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August 28th, 2009
07:52 AM ET

Art or Porn?

New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art has hundreds of artworks depicting nude women, and men.

But put one live naked woman in the middle of the museum, and they call the cops.

One woman was arrested when she bared it all for a photographer, known for taking nude photos in public places.

Problem is, she was in full view of everyone else, including kids.

Now she faces a public lewdness charge.

Her attorney says it's ridiculous that she was arrested in a place full of nude art. The museum says it was just abiding by the city's rules and regulations.

Here's what we want to know - was it art?

Or was this public display of nakedness - something else?

Post your comments below.


Filed under: Heidi Collins
soundoff (152 Responses)
  1. Peter Togel

    The real issue was probably that she did not have a label attached stating the creator and the creation date. Art without labels is probably fake. 😉

    August 28, 2009 at 7:59 am |
  2. David Royall

    If folks can display guns (in front of kids) at townhall meetings, why can't a woman display nature's beauty in a Museum of Art?

    August 28, 2009 at 8:53 am |
  3. Mike Armstrong TX.

    Heck man if you want to see nude women just walk down to the glass motel its free admission with live action why pay to sight see stuff at a museum.

    August 28, 2009 at 8:54 am |
  4. Dakota Tunley

    It is art. Underneath our clothes we are all naked and it a beautiful thing and we are our parents works of art.

    August 28, 2009 at 9:04 am |
  5. craig mclendon

    The museum should not have called the cops due to the nature and style of the photo shoot. If anything the photographer and the subject should have been asked to leave for not having permission. Yes this is art but the museum was wrong in the manner at which they handled it.

    August 28, 2009 at 9:06 am |
  6. Paul

    It ain't exactly art, but it sure ain't porn.

    August 28, 2009 at 9:23 am |
  7. Allen

    Dare I say, "I'll know it when I see it.:

    August 28, 2009 at 9:23 am |
  8. Bob Najdek

    Of course it is art. It forces the public to see art in a different light, not only in the museum but outside of it. Art should not be something antiquated and stuffy stuck in a building, but in the streets too. Our culture also needs to get over its shock from some natural nudity, where as scenes hypersexuality are all over the media.

    August 28, 2009 at 9:23 am |
  9. mightyboosh

    Where's the link to the pictures so we can judge for ourselves?

    August 28, 2009 at 9:24 am |
  10. Best

    Shock and outrage over an attractive nude body is immature. The human body if fit and healthy is beautiful. I do think she and the photographer should have gotten permission from the staff for any photo shot whether it be nude or not though.

    August 28, 2009 at 9:24 am |
  11. Justin Black

    There's nothing wrong with a nude woman posing for photographs. People in this country are still way too hung up on their puritan past and need to get over it. If she wasn't performing sex acts, then there shouldn't be a problem.

    August 28, 2009 at 9:24 am |
  12. Tony

    It is a fine line, If as an artist it is his main focus, than I say call it art, he could of asked to do it when the museum is closed. I dont think it is porn.

    August 28, 2009 at 9:24 am |
  13. keith

    "It", is against the law and that is all that matters.

    August 28, 2009 at 9:25 am |
  14. williamlanier

    i think the photos can only be considered porn if there was a sexual context displayed. the naked human body alone isn't porn. Is the Vetruvian Man considered porn? He's naked right? But there's no sexual context behind the photo. I think thats the major indication of what can be considered porn and what is a great piece of art that just happens to have a nude subject.

    August 28, 2009 at 9:25 am |
  15. Ben

    It's not porn if the nude person isn't in ANY way in a sexual position or action. If her hands were engaged in herself then thats porn.

    The bigger questions is why they were doing it with out permission, and that I believe should be the punishment they get. All they had to do was get the MOMA to give them permission.

    August 28, 2009 at 9:25 am |
  16. Aaron

    Don't we have more important things to worry about? Are our natural bodies such a hazard that the police must force us to keep them covered?

    August 28, 2009 at 9:25 am |
  17. John Serpentelli

    It's ART !

    After all, the museum displays numerous nude statues and paintings of nude men and women. Why does the model being alive make it porn? The human form has been the subject of art for centuries.

    John Serpentelli
    Philadelphia

    August 28, 2009 at 9:25 am |
  18. Ricardo Rodriguez

    Human body is beautiful, specially females. I belive it was some kind or art but it is also very unrespectfull to be on the nude where there are children. Had it been a male, he would be facing some serious charges.

    August 28, 2009 at 9:25 am |
  19. Baskar

    It's public indecensy. Bhaskar, Tx

    August 28, 2009 at 9:25 am |
  20. Chuck

    If it occurred in Europe it would be Art, but here in the US it's porn.

    August 28, 2009 at 9:25 am |
  21. Dave

    It's not art and it's not porn.
    It's some wacko that did something stupid to get on TV and you guys responded...shame on you!

    August 28, 2009 at 9:25 am |
  22. Ron

    If it's against the law – it's against the law.

    That being said, you're in a freaking MUSEUM. You're there to see beautiful things (including nudes). I can think of nothing on earth more beautiful than the female body. Americans need to just get over it. This wouldn't have even raised an eyebrow in Italy.

    August 28, 2009 at 9:26 am |
  23. C Gay

    It's disgusting. There are families and school-age children who are visitng the Met every day. The photographer simply has no sense of decency and respect. Art-no...Porn...no...Misdemeanor...absolutely with some constructive community service time much needed!

    August 28, 2009 at 9:26 am |
  24. Shirley Fry

    This was porn and the stunt was for publicity.

