The public nude art around Laguna, what little there is, is tepid.
There is, of course, much more nudity — sexual or otherwise — in popular culture that largely numbs us to the issue. I know my boys are aware of it. I know they have their own caves.
The point is, we seem to have a misplaced hypersensitivity to nude art. It's as if our puritanical heritage still rules.
In 1841, when artist Horatio Greenough was commissioned to create a massive sculpture of President George Washington, Americans were mortified because the president didn't have a shirt on. He was topless, in the fashion of the Greek god Zeus.
You can't win for losing. Open any newspaper around the country and you can find similar controversies about "inappropriate" public art that involves nudity. Seriously, it happens more often than you think.
George Braque, the 20th-century French painter and sculpture who helped create cubism, once said that "art is meant to disturb."
I agree (mostly).
The fact is, we want things to be "nice." We don't want to upset the children. We enjoy our pleasant evenings admiring art in Laguna Beach sipping wine.
And as a result, Laguna is falling into the trap of catering too much to tourists and not enough to real art.
So I'll take my velvet coffin in blue, please, but keep me naked. I want to feel good as long as possible.
DAVID HANSEN is a writer and Laguna Beach resident. He can be reached at email@example.com.