Interviewer: Sean, you are a Christian, correct?
Interviewer: Some of your art contains artistic nudity, isn’t this a contradiction of your faith?
Sean: No. The wisdom scriptures teach us that there is a time and place for everything under heaven. I believe that as a general rule, God meant for us as human beings to be clothed. He did not intend for us to just go naked everywhere we went, whether it is for shopping at the store or going about the daily business of our lives. However, in the Bible, there are times when people were nude for specific reasons.
Interviewer: Such as?
Sean: As an act of humility, Job tore his clothes off before the Lord. David worshipped God with no clothes on in front of the whole assembly of Israel. Isaiah, the prophet, preached naked.
Interviewer: But how does this relate to art?
Sean: If you go to most art classes or courses, you have to paint nude people, so that you can master getting the image of the human form right. Only then, can you correctly draw or paint people with clothes on, which is a harder form of art to master.
Interviewer: Does it not embarrass you as a Christian to paint artistic nudity?
Sean: No, because it is not associated with lust. When I work with any model, the uttermost professionality is maintained at all times. It is the reason why many models want to continue working with me.
Interviewer: But what is the point of having even minor artistic nudity in art, surely it is unnecessary?
Sean: Not if you come from an art perspective. A nude person, particularly in contrapposto…
Interviewer interrupts: Contrapposto?
Sean: it means an asymmetrical arrangement of the human figure in which the line of the arms and shoulders contrasts with while balancing, those of the hips and legs.
Sean continues: A nude person, particularly in contrapposto, exists outside of the context of time, geography, and social class. It is a distilled portrayal and celebration of the human form, which can be appreciated and understood by a broad range of people…
Sean asks a question: Have you ever been to Rome in Italy?
Interviewer: Yes, a few times.
Sean: Then you will see that many statues and artworks contain nudity, even in the Vatican, and they are some of the most theologically conservative people in the world. They understand that nakedness in art is not the same as pornography – the two are completely different.
Interview: What would you say to people who have an issue with your art, particularly fellow Christians?
Sean: Don’t look at it or buy it then, and never go to Rome and the Vatican, for you will see a lot of it there. Also, let me say this: one Christian once took issue over this, and we were sitting in their garden drinking a glass of wine at the time. I pointed to the several statues of naked men and women around their garden pond, which, they had not even really given thought to, as being in the slightest bit controversial. It made my point for me, and they agreed with my point of view.
Interviewer: It would have been a bit hard for them not to have done, or a tad hypocritical.
Sean: Exactly. In Greek aistha nomai means, I look, I observe. An artist also paints, draws or photographs what they see. There is no contradiction, in my mind, between having a theology of the body where if the unclothed human form is depicted artistically, that it in anyway denies my personal beliefs and values.
Interviewer: Sean, thank you very much.
Sean: Thank you.