April 20, 2012

Pseudo-intellectuals, Haters & Yoga Police… This One’s For You. Then Go Suck It.

People who are deeply devoted to their practice, not only restructure their minds, their bodies change as well.

When we look at Michelangelo’s David, do we get upset if our abs don’t look as good as his?

In reference to various, anonymous individuals who have complained about my subject matter being “too bendy and too pretty,” I offer one of the more articulate and eloquent comments I’ve ever seen inspired by my work. Perhaps, a more intellectual way of saying the same thing in my title above.

“Because one cannot legislate the human soul, art has always been about breaking down walls. Because no dogma can limit the human imagination, art has always been a threat to orthodoxy. Censorship is the blunt instrument of the small minded who insist that art should conform to their politically correct strictures. But art that does this has lost the capacity to communicate the numinous, the transcendent, the authentic, essential inspiration at the heart of the impulse to be in the rapture of creative expression. In its place we are left with propaganda—sanitized, inoffensive, de-sexed, non-threatening, bland propaganda.

Like many, I find much to critique in the commercialized media image of yoga as an acrobatic pecking order ruled over by mainly skinny women with mad gymnastic skills, and in the oft unexamined equating of this image with an embodied enlightenment  to which the rest of us should aspire. However, when this critique has as its underpinning a reference to supposed yogic scriptures, quoting of yamas and niyamas, and claims that art which celebrates  the human form, the female form, beauty, grace, athletic ability, and the wonders of nature is somehow anti-spiritual or un-yogic, I think we are in trouble.

When I look at Sturman’s work I see an unbridled, inspired desire to capture the moment, the synergy of nature, athleticism, energy and states of grace. When I hear some the harsh attacks it occasionally evokes I find myself thinking about the history of censorship, religious orthodoxy, the demand that Eve be depicted wearing a fig leaf or that paintings be destroyed that don’t depict the Savior in the church sanctioned way.

But great art should be provocative, it should break down walls, it should invite us into revelation. Great art does not reinforce our safe conventions, politically correct notions, or pet beliefs—it sets fire to them and shows us something else in the light of the flames.”     ~ Julian Walker


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Editor: Kate Bartolotta


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