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Several artists here are shouting from roof tops about artistic freedom these days. The reason is the story of MF Husain. This famous artist created pictures of nude Hindu Gods and Goddesses. Several people objected to this and filed cases - about 900 - in courts on him. As he refused to apologize or withdraw his work from public domain, he was threatened. This caused disturbances here. So he left India and settled in Dubai/London. Now he took the citizenship of Qatar. He himself said it is the work that took him away from India and not the threats. But several artists refused to accept this explanation and said the fundamentalists who threatened him were responsible for his exile. Whatever the reason for Mr. Husain's departure from India is, his story made me think about artistic freedom.

Yes, an artist needs freedom to think, work and create good art. But at the same time if somebody is hurt by his work or disturbances are caused in the world because of his work - I feel - he should pause and think about it. If he says he doesn't care what happens to others and the society and only bothered about his freedom - this shows his selfishness and proves that he is not a true artist. Responsibility towards the societies they live in and sensitiveness to others feelings are a must for all freedom loving intellectuals. MF Husain is very rich and famous. So several people support his freedom and works of nude Goddesses. Had an ordinary artist done these types of works, he would have been discarded by now. What double standards these people are following and pseudo-secular statements they are making!

My fellow artists, just imagine - if I say - I have unlimited freedom to create a super bug and would like to unleash it on the world and cause destruction - how do you feel? I know you will be horrified and I will be chased to death. However, I am a responsible Microbiologist. Although I have freedom to do anything I want, I limit myself only to the work that is helpful to human beings and keep myself away from destructive thoughts. Shouldn't artists have the same limited freedom - limited by the conscience of a noble soul - to create works that are a pleasure to watch and beneficial to the world?

Unlimited freedom of an insensitive person certainly has its own drawbacks! Don't you agree with me?

 

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Dear Dr.Krishna,Husain is not accepted by the global arts community,and neither is he anywhere near a Damien Hirst or Howard Hodgkin;but he has had some reason for embarking on a series of invasions into the fragmented souls of religious sentiments.As an artist,
gifted with spontaniety of thought and brush on canvas,he doesn't need God's or Godesses to go skyclad to find Vallhalla in Heaven.

His latest work currently on display in a London gallery,once again has fringe groups brandishing cudgels,for portraying the nation in sordid light.Titled "Rape Of India",the artwork depicts a buffalo with twin green heads(Pakistan) goring a red woman (Bharatmata) with it's horn through the genitals.His claim,"he painted it to portray the daring assault on the Taj". With this kind of portrayal of thought,only two things could be deduced.1)He loves India so much,but lacks the intellectual ability to express himself and lands up hung by his own petard.2)Hates India so much,but trips in bovine faecal thinking of his own making ,while being incompetent to mask his real intentions.. So the whole scenario becomes a dicey one,with him being both a villian and a victim at the same time.
A great pity indeed.I remember when I was a boy,my father wrote about him and he came home to our place in bangalore.I showed him all my works and he said beta,"carry on ,someday you'll be a good painter".Of course my father bought a horse painting from him for 500 rupees at that time and sold it later for 5000 rupees,feeling pleased as punch with himself.

Many years later,I met him again and we chatted for a little while in a restaurant at the Mahalaxmi race course called "Gallops".He was jovial and very pleasant to talk to.And to see him today in this sort of imbroglio is quite disturbing.......PRINCE
Artists are strange people. They say they are intelligent but do all sorts of silly things
I feel the artist himself has to decide how he can use his freedom. Nobody can enforce it. Artists say they are intellectuals. An intelligent mind should definitely know how to put things & how not to offend others & not cause disturbances. The limits should be drawn in the mind of an intellectual if he is really one. As Benjamin Franklin warned: "There can be no freedom without responsibility." And it is also said that freedom without responsibility = chaos.

Prince Freakasso said:
Dear Dr.Krishna,Husain is not accepted by the global arts community,and neither is he anywhere near a Damien Hirst or Howard Hodgkin;but he has had some reason for embarking on a series of invasions into the fragmented souls of religious sentiments.As an artist,
gifted with spontaniety of thought and brush on canvas,he doesn't need God's or Godesses to go skyclad to find Vallhalla in Heaven. His latest work currently on display in a London gallery,once again has fringe groups brandishing cudgels,for portraying the nation in sordid light.Titled "Rape Of India",the artwork depicts a buffalo with twin green heads(Pakistan) goring a red woman (Bharatmata) with it's horn through the genitals.His claim,"he painted it to portray the daring assault on the Taj". With this kind of portrayal of thought,only two things could be deduced.1)He loves India so much,but lacks the intellectual ability to express himself and lands up hung by his own petard.2)Hates India so much,but trips in bovine faecal thinking of his own making ,while being incompetent to mask his real intentions.. So the whole scenario becomes a dicey one,with him being both a villian and a victim at the same time.
A great pity indeed.I remember when I was a boy,my father wrote about him and he came home to our place in bangalore.I showed him all my works and he said beta,"carry on ,someday you'll be a good painter".Of course my father bought a horse painting from him for 500 rupees at that time and sold it later for 5000 rupees,feeling pleased as punch with himself.

