Jack Balas, 2017; 'TIS OF THEE (#1421); watercolor, ink & acrylic on paper, 22" X 30"

'TIS OF THEE (As philosophical thoughts attend...)
Have we really "crossed the line"?
We have looked at this PAINTING for weeks now, asking ourselves have we really "crossed the line" (as SOME say) with this IMAGE? and IF so, what does it (can it) take to DEFUSE or neutralize something many say is PROVOCATIVE or EXPLICIT or OUTRIGHT PORNOGRAPHIC? Does the ink-drawn BRICK WALL around this fellow do the job? Or the RENDITION of FOLIAGE and DAPPLED SUNLIGHT? (a reference to plein-air painting?) What about the fact that this is a PAINTING executed with SKILL and not some cheap QUICK PHOTOGRAPH? When you consider the image involved, is this act not a COMMON OCCURENCE among many, albeit one that is little-discussed, let alone shown and/ or DEPICTED out of embarrassment (and which is only induced by PRUDERY, religious or otherwise?)
FURTHERMORE, WHEN YOU CONSIDER that not only does the young man give the artist PERMISSION to LOOK, and then the artist gives YOU PERMISSION to look (AND IN fact, by painting the image, ASKS you to look), DO YOU NOT, in fact, look and KEEP LOOKING to the point that you CAN'T TAKE YOUR EYES OFF IT? HOW, THEN, DO YOU READ the title? CAN THIS IN FACT BE A MANIFESTO? YOU May Begin your Answer HERE: