Nude art: Are there any social and moral dilemmas

I live in a society that seems to me to be over zealous in fighting what pastors and police think are crimes against our sensibilities. If the police are not busy arresting ladies of the night they will be found arresting  young men smoking marijuana,  revelers at strip clubs while people are being violently robbed in the streets or in homes and a response time running into several hours.

In one of our dailies, a priest is quoted as saying this of nude art

It is intolerable according to the church’s principles and goes against the founding morals that guide our behaviours,

and continues to say

A wrong is a wrong, no matter what, how, when and who does it. Nakedness is sinful in itself and there is no two ways about it. The Bible says our bodies are temples of the Lord and there is time for everything.

Such claims by religious people irk me. For one, the priest doesn’t tell us when stories of Hebrew herdsmen became African and two not so long ago our fathers went in bare clothing that covered only essentials while children and young adolescents roamed with their goods for all the world to see. I find this the height of hypocrisy to claim that nudity is wrong because the bible says so!

I think the priest and those who support his cause should read this post and reflect about it as they do bible stories before they can comment. And while at it, I would want to know how many of them are born clothed and shower in their clothes.

And for good measure


Photograph by Eivydas


About makagutu

As Onyango Makagutu I am Kenyan, as far as I am a man, I am a citizen of the world

32 thoughts on “Nude art: Are there any social and moral dilemmas

  1. Mordanicus says:

    I suggest that the police in your country should arrest dangerous and violent criminals instead of marijuana users.


  2. Hi Mak, how are you these days?
    I think the comment ‘nakedness is sinful in itself’ is very revealing about the commentator, not about the art. These protests against art seem to be on the rise again, lately. I know the same goes on in Europe, where people have been successful to get some works of art that were by no means as naked as what you show here removed from public spaces. I wonder what happens to people when they can’t appreciate beauty because their own petty prejudices get in the way. That worries me, at times!


    • makagutu says:

      Am well friend, I have been wondering where you disappeared to.

      It is sad when people think by being naked they are offending some imaginary celestial dictator.


  3. aguywithoutboxers says:

    Give that “priest with no mind” a can of spray paint and send him to the Vatican’s Sistine Chapel. Allow him to censor what millions of tourists pay to see daily. Stop the flood of sinners filling the ecclesiastical coffers in order to view filth and depravity. Let this happen and we’ll see exactly how long that “priest with no mind” remains in business.

    My Nairobi brother, you know how dear this subject is to me. If the human body is indeed a temple, then why desecrate the sacred with the obscenity of fashion? Nudity isn’t the problem. It is the perversion of a hypocritical society and the belief systems that dominate it that pose a problem. The moral dilemma isn’t nakedness, it lies with the greed and corruption of a power structure, whether sacred or secular, that values personal gain over the common good.

    Much love and naked hugs from your nude gay brother! 🙂


    • makagutu says:

      I know this is a story dearest to your heart and we share the same view except you are a notch higher :-P.

      The priest has bought into the story of the Hebrew goat herders and exiles that he can longer think back a few hundred years ago when his villagemen were naked and believed their god resided on some mountain!


  4. john zande says:

    Backward. There’s no other way of describing it.


  5. the delusion that the naked body is “sinful” or “evil” is only based on one rather tatty book, that has a god making people, getting upset for them doing exactly what it should have known that they will do, and then punishing them for doing exactly what it should have known they would do since it *made* them.

    Nudity wasn’t “sinful” before the apple incident, so why would getting the “knowledge of good and evil” make it sinful after? Well, it wouldn’t unless you wish to acknowledge that this god evidently agrees with the statement “ignorance is bliss” aka if there is no knowledge there is no crime. This shows that this god is not some font of absolute truth, but a purveyor of situational ethics, changing its mind on a whim and no better than the gods of other ancient cultures.

    and its always amusing that this god has to take up fashion design and hunting because its made its humans too stupid to realize that leaves don’t make terribly good clothing. 🙂


    • makagutu says:

      this is interesting comment boss. It is indeed interesting that before the eating of the fruit, Adam and Eve were going naked in the field and then now they tell us to be naked is sinful, what a funny lot. It’s like they don’t read their not so good book!


  6. themodernidiot says:

    Ask your priests:
    Why would our god would want us to hide his creations? Are they not beautiful enough? Are they not glorious enough? Are they not holy enough, these earthly wonders that god hath bestowed upon his beloved children. Would truly, deserving children ungratefully deny their father, god’s artistry, because or ridiculous shame?

    If so, it seems then that they are indeed NOT worthy of god’s supreme gifts. if they do not praise his work, but rather choose to elevate their human imperfections above it, then they cannot call themselves loyal to god. to deny the beauty of anything from god, is to deny Him as well. Yes?


    • emmylgant says:

      Ooooh! I like that !


    • makagutu says:

      You ask very critical questions. Someday I will ask a priest to answer some of them and I will let you know the response.

      I don’t know, their argument seems to be that parts of god’s temple should not be exposed, like the holy of holies so to speak. That these parts should only be seen by a select group and in secluded spaces if you get what I mean 🙂


      • themodernidiot says:

        last time I checked, their bible says god loves all of his children so much he gave them his son, indicating he wasn’t an elitist asshole that played favorites. perhaps they should follow his lead.

        if they are hiding to gain power over the flock, then they have failed their god by not putting all their faith in his power alone. they are questioning and defying god’s rule by trying to control others. they are interfering with god’s holy work, and so are not worthy of his gifts.

        so there.


  7. Eric Alagan says:

    I can accept that sensibilities are required with regards to dressing for occasions – but nudity per se is not sinful or abhorrent.

    That priest has a dirty mind!

    Incidentally, people were crucified stark naked – the depictions of loin cloth is crap – full stop!


  8. Real real me says:

    My opinion was divided: from one side – why should we be ashamed of what we really are, from another – that it is a temptation – leading to sin. But the Church doesn’t support it. Nudity encourages lust.
    The endings of your posts are always fantastic.


    • makagutu says:

      I find it hard to see the transition from nude art to sin- an offense against deities no one can say anything about their existence-
      I think you should keep to the side that questions why there should be any shame in our nature really.
      Thanks for reading and commenting


  9. […] few days ago, makagutu wrote a thought provoking post about nudity and art, or at least it provoked thoughts in me. The vast majority of my paintings are of nudes and, […]


  10. says:

    The body is beautiful yet subjective dependent on location.


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