“Living Sculpture” by Piero Manzoni (Jay, pg 59)


This is a piece called Living Sculpture by Piero Manzoni as described by Jay.  Jay says in this example that the artist himself signs the nude model and presents them with a certificate that declares them a genuine piece of art.

This example can be related to something Higgins brings up in Whatever Happened to Beauty? A Response to Danto.  She brings up a point that historically, beauty is tied to humans and a reason we avoid it now is “we consider contemporary humans a poor candidate for beauty.” (pg 282). The example of Manzoni goes in tandem with Higgins as humans embracing beauty in the past.  Here we have a real person being deemed art for their beauty. Higgins continues on by saying we are quick to point out that people who are shown as beautiful nowadays are only done so because of “make up and special effects.” and that “American culture is cynical” (pg 282).  Living Sculpture is a direct contradiction to that new line of thinking we have as it embraces the natural beauty of a model.  This example shows how much society has changed over the years when it comes to sex and nudity in culture as well as how much it’s still changing.


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