Many years later,I met him again and we chatted for a little while in a restaurant at the Mahalaxmi race course called "Gallops".He was jovial and very pleasant to talk to.And to see him today in this sort of imbroglio is quite disturbing.......PRINCE
I guess Ben Franklin was right there ,when he talked of responsibility.Our freedom gives us the right to indulge or possess many things.We can smoke,drink,gamble,carry weapons,drive a fast vehicle,gossip or do anything.Provided we cry a halt at the glaring boundary line,crossing which may be hurtful or unacceptable.
And that's where the responsibilty comes in.......PRINCE
As an artist if I cause such disturbances, I will definitely accept my part in it. I am both a person of science & an artist. I feel I will be responsible for all my acts whether in science, art, business, writing or designing or running a network. And I will definitely try to avoid confrontations. When there is scope for peace, why declare war? I will give an example here. I wanted to convey a message through my art work to fundamentalists. I know the consequences of it. But I put it in such a way that the very people who practice irrational behaviour, themselves came & congratulated me for the message! That is what I call diplomacy. Say it - but say it with a sugar coating. Had I used strong words or did it without thinking about the consequences, I know my work would have caused disturbances. If I can't control disturbances, I have no right to provoke people. Am I timid in taking on fundamentalists head on? Definitely not! I took on them but won the war without causing any damage to anyone. That is what intelligence is all about. Creating disturbances by irresponsible works & behaviour doesn't match with intellectual way of doing things.
That is what this debate is all about. The limits should be drawn in the minds of intellectuals - not by laws. Freedom should come with responsibility. If the artist says he will not accept responsibility for his acts, he is not entitled to unlimited freedom. If as an artist I refuse my part in the disturbances caused by my acts, I am insensitive, selfish & my thinking is not on the right track.

Prince Freakasso said:
I guess Ben Franklin was right there ,when he talked of responsibility.Our freedom gives us the right to indulge or possess many things.We can smoke,drink,gamble,carry weapons,drive a fast vehicle,gossip or do anything.Provided we cry a halt at the glaring boundary line,crossing which may be hurtful or unacceptable.
And that's where the responsibilty comes in.......PRINCE
You have covered the controversial parts. So it doesn't look like a completely nude one to me.

Zhenlian said:
I am a bit surprised when you say that the Indians are offended by nude Hindu gods and goddesses, because in my opinion just the word 'nude' does not necessarily imply erotic feelings, we can see wonderful male nudes and female nudes in Michaelanglo's works and other art masters, but these nudes does not imply eroticism.
What is erotic and offensive to all norms are those paintings which imply ugliness and immoral playfulness, for example a Chinese artist paints a female nude and he puts a sign on her sex organ, he also paints Chairman mao's portrait but adds something ugly to his face, of course to some Chinese Chairman Mao is a Saviour, and to others he is a questionable being , still I find these very irresponsable and playful, first he should not use art to demonstrate his political hatred, secondly he shows very well his playful character of a play boy when he shows no respect to his sex or his mate's sex. That means his mind and soul is ugly and he has no right to be an artist.
Here is my nude goddess :" Earth goddess" what do you think about it?

We, the creative people, want freedom but it must come with a tag - responsibility. Otherwise it would create choas in the world. An Artist or any other creative person communicates with the world through his work. The work speaks & interacts with peoples' minds. ( Didn't Mona Lisa's smile interact with people for centuries?) People who come across any creative work therefore react. In the case of extremists, they react violently causing disturbances in the society. Creative people must not be selfish & keep this in mind & put things in such a way that minimises the damage to the societies they live in. No, don't give in to fundamentalists, only trick them into believing it doesn't go against their beliefs. The end result should always justify the acts intellectuals commit. The limitations to freedom should come from the minds of intellectuals - after thorough analysis - & not by laws.
This is what I believe in & what I firmly support.
It is up to the artists to do whatever they want to do with their art. But they should not be selfish & do things to create controversy & benefit from it. Some do this to get a name & fame(?) & to sell their work. It is selfish on their part as they don't care about the consequences & the damage caused to the society. This is where the tag " "responsibility" should be attached.
I posted an article here about nude art sometime back. You can see it here:
http://artlab.ning.com/group/Views/forum/topics/artists-please-resp...

