What is the purpose of art? Wow, I know, that’s a big question. Is it to challenge our views and broaden our understanding of the world? Or is art simply meant to coddle our narrow-minded attitudes?
For centuries art has been a lynchpin in the advancement and development of humankind. It celebrates the beauty of the world around us. It allows us to appreciate life from different points of view. Perhaps most importantly—art exposes our deeply-rooted biases, flaws, and issues.
When someone gets upset about a piece of art, it tells you more about them than the artist. That’s the point. Art—no matter what the style, subject, or era—is supposed to make you think differently. When it gets you upset, it’s doing its job. Because, at its essence, art is designed to elicit an emotional response.
Today, in our politically correct society, that is entirely unacceptable. Art is supposed to confirm the bias of the viewer. Anything that provokes a feeling that is uncomfortable or unlikeable must be banned! At least that seems to be the attitude of the Manchester Art Gallery. They just recently removed one of the oldest and most iconic paintings from their walls. Their reason exposed their pathetic bias and arrogance.
It is a painting that shows pubescent, naked nymphs tempting a handsome young man to his doom, but is it an erotic Victorian fantasy too far, and one which, in the current climate, is unsuitable and offensive to modern audiences?
Manchester Art Gallery has asked the question after removing John William Waterhouse’s Hylas and the Nymphs, one of the most recognisable of the pre-Raphaelite paintings, from its walls. Postcards of the painting will be removed from sale in the shop. (The Guardian)
The painting is one of the most celebrated and recognizable from the pre-Raphaelite era. It was an era that celebrated classical styles of story-telling and beauty. Most of the paintings portrayed men and women in their youth, often in sensual and erotic situations. That was big at the time. Artwork celebrated this aspect of life. Today, the tightly-wound feminists that control this art gallery cannot stand that.
The bogus excuse to remove the painting is to “prompt conversation” about art. Um, you remove a painting to prompt conversation? I call bull crap on that. You can’t have a conversation over a blank wall. If anything, leaving the painting up would do a better job of provoking conversation. But the gallery’s curator exposed her own bias and agenda.
Gannaway said the title was a bad one, as it was male artists pursuing women’s bodies, and paintings that presented the female body as a passive decorative art form or a femme fatale.
“For me personally, there is a sense of embarrassment that we haven’t dealt with it sooner. Our attention has been elsewhere ... we’ve collectively forgotten to look at this space and think about it properly. We want to do something about it now because we have forgotten about it for so long.” (The Guardian)
The painting hung in a room called “In Pursuit of Beauty.” Pretty appropriate. Yet the curator of the gallery’s contemporary art decided it did not belong. It’s clear from her words that she is simply offended that artists from over 200 years ago would portray women sexually. Apparently, she’s been living under a rock.
If you wanted to attack classic art for being chauvinistic, you couldn’t have found a worse painting. Waterhouses’ work always celebrated women, not denigrated them. He often portrayed them in positions of power and influence, over men. They were beautiful, of course, but they were hardly victims of “toxic masculinity” or any of the other evils feminists accuse men of.
No, the real reason this painting was taken down is that this curator has a chip on her shoulder.
This is a common trait among liberals. They can’t deal with viewpoints counter to their own. Instead of confronting them head-on, weighing the merits or flaws of the opposition, they simply censor them.
Liberals shut down conservative groups on college campuses. They deny conservative speakers from attending events. The mainstream media in both the United States and England is largely liberal. Even the entertainment industry ostracizes anyone that is right of center. Why? Because they are simply too cowardly to accept that there are ideas they don’t like. They don’t want to admit that—no matter what they do—there will be people who don’t agree with them.
So, as in the case of this painting, they put their fingers in their ears and shut their eyes. That’ll fix everything.
Let’s be honest. Does taking down Hylas and the Nymphs make it go away? Just Google the image. There it is folks, repeated thousands of times. Even Waterhouses’ studies for the painting show up. Does this gallery really think that taking it down will do anything?
People posted reactions to the removal. Many criticized the decision, asking why they didn’t remove all offensive art. Some, even bigger hacks, consider the removal an artistic act itself. Give me a break.
The real irony is that these liberals are becoming more ‘puritanical’ and prudish than the people they used to criticize. Today, the people that are in favor of free expression, art, and uncensored ideas… are on the right!