LONDON – Calls from outraged citizens jammed Channel 4’s switchboard last week after a televised art class scandalized the public by presenting a nude model and encouraging viewers to draw her.
The program, “Life Class: Today’s Nude” is part of a continuing lunchtime series designed to educate about artistic technique. Each weekday class features a different model and a different instructor tutoring the audience about a variety of artistic methods.
On Wednesday’s 12:30 p.m. segment, model Kirsten Varley posed au naturel in a variety of positions while artist Gary Hume offered tips and tricks for capturing the nude in art.
Channel 4 and the artist who developed the show’s concept denied the class was intended to be sensational.
“Because it is educational and non-sexualized nudity, Channel 4 didn’t have any concerns with it at all,” Alan Kane told the South Asian news agency Asian News International.
Some viewers, however, were not so easily appeased.
“I was disgusted by the sight of Kirsten flaunting her charms in a very suggestive way,” writer Punteha Yazdanian, 23, who watched the program from her sickbed, told The Sun. “This was adult viewing — not for screening in the middle of the day. It nearly gave me a relapse.”
Others argued that although the class was appropriate and tastefully handled to meet the needs of its intended audience, nudity should not be allowed on television until after the 9 p.m. “watershed” designated for family viewing.
(Image: Oliver Gruener)