    August 28, 2009 at 9:26 am |
  25. Kelly Ferreira

    As with all art the beauty is in the eye of the beholder. There are many people who only related to sexual thoughts when they see a naked woman, but there are also many that see a form of natural art. The contrast between human induced societal norms and the natural condition can be seen as art itself.

    August 28, 2009 at 9:26 am |
  26. Besim

    I think it was just STUPID neither art or porn!!!
    It's just not right – she should be doing that in some Arabic country and see what will happened to her.
    It's very sad to see our children brought up to all this.

    August 28, 2009 at 9:26 am |
  27. Jeff

    It's ART and beautiful! Anyone who thinks otherwise is an uptight Puritanical Christian idiot. If you find this 'offensive' or you're whining about this I believe you're jealous! You're either a typical FAT American prudish woman or you're a poor bastard married to one!

    August 28, 2009 at 9:26 am |
  28. PA Reader

    America was founded by Puritans.

    August 28, 2009 at 9:26 am |
  29. Michael

    Since when is nudity considered porn???? Was she masterbating or being penetrated? Just being nude shouldn't be pornographic. Nor should the media pose this question.

    August 28, 2009 at 9:26 am |
  30. Ted Rudolph

    Artsy smartsy, I think it is a lewd act in the name of art.

    Too many people offended, too many people forced too see "art" in the nude.

    I view art as something personal, something for me to interpret, but when it is exposed without choice, it is not art.

    August 28, 2009 at 9:26 am |
  31. Shawn

    Nudeness can certainly be art. If the photos had been paintings, no one would complain, because they're not "real.". Likewise, people complain about live nude models, despite that every art student sees them in their basic sketching classes and is taught to look past the sexual into the artistic. However, the museum should have given disclaimers to viewers about the nature or the display, and no event would have occurred!

    August 28, 2009 at 9:26 am |
  32. Jake

    Nudity may have been associated with beauty for centuries. But in our current society where nudity is often associated with the multi-billion porn business, things have changed... And public lewdness is what she'll get.

    August 28, 2009 at 9:27 am |
  33. Ryan F

    If this were a man would we being having the same discussion? I bet not.

    August 28, 2009 at 9:27 am |
  34. lk

    I do not consider myself a prude, yet I do not think a person standing out in public is art. I don't feel it is porn either, it is just a way to stir up trouble and draw attention to themselves. it is the % min of fame and just silly. I would not want my grandchildren to see it, so to be out in public, no, do it at a private showing and see who attends!

    August 28, 2009 at 9:27 am |
  35. elusivetee

    if nude pictures and nude models are accepted in musuems as art. isnt it still art, even if its not in a musuem.

    August 28, 2009 at 9:27 am |
  36. ingeborg

    looks better then a gun at a town hall meeting!

    August 28, 2009 at 9:27 am |
  37. Dana C.

    I wonder if we asked that question(is it art or porn) when the golden placques were adorned with the nude images of both man and woman and sent into space with the pioneer spacecraft.... I pray that whomever finds them that they do not have such hang ups on nudity as we do in America.... where one can go see a graphic horr film rated-pg- but a bare breast gets the automatic R grow up America !!!

    August 28, 2009 at 9:27 am |
  38. James Emert

    Nudity is not automatically porn, but then neither is it automatically art. What is necessary is to look at the actual images and then decide. I've looked at the photographer's web site and I agree that it is art.

    August 28, 2009 at 9:27 am |
  39. Marvin Platten

    It is art. Photography of a nude woman does not automatically make it porn. There are many examples of famous art throughout the centuries depicting nude women or men. I think where the photographer was wrong, was not getting prior approval to take the photos there.

    August 28, 2009 at 9:28 am |
  40. Jon

    Of course it's art. Why are Americans so repressive about a simple nude body? Guess what - under your clothes you are nude too. Don't you have a mirror? Great art should push the borders. Art has always celebrated the nude figure and if it's a live figure, just enjoy it.

    August 28, 2009 at 9:28 am |
  41. zak

    Even though it is fascinating, educational, but it has exposed privacy or it is pornography and is not deem fit to be display in public.This has definitely caused some parents to wonder immorality or disregard to human privacy.

    August 28, 2009 at 9:29 am |
  42. Jon Palmer Claridge

    We just need to lighten up. Doesn't "porn" require some sexual activity & and a prurient interest? Last time I checked, we were all still naked underneath our clothes. If I were there with small children, I'd dismiss the model as silly . . . and that would be that.

    August 28, 2009 at 9:29 am |
  43. Marge Helenchild

    Definately art. Look at the contrast statement....soft/hard...metal/flesh
    similar/different contours and shapes....mind expanding experience
    to see this in the moment. ! Wish I was there. a definite art happening.
    Marge Helenchild

    August 28, 2009 at 9:29 am |
  44. Chris C

    It's Art plain and simple. The human body is a beautiful thing and can be shown in an artful way. I saw nothing sexual about those pictures. Afterall, some of the most famous works of art are reproductions of the naked form.

    August 28, 2009 at 9:30 am |
  45. Danielle Maybee

    For thousands of years the human body has been a subject of artistic compositions. Why is the exposure of it offensive? It's disgusting that in our modern society nudity is even an issue.

    August 28, 2009 at 9:31 am |
  46. Koji Kabuto

    By the simple definition of porn, this cannot be porn. Porn is the depiction of explicit sexual subject matter for the purposes of sexual excitement.

    By definition, anything performed for a live audience is not porn. The term applies to the depiction of the act, rather than the act itself.

