg said...

Boy, animation is going to be a lost art when the muslims take over.