Why is Art Full of Naked People?

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Parents who believe in exposing their young children to art and culture often find themselves faced with the dreaded question: Why is art full of naked people? Thankfully, author Susie Hodge is prepared to answer that questions with her latest Thames & Hudson picture book, entitled…you guessed it: Why is Art Full of Naked People? & Other Vital Questions About Art.

The book begins with the most basic questions budding young artist might ask: where artists get their ideas from, why some art is so weird, whether “stick men” are really art, and are there any ugly statues out there. The author then presents many well-known paintings, sculptures and still-life’s and explains how the artist got his or her message across to the audience. For example, the Rock Painting from Utah (circa 150 CE) is used to jump-start a discussion about whether using stick men in a painting can be considered true art. And Pablo Picasso’s painting called Head of a Woman is used to show how some artists create one painting with more than one viewpoint.

Ms. Hodge presents all types of creations to show young artists how art is used in our everyday lives. For example, The Chest Game shows us what life was like for people in various times in history; David with the Head of Goliath illustrates an amazing battle covered in the bible; and unfinished art pieces raise the question of why the artist never finished the piece and what statement was being made by not finishing it.

This book is full of amazing art that is perfect for budding artists ages 9 and up. There is a special effects photograph of a cloud in the middle of a room (P. 47); a self-portrait of an artist’s head made out of his own frozen blood (P. 35); photos of shapes; 3-D photos; 2-D photos; naïve art; stained-glass art; and…well, you name it and this book has it.

Use this book to talk about art history, cultivating ideas, unique perception, and careful examination in order to form questions and find answers.

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