    August 28, 2009 at 9:31 am |
  47. NORMA JEAN

    certainly not art!....just another " shock show".....is this the only way the museum can interest the general populus in art?.........t'is a sad indeed .....this world of advertising!!!!!

    August 28, 2009 at 9:32 am |
  48. Frank Coney

    For some time art has been what the "artist" and art critics say it is. This example of public nudity is simply a shameless attempt to achieve national notoriety. In that respect it has been very successful. I am not prudish; I enjoy seeing a beautiful woman in various states of undress. The difference is I am sensitive to the obvious fact that many people find nudity offensive. The photo shoot should have taken place on a nude beach.

    August 28, 2009 at 9:32 am |
  49. John Mark Miller

    I don't think this display was either art or porn. Art should immitate life or symbolize life in some way. Porn has a sexual connotation. This was sensationalism, a sure fire way to get noticed and get publicity. Since the overwhelming majority of us do not go out in public naked, one would be hard put to characterize this as an imitation or symbolism of life. Since the intent does not seem to be of a sexual nature it is not porn. It was just a cheap way to get noticed, a fast buck and free advertising.
    John Miller

    August 28, 2009 at 9:33 am |
  50. George Durk

    This is clearly a public exhibition of nudity. What was the artist and model trying to prove? That the virtue of modesty is no longer relevant?

    August 28, 2009 at 9:35 am |
  51. Kenny Amis

    If there was not lewdness being dipicted how could it it could it be considered porn? Seems like a kneejerk reaction to me.

    August 28, 2009 at 9:35 am |
  52. Vongell Lugo

    Heidi, I think this is 50/50. The photographer certainly knew this kind of project he was embarking on would be permissible had he followed city regulations. Since he didn't I think he turned this into a lewd act, which deserved the type of punishment that has been handed out....it's PORN all the way!!!

    August 28, 2009 at 9:36 am |
  53. Andrew Lowe

    Dear Heidi,

    In my opinion this should be seen as a complete display of creative expression. Granted I am a design student myself (so I may have a bit of a bias) but from the images I have seen, the photographer and the models are all acting in a professional manner. These are certainly not "pornographic" acts.

    Yes, these people are in public and in the nude, but they are not acting in a lewd or mischievous behavior. It is simply done for artistic purposes and the human body is being represented in its purest form. And to be honest, no one is being exploited, injured or harmed. Let the freedom of flesh ring loud!

    Andrew
    Edison, NJ

    August 28, 2009 at 9:36 am |
  54. D Davis

    Art or Porn? Obviously, there is a split in opinion. Art, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. I would have to see it to opine.

    August 28, 2009 at 9:36 am |
  55. Ron

    Living art, that is what we are surrounded with, our bodies, as well as those of the other creatures that we share this planet with, are an incredibly complex thing of beauty that some societies prefer to hide. We live in a country that is overwhelmed with prudish concepts and an overabundance of political correctness. The photographer/artist was capturing a moment of art...taking a chance, as artists often do. The musuem would likely see some interest in purchasing this artists works at some time in the future if the artist becomes legend, but for now, they simply excersised their policies.

    August 28, 2009 at 9:37 am |
  56. Charles

    When nude showings are presented as art, it is displayed in a manner not offensive to any viewer. When it is presented simply for publicity, there is purposely disregard for viewers, and those who do it don't care. If I saw the photos shown and I saw no art on her position with the legs wide open. That is no art, it is pornography. That position is a sexual arausal position, which is ok for a private settin behind doors or a porno stablisment. I strongly suggest that those who were offended by the incident should sue the perpetrator as well as the museum if they had anything to do with it.

    Charles

    NYC

    August 28, 2009 at 9:38 am |
  57. ken young

    art or porn? hmmm, hard to define either, but I know porn when I see it and so this is must be art, right? It's art if you want it to be. It's definitely NOT porn. Our society , especially the media, act like a bunch pubescent boys when they see a naked woman. c'mon, it's FUN to look at naked people ;-D

    August 28, 2009 at 9:39 am |
  58. D Davis

    It is interesting that most of the comments are from males.

    August 28, 2009 at 9:40 am |
  59. J.W. Rone

    It is stupid questions like this one that causes the confusion in our society. You are asking the public to judge an artistic concept without seeing the product. I am not suggesting that you show the images, only that you cannot judge something that you do not see and then you to add your editorial input muddying the issue. Art is in the eye of the beholder. One man's art is another man's porn. Art is more important than this in our society.
    JW Rone
    Executive Director
    Arts Council of Beaufort County
    Weaving the arts into the everyday life of Beaufort County!

    August 28, 2009 at 9:41 am |
  60. Arthur Anderson, NPPA member

    Is it art? Absolutely!
    Should the police have intervened? Perhaps.
    Should they be charged? Definitely not!

    I hope they got the shoot done before being stopped.

    August 28, 2009 at 9:42 am |
  61. ken young

    This kind of thing is designed for Shock & Roar. This particular incident is more like gawk & squeak....

    August 28, 2009 at 9:44 am |
  62. Stefan Schachtell

    Saw the clip on this morning's news report.

    You must be kidding me. Porn ???? That you are even asking this question is beyond me.
    In Europe, nobody would blink an eye and certainly not being part of a news report is it art or porn.
    Listen, a nude body, like nobody has seen a nude body before, no matter what age???? And porn? I am not sure what your definition of porn is, but in my book, it is sexual, provocative and sexual suggestive, but a nude body porn?
    So whoever in your household sees you nude, they are looking at porn then?
    Aren't there more important things to talk about then a model is having nude pictures taken of herself in an art setting?
    Amazing, amazing
    I hope the next time you do not ask art or porn, you should ask, what is the point to have her arrested or given a citation, certainly not a question of porn.