Minnie W. Shuler said:
Actually, I think the nudity in Christian religious art is not good and especially then call it religious. I know that most of the old world art portrays men and women nude in statue and I am not as offended by that as I am some other painters who just seem to exhibit an influence for lust. Perhaps I am too narrow minded. I have a set of books on the Art Museums of the world and wanted to give them to the local high school...but there is far too much nudity in them. I can just hear the 8th grade boys laughing and gawking. They will have to go to another library....an art and history library in a neighboring city.

Dr. Krishna Kumari Challa said:
We, the creative people, want freedom but it must come with a tag - responsibility. Otherwise it would create choas in the world. An Artist or any other creative person communicates with the world through his work. The work speaks & interacts with peoples' minds. ( Didn't Mona Lisa's smile interact with people for centuries?) People who come across any creative work therefore react. In the case of extremists, they react violently causing disturbances in the society. Creative people must not be selfish & keep this in mind & put things in such a way that minimises the damage to the societies they live in. No, don't give in to fundamentalists, only trick them into believing it doesn't go against their beliefs. The end result should always justify the acts intellectuals commit. The limitations to freedom should come from the minds of intellectuals - after thorough analysis - & not by laws.
This is what I believe in & what I firmly support.
Yes, Minnie, some might not agree with what I say. Some even argued how can a mute picture arouse people? An art work is not mute. Artists try to communicate with the world through their work. And people react. Like they interacted with Mona Lisa's smile for centuries. Is Mona Lisa's smile mute? No it is not. People even wrote poems on it, singers sang songs on it. Surely it stirred people's emotions. Art, especially figurative ones & portraits will definitely arouse people if they are created for this purpose only. But I know I am a responsible person & act with responsibility in whatever I do. I can never go the extent of causing damage to the society for selfish motives.

Minnie W. Shuler said:
I am sure there are many who would disagree but I agree with you on accountability and I believe that it is just as much our sin when we cause others to commit sin by our actions. This is not, it appears, accepted by many. When you do something that causes another to lust in their heart which may perhaps lead to their commission of an immoral act then you must shoulder part of the blame. I know this is an unpopular view and I may not be considered 'cultured' to have it as my opinion. GE has the popular theme at their Theme park "If we can dream it, we can do it"... the real issue may be "if we can dream it...should we do it?" Some dreams are good...others just lewd. Until people begin to try to create a better world we will not have one.

Dr. Krishna Kumari Challa said:
It is up to the artists to do whatever they want to do with their art. But they should not be selfish & do things to create controversy & benefit from it. Some do this to get a name & fame(?) & to sell their work. It is selfish on their part as they don't care about the consequences & the damage caused to the society. This is where the tag " "responsibility" should be attached.
I posted an article here about nude art sometime back. You can see it here:
http://artlab.ning.com/group/Views/forum/topics/artists-please-resp...

Minnie W. Shuler said:
Actually, I think the nudity in Christian religious art is not good and especially then call it religious. I know that most of the old world art portrays men and women nude in statue and I am not as offended by that as I am some other painters who just seem to exhibit an influence for lust. Perhaps I am too narrow minded. I have a set of books on the Art Museums of the world and wanted to give them to the local high school...but there is far too much nudity in them. I can just hear the 8th grade boys laughing and gawking. They will have to go to another library....an art and history library in a neighboring city.

Dr. Krishna Kumari Challa said:
We, the creative people, want freedom but it must come with a tag - responsibility. Otherwise it would create choas in the world. An Artist or any other creative person communicates with the world through his work. The work speaks & interacts with peoples' minds. ( Didn't Mona Lisa's smile interact with people for centuries?) People who come across any creative work therefore react. In the case of extremists, they react violently causing disturbances in the society. Creative people must not be selfish & keep this in mind & put things in such a way that minimises the damage to the societies they live in. No, don't give in to fundamentalists, only trick them into believing it doesn't go against their beliefs. The end result should always justify the acts intellectuals commit. The limitations to freedom should come from the minds of intellectuals - after thorough analysis - & not by laws.
This is what I believe in & what I firmly support.

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