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Is The New Nude Female Sculpture At B/IAS Too Explicit? Take Our Poll…

Last week, a new lifesize bronze sculpture of a nude female (pictured above) was installed at the Burien Interim Art Space [1] near the new Town Square and Library, and it’s been stirring up some controversy in our Forums [2]:

LYNETTE: I walked through the new Burien town square today and much to my dismay I came across a bronze statue of a completely nude woman. I may appreciate the “art” in the piece but since it is very realistic it is absolutely inappropriate for a public area where all ages of children can view the statue. If that were a live person she would be arrested for public nudity. The tall woman and daughter that are very abstract are not my cup of tea but they are not realistic. If someone chooses to go into a gallery and see nudes that is their choice. Pieces such as this should not be next to a public library and a busy street. I was planning to bring my grandchildren to town for the Strawberry Festival but I will now direct them away from the city center. Public art should be appropriate for ALL the public, including the children. Thank You Lynette Storer

JILL: Yeah, a woman’s nude body is so offensive. Maybe you should lighten up and join the 21st century.

JARED: Then why do we in the 21st century still require you to be 18 to buy a Playboy?

Part of parenting is censonship. (Careful what you show your kids Jill)

CHRISTY: The human body, male or female, is not offensive when display tastefully in the right setting.  In fact, it can actually be very intriguing to the eye.  HOWEVER, when dispalyed for all ages it needs to be in accordance to the demographic of the community.  The library is right next to the art and during the summer most of the foot traffic is going to be children, most of whom are already filled with questions. The accusation of a nude woman is inaccurate. It is not the art itself, but just simply where the art is chosen to be displayed.

Artist Mike Magrath

The sculpture, a very lifelike, detailed sculpture of a squatting, nude woman called “Paradigm Shift [3],” was created by Seattle artist Mike Magrath [4], and was originally on display at the UW’s Henry Art Gallery. Magrath installed it at B/ IAS last week, which, despite comments above, is actually a private art space controlled by Curators Dane Johnson and Kathy Justin.

“I have spent the last decade or so focused primarily on the human subject not only because it offers a hugely accessible front door, but because I perceive something implicit in the body that remains inchoate, relevant, and continuously vibrant with potential,” said Magrath in a statement. “I tell students half jokingly that the human form is the composite total of what our forebears found irresistible…For me study of the specific form and attitude of the model is a way of exploring and understanding the deeper structures of the universe.”

“Good art is often controversial,” said Johnson when he stopped by our booth at the Strawberry Festival. “So when we read or hear comments like this, we feel like we’re doing a good job.”

“And if people don’t like seeing naked sculptures, they should just avoid B/ IAS,” added Justin.

6/24/09 UPDATE: KOMO News did a story on the sculpture (thanks guys for subscribing to our RSS Feed [5]), which you can watch here [6].

So…what do YOU think? Please take our poll and leave Comments below:

Is the nude female sculpture at B/ IAS too explicit?

View Results [7]

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