    August 28, 2009 at 9:46 am |
  63. Adam

    Nudity doesn't equal porn–as I'm sure anyone representing the museum would tell you–but if parents thought they were taking their children to a place where guests were free to disrobe at a moment's notice, a good number of them might think twice about the choice. The museum has standards of conduct to uphold. That said, as far as the police are concerned, I hope the lewdness charge is dropped; this shouldn't be considered a crime.

    August 28, 2009 at 9:50 am |
  64. John Ogle

    I am 76 years old and pretty good and judging art. If you would show us the video, I could better advise you as to it's value as art. John, North Carolina.

    August 28, 2009 at 9:50 am |
  65. bob cole

    Of course it is art. Art is in the eye of the beholder. Too many people "eye" everthing "I" do not like as porn! or !!!!

    August 28, 2009 at 9:51 am |
  66. Nancy

    Nudity does not necessarily equate to pornography!
    The human body is beautiful and interesting to observe.

    August 28, 2009 at 9:51 am |
  67. Mike Armstrong TX.

    The fact is its displaying public nudity and its only leagle for hotels to display public nudity and stone art work is ok also .

    August 28, 2009 at 9:54 am |
  68. Natirra

    Its porn! The sad thing is we have to ask the question!

    What about the people who will see this woman nude! I know we see half dress people all the time but, when do we stop crossing the line of "this is to far" Next thing you know we will have people sleeping together in the streets, and called that art.

    August 28, 2009 at 9:55 am |
  69. Bill

    Here's a thought....How about you take the extra step and get permission to do the shoot after hours? Then it isn't an issue.

    August 28, 2009 at 10:00 am |
  70. Liz

    Art, but they should have been more careful around the children.

    August 28, 2009 at 10:01 am |
  71. jeff

    as an art student at my local community college
    this is ART in the strongest terms its
    ART

    August 28, 2009 at 10:01 am |
  72. susan

    It is porn

    August 28, 2009 at 10:01 am |
  73. eyobolites

    Out of the box Art!

    August 28, 2009 at 10:02 am |
  74. Gil in Texas

    ART – what's the difference in seeing a nude in an art book. To protect children?... please! Guess they don't need to know about human anatomy, or the beauty of it?

    August 28, 2009 at 10:02 am |
  75. Matt Michand

    You can't break the law and expect to be covered by claiming "art". The photos are interesting, but at the end of the day, what is the discussion he's trying to have with his photos? Or is it just shock value?

    August 28, 2009 at 10:02 am |
  76. Anita

    Some things are just wrong. This is one of those things.

    August 28, 2009 at 10:03 am |
  77. Laura

    If the photographer would add a older male model posing flashing his nude body while wearing a raincoat might make those who think nudity in front of our innocent youth in a different light- sorry it fits the PORN category!

    August 28, 2009 at 10:03 am |
  78. Isaac

    Art is whatever the creator says it is. It would appear pornographic yet it was made with artistic intend thereby making it both porn and art.

    August 28, 2009 at 10:03 am |
  79. Brian

    Art can be many things; a stupid lack of judgment on the part of the artist doesn't mean that he doesn't make art. I guess it all depends on the objective of the artist: if his objective is to inspire it's ark; if his objective is simply to be provocative it's not art, it's a desperate cry for attention.

    August 28, 2009 at 10:03 am |
  80. Adrian Andre

    His work is art, they is nothing wrong with a naked body. We need to get rid on the the idea that there is something wrong in being naked.

    August 28, 2009 at 10:04 am |
  81. Jen

    Art! They were not hurting anyone and I agree that if someone can display a gun in public, especially where the President is, I think a naked model is the least of our worries.

    August 28, 2009 at 10:04 am |
  82. Kristin Davis

    How in the world is a naked body an endangerment to children? This country has serious issues (dark issues, I might add) with nudity. There was nothing sexual about this model's poses. I believe this is art and definitely not porn.

    August 28, 2009 at 10:05 am |
  83. E. D. Broker

    What's the difference if it's a naked human in public or a sculpture of a naked human in public?
    The artist should paint his model marble or bronze color and tell her not to move.
    I think some Americans should live in Europe until they get over public nudity.

    August 28, 2009 at 10:05 am |
  84. Richard

    Art is a matter of declaration. The real question ought to be, 'what is the law?' Art functions within a culture, and a culture has laws. Let it be art, but when it is also against the law, it is also illegal. That's the cost of artistic freedom.

    August 28, 2009 at 10:05 am |
  85. MattVH

    I am offended that CNN would cater to the religious right by even suggesting that nudity is equivalent to pornography. Why is America so wrapped up in the "evils" of nudity, when it's showing nothing but who we truely are?

    The American people need to loosen up.

    We could take some lessons from Europe, where their kids are educated, and their society is more open, and somehow they have less crime than America.

    August 28, 2009 at 10:05 am |
  86. peter

    We live in a nation of laws. It is illegal to take your clothing off in public. That seems reasonable. Just because you're young, sexy and female, it makes it no less illegal. I hope justice prevails and she gets punished appropriately.

    August 28, 2009 at 10:05 am |
  87. Holly Jewell

    No doubt it's art. The supreme court standard used to be "does it appeal to pruent intersts?" Entirely open to interpretation. It's art!

