Michigan State University associate professor Danny Guthrie enjoys taking pictures with his students, and we think it's awesome that he's bridging the generational and student-faculty gaps in order to make art. Unfortunately, some people are pissed that he's having his models pose naked. (Full picture after the jump!)
According to The Detroit News, Guthrie and his images are "well-known among students and MSU officials, who have determined there's a protocol in place so students do not feel pressured to participate," but after a critical article popped up in the school newspaper, some parents started fuming. Here are some silly quotes!
A parent: "This man has breached the bounds of the student-professor relationship. His pictures are sexually motivated and they are taking advantage of the students. There are several with totally nude girls that he's holding … and touching. To think that he is participating in this and not thinking: 'What good luck I have to be able to do this and get away with this.'"
The student who wrote the article bashing Guthrie's work: "What he does is exploitive and does not contribute to a campus community. His work is sexist. It creates hostility. It devalues women. We need to find new ways to express ourselves that are not exploitive." [Ed. note: LOL.]
If you think those comments are annoying, here's Henry Brimmer, one of Guthrie's colleagues, speaking in his defense: "His work is gorgeous, it is beautiful, it is well done, it has significance. I am not trying to be a snob. But if you come from any of the coasts or if you have an education in art … you wouldn't even think twice about it."
We should note that Guthrie poses with naked male students as well, but we haven't been able to find anyone who objects to that. These concerned citizens only feel the need to protect poor, frail females from Guthrie's brazen sexuality.
Being that us Fleshboters are coastal natives with educations in art (eh, sort of), we think Guthrie's stuff is great. Yes, you might get a whiff of creepy old man vibe now and then, but that has less to do with the artistic value of Guthrie's work than it does how the public perceives old men in proximity to young women. Plus, everything is consensual, MSU determined that Guthrie is no longer recruiting currently enrolled students, and the models have final say over production and dissemination of the pictures.
So do your thing, Danny Guthrie. We like that Pieta you have going on right there.
· Michigan State University Department of Art and Art History — Danny Guthrie (art.msu.edu)
· Via The Detroit News (detnews.com)