There’s a wonderful yearly event here in Pensacola called the Great Gulfcoast Arts Festival. We all went down on this near perfect fall day and had a great time taking in all the sights and sounds.
An artist named Allan Teger once again brought himself and his Bodyscapes work to the festival. His booth always gets attention and usually makes smiles. That’s one of his more tame photos above. As his website says:
Allan Teger’s wonderful photographs of the human body
prove that art can be fun and serious at the same time.
In years past we’ve hustled the girls past his booth and tried to distract them a bit just to avoid awkward questions about naked people with small toy figures attached to them. But the girls have gotten older now so this time we chose a different approach. Julie and I gave each other a little look signaling we were thinking the same thing. Let’s see what they say when they see the prints. We slowed down while walking past the booth.
The Revealing Argument post a while back was a funny ha-ha but as I said then, there is a long and respected tradition of nude images in photography, not to mention sculpture and painting. The daughters are getting to an age where an appreciation of art consists of more than just finger painting and they will be seeing the nude human form as we visit museums and galleries so I’d like a certain level of maturity from them about the subject. (Certainly more maturity than I had about the subject when I was their age.) We may be a few years away from seeing David in person but I’d like for them not to be too distracted by the lack of a fig leaf.
Not that Mr. Teger is Michelangelo and not that this isn’t a little awkward because these are my daughters but Julie and I want to be fine, open-minded, progressive parents and in fine, open-minded, progressive parent circles, this is what is known as a “teaching moment”.
So we slow down going past the Bodyscapes booth. It takes a minute but then it hits my older daughter what she’s seeing. Her nose crinkles hard and a look of disgust flashes across her face. I know it’s a look of disgust because she says in a shouted whisper, “That’s disgusting!”
Julie and I fight back laughter. Let the teaching begin. We walk on and I start a defense/speech about this being “art” and that there’s a long and respected tradition and that the human body is not a disgusting thing.
She’s not buying it. She just keeps her nose crinkled and says, “Dad, some parts of it ARE disgusting.” You know, maybe it’s best if we just leave it at that for now. Small steps. “Hey look,” I say. “There’s a beautiful painting of a sunset over there.”
Turns out it was a “teaching moment” and as usual, I’m the one getting taught.
(For more of Allan Terer’s work visit Bodyscapes.com)