The Nipple Effect

Where do you stand on images that show nipples? How does nudity in artwork affect you?

Throughout my art career, I’ve experienced some very interesting reactions and feedback regarding the nudity in my artwork. For me, it’s become a bit of a social experiment. Whenever I have the opportunity to show my nudes, I like to pay special attention to people’s reactions.

The mother grabbed the son’s hand and rushed him past the booth while her other hand was over her son’s eyes as they scooted quickly past my art.

Most of the time, people are intrigued, interested and genuinely appreciating the message in my art when they see it. My mission is to remind us humans that we are part of the natural world – organic beings, just like the trees, the rocks and all of the other elements of nature. But, often, people will laugh out loud upon seeing it, making jokes to their friends, husbands, and wives about the artwork. It happens at every single art show that I do. It’s difficult to not take it personally when someone is literally laughing at your art when it’s meant to be taken seriously. So, why are they laughing? Are they uncomfortable with their own bodies and nudity or are they just immature?

I’ve had young children say things like, “Ewwwwwwww!” and “That’s gross!”, so I wonder if the adults who are laughing are actually thinking and reacting like a young child? Well, I’m not here to try to figure it all out, but it is always fascinating to me and I no longer take it personally. It took me some time, but I thankfully grew beyond that.

Whenever I have the opportunity to show my nudes, I like to pay special attention to people’s reactions.

One of the most memorable art festival experiences I had was when a mother and her son were walking past my booth. The mother grabbed the son’s hand and rushed him past the booth while her other hand was over her son’s eyes as they scooted quickly past my art. But, what had the most impact on me from this incident was that the son was about 20 years old!

I’ve also been informed, by an art organization that produces 13 art festivals, that if I apply for any of their festivals and show my nudes, that I will not be accepted to participate in their festivals. My nudes have basically been banned from their shows. Thankfully, there are several hundred art festivals all over the country that I can apply for, so being censored by this one organization doesn’t affect my means to make a living.

What’s most important to me is to continue creating art that speaks to people, and makes them dig just a little bit deeper into themselves to find and experience their own emotional thresholds. That’s when art is truly doing its job.


To view my Gallery of Nudes, please visit my artist website at this link – CarolynQuan.com


* All text and images are copyrighted and protected by copyright laws. Use or reproduction of any kind are prohibited. All rights reserved. © 2019 Carolyn Quan / The Happy Little Bird / Dream World Media LLC. 

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