    August 28, 2009 at 10:05 am |
  88. Corwin

    I think the more important question is could the police who are spending time on this be spending time on Identity Theft. I guess public nudity is more important than Identity Theft. Where are my priorities?

    August 28, 2009 at 10:05 am |
  89. katie alu

    The human body is beautiful .. quite frankly one of God's most beautiful works of art. From what I saw of the photographers work on your show his work does not show people in pornographic sexual acts- there is no lewd touching and nothing inapprpriate. I like his work and consider it art.

    August 28, 2009 at 10:05 am |
  90. Henry 1011

    Photoshoot with a permit is an art but, when shot without the permit can be considered a porno because precautions such as sheilding minors were not taken.

    August 28, 2009 at 10:05 am |
  91. Michael Vash

    It's art because it makes us question are uptight Puritan values concerning the human body. If this was in Northern Europe, it probably wouldn't be news worthy.

    August 28, 2009 at 10:06 am |
  92. Mark, PA

    I am still shocked by the quantity of people in this country who are still overcome by medieval puritan beliefs. To label any of the photos shown on CNN as pornography is closed-minded and childish. The photographing of a naked person does not automatically constitute porn, it celebrates the human form, with which every human has been gifted by nature. Why must child-minded simpletons always treat the exaltation and celebration of the nude human form as if it's something dirty?
    It's time to greet the 21st century people, and rejoice in the beauty of nature.

    August 28, 2009 at 10:06 am |
  93. Dorothy

    So called nude "art" should be constricted to the art classroom. It is not appropriate, nor is it "beauty" when it is displayed in such a way.

    August 28, 2009 at 10:06 am |
  94. Catherine

    The question should be what were the intentions of the photos. If they were meant to arouse viewers, then it's porn. If they were meant to be viewed as art, then it's art. It was harmless and unintentional. At this point, the discussion is futile because the topic is so subjective.

    August 28, 2009 at 10:06 am |
  95. Ella

    There's a huge difference between a nude statue and a live, nude model. If allowed to pose nude inside museum, there should have been a sign and security to make sure anyone entering the area was aware of what was happening. How difficult would that have been?

    I would have been offended whether I had children with me or not. Some things you should see only by choice, not infliction.

    We have statues of people in sexual positions; are we going to allow sex in public too?

    Are we teaching our children that anything goes (as long as we call it art?)

    August 28, 2009 at 10:07 am |
  96. Dennis

    I am ever amazed with the prudishness many Americans have with the human body and how they treat anything close to nudeness as pornographic!!

    We have not come very far in the last 200+ years. I believe lately, we have taken steps backwards.

    August 28, 2009 at 10:08 am |
  97. Curtis

    This was art!

    This is also a sign of how immature our nation actually is. Nudity in America seems to inspires juvenile reactions from close minded people. Remember when this nation came unglued over the whole Jackson halftime show "Incident"???

    Grow up America!

    August 28, 2009 at 10:09 am |
  98. Paul Warshauer

    Art is one thing. Promotion is another. The artist makes art but this guy is looking to make news. We all respect his right to create art however he should not impose the process on those who are uncomfortable with nakedness. He could have easily set up replications of great works of art and posed his model in front of them. Perhaps he could have set up a time with the museum after hours to photograph his model. For the record I think it is art!

    August 28, 2009 at 10:09 am |
  99. Crystal

    It's ridiculous to have a debate about whether a live person in the nude in a public setting (with no regard to the disturbance it might cause) is "art". The question implies there is no difference between a printed image and a live person. It suggests that no matter what we do, we can call it art as long as someone captures the image with the intent to display it as such. Would we be having this debate had the nudist been a child?! When did our perceptions become so distorted? Where do we draw the line?

    August 28, 2009 at 10:09 am |
  100. Jim Holehouse

    Nudity is an issue that should be addressed AFTER all five billion people on this earth have all their other problems addressed.

    August 28, 2009 at 10:09 am |
  101. Vee Jay

    Completely art, way back when they honored the human body, so why can't it be done now? The only difference is that this is a photograph and the others were done in paintings and sculptures. The photographs are not done in erotic poses and the models are not posed touching themselves in an erotic manner, so it is not porn. Calling a nude picture porn is like calling a nude colony a pornographic colony just for the way they choose to live that being said, I completely agree that art is in the eye of the beholder.

    August 28, 2009 at 10:09 am |
  102. Jay eM.

    It's simply art. Pornography involves sexual activitiy. This was a model posing ALONE with no activity.
    If it were porn, CNN would be in deep trouble for showing the "blurred" pornography !!!
    Also, here's a point to consider, if that is porn, then there's a lot of paintings at the Sistine Chapel that needs to be covered up !!!!!

    August 28, 2009 at 10:09 am |
  103. Hal

    What exactly is wrong with seeing a nude body? Does it really cause a child or an adult to be trumatized or contribute to a child's deliquency? America needs to extract itself from the prudish victoria age and be more open as they are in Europe. I say "So What?" What harm does it really do to see a nude?

    August 28, 2009 at 10:10 am |
  104. L.E. Johnson

    After just finishing an Art History course, I can definitely see it can be argued that it's art. It's clever and intentional. And there is a difference between nude and naked. But the fact that the artist doesn't seem to understand that public nudity has consequences is what bothers me. I have a 4 yr old sister, I wouldn't want her subjected to that. It's not appropiate – no matter how modern the concept is.

