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March 09, 2008

"Abstract Genetalia" Paintings Hang (Vaguely) In High School

Eh. It's not that interesting, but it is dirty, and that's enough.

Apparently now artists can't even be bothered to draw realistic genitals anymore, which was pretty much the only thing keeping them relevant.

Ashland High School senior Colette Parι Miller [pictured above] will show her abstract paintings of the male and female genitalia at tonight's First Friday art walk, but they will be in a separate room and manned by a monitor to make sure children can't see them.

Saying they were not appropriate for students to view, Ashland School District officials insisted the large abstract works should be away from the public viewing area of student art at the Briscoe Art Wing in the former Briscoe Elementary School, which the district leases out to artists.

"When I painted them in class, there was as positive reaction. People thought they were beautiful," said Miller. "I don't think they are pornographic. They have all those colors. I didn't do them to scare anyone, but I did want to paint something controversial. I wanted people to be able to understand that a taboo subject can be presented in a beautiful way."


The blank space on the hallway wall where the pictures were originally hung will be emblazoned with a "censored" banner put up by Miller. Her first reaction was that all or none of her art should be shown, she said, and she was set to take it to Nuwandart on A Street, noted for its edgy, alternative showings.

Miller finally heeded the advice of Briscoe Wing artists who told her the old saying was true: For an artist there's no such thing as bad publicity, except your own obituary — and decided to leave the art, separated, on display where it was. Tom Kane, a fellow artist in whose studio the paintings will hang, contacted the media seeking coverage of the controversy.

In her defense she is just a high school senior, though it seems her understanding of what may be "scary" or innovative is somewhat limited by her youthful lack of savvy.

Georgia O'Keefe, "Still Life With Twat"

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