Professor Asks Art Students to Get Nude for Final & Mother Flips Out

The mother of a student at the University of California at San Diego says she is furious after learning her daughter's visual arts professor has an unorthodox requirement for passing his final: all of his students have to get naked. And, no, it's not a sexual thing.

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Professor Ricardo Dominguez, whom I'm betting really wishes he had stuck to contributing art to galleries after this nonsense blew up across media outlets, calls his final a "performance of self." He and his 20 adult students (because, let's remember, they are adults) strip off their clothes, dim the lights, and perform a series of "nude gestures" by candlelight.

Anonymous Mom is not feeling moved by art. She says there is a "perversion" going on here and that the students weren't told at the start of the program that they would have to appear naked. If this is true, I'll admit that I feel the professor could have saved himself a lot of trouble being upfront with his students so that those who felt uncomfortable disrobing could drop the elective class—which isn't a requirement for graduation, by the way.

But, again, it isn't known whether Dominguez announced what was expected at the start of the semester. For all we know, it could have been outlined in his syllabus, plain as day.

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The better question here is: why is mom fighting for her adult daughter? If her daughter feels this isn't right or fair, why hasn't she taken a stand against her professor? At some point, you have to let your children decide for themselves how to deal with uncomfortable situations—this goes double if there is a chance he or she already knew the class expectations and is now getting cold feet about it.

For the record: the chair of the University's Visual Arts Department says Dominguez is denying the claim that nudity is a requirement and has told students they are free to perform the nude gestures while fully clothed. Which, given the fact that this is an ART class, seems to miss the point entirely, but I applaud him for being as accommodating as possible.

Bottom line: know what you're getting into, read the fine print, and decide for yourself whether you feel comfortable with the requirements instead of demanding an artist change his vision and class project to suit your comfort level.

What do you think about this professor's nude final and this student's mother's reaction to it?

 

Image via Isabella Medici/Flickr

 

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