Thanks for introducing me to the word “Qualia”; I had never heard of it before and it is a bit synchronistic, as I was looking for a word that started with Q for a drawing I am about to do, but, that one didn’t appear in my pocket dictionary and it is perfect for my intentions. I wrote an article that touched on some of the same themes as does yours, on another platform, but, it leaned more towards the censorship of art in the digital age. From his book, “The Nude, A Study in Ideal Form”, Kenneth Clark writes, “The English language, with its elaborate generosity, distinguishes between the naked and the nude. To be naked is to be deprived of our clothes, and the word implies some of the embarrassment most of us feel in that condition. The word “nude”, on the other hand, carries, in educated usage, no uncomfortable undertone. The vague image it projects into the mind is not of a huddled and defenseless body, but of a balanced, prosperous, and confident body: the body re-formed. In fact, the word was forced into our vocabulary by critics of the early eighteenth century to persuade the artless islanders that, in countries where painting and sculpture were practiced and valued as they should be, the naked human body was the central subject of art.”

I do take issue with his description of “artless islanders” and his Euro-centric narcisstic opinion of any art from other cultures that doesn’t cleave to the European sensibilities and ideals regarding art; but, there is a noteworthy idea that runs like a thread in his general discourse.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store