has posted her thoughts on the Spectrum award statue, and, as usual, her post sparked some thoughts and considerations of my own, too long (and probably too convoluted) to fit in a comment on her journal, so I'm posting them on my own.
Let me start by saying that this isn't
and isn't meant to be critical of anyone's feeling and opinions about the trophy or Spectrum itself, everybody's position is equally valid, this just happens to be mine.
When I saw the award on Muddy Colors (multi-author artist blog), I was quite uninpressed,I didn't hate it but it did nothing for me. I've stopped hoping for something novel and wondrous from Spectrum quite a while ago, now I see it mainly as a celebration of the status quo in the industry (and mainly rapresentative of the US industry at that), so, for me, the award statue more or less went in the same direction, as expected.
As to the 'naked woman' thing...well keep in mind that I'm a Southern European (naked statues are...not quite uncommon over here), and also that the 'nipples taboo' was unknown to us until T. started posting his work on US sites. This is not to say that he painted a lot of erect nipples, just that we (and everyone else I know over here), by default dont't pay the slightest attention to the status of the nipples in a given piece of art (or craft).
Even now I had to check to notice on this statue. My usual reaction (possibly quite naive) would not be 'She is sexualized for the male viewer' (unless the pose and attitude were suggestive), but ' she / the model must be cold'
When I saw that statue I didn't think 'naked horned woman', I thought 'female faun variant', as such not human, and not a woman. As a spirit of nature her being naked doesn't disturb me, nor do I find her unsafe for work or to have around with children or company ('Why is she naked ?' 'Nature deities don't need clothes').
As an aside I was really flabbergasted some years ago reading some scathing comments about Faeries
not being for children because 'the fairies are naked', T. has been given that book when he was about 5, it's not like Brian Froud went all suggestive or anatomically detailed in his faeries...
Back to the Spectrum Award, the piece fails completely for me anyway, because I really cannot see her as a muse. The greek muses were...quite civilized: history, lyric poetry, comedy, tragedy, dance, epic poetry, love poetry, sacred poetry, astronomy. You can't have these without city life, outside of the walls was chaos, and reasons for fear ('panic' comes from the name of nature god 'Pan'), the idea of poetic inspiration as a wild thing, akin to battle furor,isn't Greek and has nothing to do with the muses, so this horned lady comes out as a pastiche of different, half-digested European traditions (also, sadly a neither new nor particularly surprising thing).
Again, keep in mind that I'm interpreting this from the outside. Just an episode: when T. had his exibition, mid-May, many of the visitors wanting to speak with the artist addressed me, first. No one bats an eyelid at the idea of a woman painting professionally, I gather that things are a 'bit' different over there.