    August 28, 2009 at 10:11 am |
  105. XR37

    In my opinion, this is Art. Many people will think otherwise because nudity is so commonly referred to as porn. People should think outside the box and see nudity as beauty. It’s kinda like a man looking at a woman or woman looking at a man. You look at the little details that makes that person unique. That is art

    -Posted in the wrong topic last time, sorry for the double post.

    August 28, 2009 at 10:11 am |
  106. Betty

    It's not art and not quite porn either it is a public display for attention and should not be allowed. If this is done in public where possibly young children(or anyone who is offended by it) can see then it should be illegal. If they want to do it in private somewhere with only people who wish to view it then it's their business, but have some respect in public and keep your clothes on.

    August 28, 2009 at 10:12 am |
  107. Diego

    I think it's ART ...but I think here in America the only way that people are used to see nude bodies is in pornography.

    August 28, 2009 at 10:13 am |
  108. Peter

    It certainly is not porn. No sexual content-no obscenity. If the museum did not want the photo shoot at the museum they might have asked that it stop. Sounds to me they acted "stupidly." Denver, Colorado

    August 28, 2009 at 10:13 am |
  109. Jayne

    The important point here is that it's FORCED nudity in public. We should have the choice as to whether we want to view this, not have it forced on us in a public venue. Children shouldn't be exposed – pun intended – nor should anyone who doesn't want to see someone, attractive or not, nude.

    August 28, 2009 at 10:14 am |
  110. Tamla Waters

    Society needs to get comfortable with the human body. Nude pictures do not = porn!!! It depends on the nature of the photo! What was she doing in the photo/photo shoot? How was she posing? Our bodies are not taboo or wrong! God gave us these bodies. It's what we do with our bodies in these pictures that make it art/porn. Society shouldn't be so quick to judge in a negative way just because they see some skin! With any piece of art.....ALWAYS, take time to look at it, read it, study it, and then form an opinion.

    August 28, 2009 at 10:15 am |
  111. Antonio Garcia

    It's art. However part of art is taking a risk. He knows the law and if he's violating the law then he must suffer the consequences. Part of the risk to do his art.

    August 28, 2009 at 10:15 am |
  112. Mary

    Hello Heidi,

    Poor judgement yes, Porn Yes, If she wanted Art she needed to do this with a fake picture of the Museum and with photographer that could impose her in that pic . there was no need to show off her skin to other people, plus childern .

    August 28, 2009 at 10:17 am |
  113. Marsha

    In my opinion, porn is made to elicit a sexual response; art inspires a conversation. And that is certainly what has happened here! The photographer is entitled to make his artistic creations yet by choosing to use nude models in public, he must be aware of the potential for this type of reaction. If I were in NYC, I would be surprised to see outdoor photos being taken of nude models but not offended. However, in a museum where patrons have paid to gain entry, sensitivity to others must be exercised. Americans are still WAY too uptight to deal with nudity!

    August 28, 2009 at 10:17 am |
  114. F.L. Kirkland

    Pron No! Art yes! Let it be, let it be.

    August 28, 2009 at 10:18 am |
  115. Jeremy

    Last I checked, nudity is a form of art. Is David pornography? You would probably say "No."

    I don't believe the problem being addressed here should be whether or not this is pornography or art. It's the simple fact that laws/policies were broken regarding public nudity.

    Being arrested may be pushing the limit, but a fine or citation is necessary. The photographer could have attempted to ask permission to take the photos in the museum after the doors closed to the public. He chose not to, or if he did, we did not hear about it.

    As for the public nudity on the streets, it should be addressed as such and fines/citations should be divvied out. Even if it's art, laws were broken.

    As for it being exposed to children, they see nude art in textbooks at school, they have an unlimited amount of resources at their finger tips to see "nude art" or "pornography" whenever they want, and are exposed to (I would argue) more vulgar things in their everyday lives.

    Don't ask whether it's art or porn, it's art.
    Ask whether it's legal or illegal, it's illegal.

    August 28, 2009 at 10:19 am |
  116. Mike Armstrong TX.

    If a chick is doing it then its art if a guys doing it then its public nudity and if there both doing it now thats ponography . this is one of those statements that takes a couple of minutes to catch on.

    August 28, 2009 at 10:20 am |
  117. Edward Lynn

    As a photographer myself, I've had occasion to make artistic images of the nude form, and in college I made a careful study of what constitutes art both legally and aesthetically. Art at it's core is more than just an image, but it evokes emotions, thoughts, and/or makes commentaries. Porn, as it's defined, appeals primarily to the "prurient interest" AND is devoid of what have been called "socially redeeming qualities" – which is to say the emotions, questions, thoughts it provokes, and the social commentary it may make. So, in other words if it turns some folks on, others off, and that's it – provokes no other thought or makes no other commentary, it's porn. If it provokes thought or makes commentary, and these images do both, it's art even if it turns some on, and some off. This is art, plain and simple, and it's creation is protected by the First Amendment.

    America does itself a disservice to be so prudish. And that is a big part of the commentary of these images. The human body is not lewd! And nudity does not automatically equate to sexuality! After all, it's not as if this woman were performing any kind of sexual act.

    August 28, 2009 at 10:21 am |
  118. Doug Heslep

    I am a fine art nude photographer myself. I find that the photographer in this case is indeed creating art, for art is a personal thing and everyone should be entitled to their own insight and opinion (we aren't living in Afganistan nor Iran are we?!) on what they create or view. Bravo to him and the model for challenging the norm and following their gut instinct.

