When recently questioned about two nude self-portraits on his personal website, New York politician Stephen Eckel argued that “they’re art.” Pity that defense didn’t work for Anthony Weiner or Senator Robert Arango, who resigned after getting caught with his pants literally down on gay hookup site Grindr.
The political debate over what constitutes fine art versus pornography rages at the center of Paul Rudnick’s The Naked Eye, premiering locally at Nearly Naked Theatre. The show follows Nan Bemiss, a presidential candidate’s wife who tries to convince a photographer to remove nude pics from an art exhibit.
“Although attitudes towards sex and nudity are changing, it still seems to be the hot-button issue when dealing with the arts,” says director Damon Dering. Case in point: Brit painter Maxime Xavier’s self-portrait was banned for showcasing (gasp!) erect nipples. Lucky for audiences, Dering’s cast – which includes locals David Weiss, Johanna Carlisle, and Kellie Dunlap – is free to bare all.