    But not to be contradicting... I have fine art nudes hanging on the walls in my studio and at times have photographed children for modeling/acting purposes with the images in view, but can't count how many times the parents have commented that they would prefer their children exposed to nudity the way I present it rather than via the internet or even some of the things viewable on general TV. I guess in my case that is the difference between true nude fine art and porn... but if the photographer in NY was exposing very 'private' areas on his model to the public as he was capturing his imagery he should have been a little more considerate to others in his prescence. I am also a parent (my son is 26 now, raised him by myself since a baby) and the photographer should have been a little more discreet with his creativity if there were children in the area... I am not a prude by any means, but he should have been more discreet. That is just being respectful to others and not forcing them to view/experience something that is against their beliefs... just as he was following his.

    Should he be tried in the courts? No.

    August 28, 2009 at 10:24 am |
  119. Dan

    It's art. These people who think it's porn need to get over their hang-ups about the human body. It's as simple as that.

    August 28, 2009 at 10:25 am |
  120. glen

    It is porn. Whe do people wear clothes. World wide.

    August 28, 2009 at 10:25 am |
  121. Mike Sebahar

    It is ridiculous that a human in it’s natural state is considered bad or somehow corrupting minors. Americans are so sick.

    August 28, 2009 at 10:28 am |
  122. khosein

    Well it depends on which perspective your looking from, we often hear that the body is a piece of art

    August 28, 2009 at 10:32 am |
  123. Daniel Toronto

    Its art. By definition. My opininion, tastless art. Not to mention, artistically lacking skill, as models and the photographer. The real question is, like the rest of us in the arts biussiness, did they have permIts to shoot in public places. Nude or not. Its a known fact that cameras and actors/models are "eye catching. Wich is why the LAW enforces "permits".
    Westers Law Dictionary
    Pornography -material that depicts erotic behavior and is intended to cause sexual excitement ​
    ​​
    NOTE: Pornographic material is protected expression unless it is determined to be obscene. H

    August 28, 2009 at 10:33 am |
  124. Steve

    It sure was art at it's finest, but things in this world and here in the USA, they r a changing.

    August 28, 2009 at 10:34 am |
  125. sara

    no doubt that it is PORN. what else can it be? doing that in front of everyone specially kids is wrong. stop doing nonesense in the name of art!

    August 28, 2009 at 10:34 am |
  126. khosein

    It all depends on your definition of art and porn. Some of the most beautiful pieces of art are paintings of the body

    August 28, 2009 at 10:35 am |
  127. ella

    THIS WAS NOT ART! IT WAS INDECENCY ! WHERE WAS THE MORALS FROM THIS WOMAN ?

    August 28, 2009 at 10:39 am |
  128. Kevin

    I think it is harder to accept this as art based on the model used: tall, busty, blonde, attractive face. If the photographer really has an innocent, artistic intent, then why use a model who could so easily be on the cover of Playboy? Perhaps those magazines are art as well?

    August 28, 2009 at 10:42 am |
  129. Daniel Toronto

    It not a matter of opnion. Its a question of "LAW". Two maybe three aspects of law. #1- did they have permits to shoot in public #2- age of the nude models #3 material that depicts erotic behavior and is intended to cause sexual excitement ​
    ​​NOTE: Pornographic material is protected expression unless it is determined to be obscene. H

    August 28, 2009 at 10:47 am |
  130. Barry Gallegos

    In other news, the last installment in the Final Destination movies opens today.
    I wonder how many theatre owners will get arrested for lewdness because they showed this film?
    We have pretty stupid values when it comes to art and entertainment in this country.

    August 28, 2009 at 10:49 am |
  131. Ruby

    Our bodies are beautiful but not to be on display for everyone. Why let Satan have his way?

    August 28, 2009 at 10:54 am |
  132. Thorne Sirbak

    I'm a photographer and would expect to get arrested if I had a model pose here in DC. I do appreciate the idea and consider the images to be artist, not pornographic.

    August 28, 2009 at 10:58 am |
  133. Daniel

    This is a toughy, eh? I mean, I respect art and freedom of expression, but that is not without regard to rules. Beautiful art can surely be made within the terms of our guidelines, rules, and laws. I love nude expression, but if you're viewing an art exhibit remembering 9-11, you don't have the right to destroy the building. If you're viewing an art exhibit honoring pyromania, you don't have the right to set the building on fire. See the connection? The notion that you can act out art without regard to circumstance and situation is post hoc reasoning. Else, I'd go into a boxing art exhibit and punch someone in the nose. 🙂

    August 28, 2009 at 11:01 am |
  134. Hal

    Look at the responses. Most disagree with the arrest. But, ask the question – why do we have nudity laws? They're based in the puritan, religious beliefs, like the Islamic laws that require the body to be completely covered. Not necessary in an open society.

    August 28, 2009 at 11:01 am |
  135. Hugh

    What decade are we living in? I would expect this type of over reaction in any decade prior to the 1960's.

    Porn – No
    Lewd – No
    Unacceptable – No
    Inappropriate – Maybe

    I have no issues if a) she is a consenting adult. b) when asked to move along they did

    What we do not know is what were the pictures that were being taken of? Were they the woman or the reaction of people in a public place to a naked woman.

    If people have such an issue with this display then make sure they do not drive certain streets after 9pm, do not open the yellow pages to a page that says escort. Oh and by the way folks for those of you who are offended by naked women. After reading this post please turn off your computer and return it to the store you bought it from. I would not want you to inadvertently click on a site that will show much more than a naked woman!!! Heck you might even see a naked man as well! Imagine the horror!

    August 28, 2009 at 11:20 am |
  136. Stefan

    To Ruby,

    OMG, let Satan have his way??? No wonder we have these laws in place, whatever you don't like or disagree with is bad. Of course, that make sense, so 90% of the people that posted here most likely will go to hell, if there is a hell? thank you very much for your perspective, I certainly will correct my ways..........NOT

    August 28, 2009 at 11:23 am |
  137. Stefan

    To ella, here is another one, indecency? ok, one could argue that, but morals???? Who are you to judge? Do you want others to judge you about everything you do?

    And to what standard of 'morals' do we all have to be follow? Yours??

    August 28, 2009 at 11:29 am |
  138. Stefan

    To MattVH,

    You are right on, the best comment so far !!!!

    August 28, 2009 at 11:31 am |
  139. Toye Smith

    Some people will argue "porn is a form of art". However this form of art can be quite disturbing to the innocent by-stander.To that end, the law was upheld; afterall, the law is supposed to protect the weak.

    August 28, 2009 at 11:33 am |
  140. Jim

    Why are Americans so disgusted by the human body? Do they not know what is under their clothing. The human body is God's greatest work of art and has been recognized as such for millenia. Americans seem to love graphic violence, but fear the body. Look in the mirror and see that we all are naked under our clothes.

    August 28, 2009 at 11:39 am |
  141. Mike Sebahar

    Daniel,

    That is ridiculous, comparing the nudity laws to the laws against arson and assault. There is no comparison. No one in their right mind would consider those laws controversial. The victimless crime of public nudity only hurts people with weak minds and can certainly be considered controversial. That’s like the people who compare gay marriage to bestiality, just ignorant.

    August 28, 2009 at 11:40 am |
  142. Scott Stodden

    When you take your clothes off in a public place its not art its idiotic, its one thing to be admiring art that depicts nudity but come one its not right to bear all to a public place and with kids there this woman should go to jail.

    Scott Stodden (Freeport,IL)

    August 28, 2009 at 11:46 am |
  143. Toye Smith

    Bridgeport, CT

    Some people will argue "Porn is a form of art". However, this form of art can be quite disturbing to the innocent by-stander. It's the same reason that movies are rated before they go to the big screen. To that end, the law was upheld. Afterall, the law is supposed to protect the week.

    August 28, 2009 at 11:48 am |
  144. Mike Sebahar

    How are children “hurt” by seeing a naked human? Ridiculous.!

    August 28, 2009 at 11:48 am |
  145. L.E. Johnson

    To: Hugh

    Indency yes! Few people (if anyone is) are arguing that they are disgusted by the female form. I'm a female, I love my body – but to subject my little sister to someone, nude – isn't right. Not on the subway and not in front or INSIDE of a musuem.

    To: Jim

    I agree that the body is beautiful – the Greeks admired it and their works are beautiful. But covering up does not mean that we fear the body. There's nothing wrong with wear clothes. And nude art is great ... but not in public where people haven't asked for it.

    August 28, 2009 at 11:55 am |
  146. Duane

    What is considered art is always questionable but it is definetly not Porn. Only Pervs and Religious conservative associate nudity with Pornography. Contrary to what americans teach their children, being naked is not always about sex and it is nothing to be ashamed of.

    August 28, 2009 at 12:13 pm |
  147. Lorna DaCosta-Jones

    If live nudity is art, then everyone with a mirror can experience art just by looking in his/her mirror while naked. The woman is an exhibition- ist, who is lacking an audience. Someone should develop a "museum" for exhibitionists and that type of audience, so that they do not clutter our museums with their unwanted needs to display their debauchery.

    August 28, 2009 at 12:32 pm |
  148. James Foley in Idaho

    If the woman was meant to be there a short time, solely for the taking of the picture, and not to be there the whoel day, then it is art AND sexist. If she WAS meant to be there the whole day, then it's a toss up, but STILL sexist.

    August 28, 2009 at 12:58 pm |
  149. Gary

    To me this is art. I thought ‘porn’ was a sex act recorded on film or in a photo. Just because someone is nude doesn’t make it porn. I do think they should have gotten permission from the gallery first before taking any photos though.

    August 28, 2009 at 1:24 pm |
  150. David

    I agree with the comment you read on air that said there is nothing more beautiful than the female body, unless of course it would be you reading aloud that comment.

    There is mischief in this pictures, I don't see how anyone can miss that.

    I think they're art, maybe otherworldly in a way, they back you up and draw you in at the same time, and let you take everything in. Having sad that, its kind of hard to not feel the heat of a naked woman leaning back against a pole in a sweaty subway car.

    August 28, 2009 at 2:12 pm |
  151. David

    Correction for my previous post, shld be Having said that

    August 28, 2009 at 3:14 pm |
  152. Daniel

    Mike Sebahar,

    I know this comes late. Clearly, you *didn't* get the connection. You missed the point. My point has nothing to do with severity of actions or morality. The basis of my comparisons were in the legality of them: public nudity, arson, and assault all have legal sanctions, don't they? My examples were extreme because I was trying to make a point. The gist of my post was in the statement, "The notion that you can act out art without regard to circumstance and situation is post hoc reasoning." If you want a more relate-able example, consider the same example we're using but taking place in an elementary school art class. Do you see the connection now? It's about situation and circumstance. Some times artistic expression borders artistic protest (which can border illegal). I would love for public nudity to be legal, but it's not. People who insist to persist just outside laws and social norms push the envelope and make it hard for more "rational" artists to thrive.

    August 28, 2009 at 3:59 pm |