Wednesday, November 16, 2011
What was with Manet?
Manet's scandalous painting of a prostitute stark naked in broad daylight in a park setting with a couple of fully clothed guys fascinated me as a teenage art student. It fascinated me enough to move me to paint it thirteen years ago. And it fascinated again this morning, as I was wiping up the sinks in the guest room bath where I had hung it behind the door when I finished it.
Studying it, I fully understood why everybody who has ever stayed with us overnight asked about the painting the next morning. I understood why it was refused by the Salon in 1863. It's very risque--pornographic and titillating. As a woman, I think I did find the painting embarrassing and insulting back when I was a young woman stubbornly marching for equal rights. Now, I don't. The way she's looking straight at me unashamed of her nakedness tells me she knows who she is and is aware of her power. --Maybe that's why I painted it?
My new Header Hat is the beach hat that will go with me to Cancun next month. After taking the weekend off painting to read The Help by Kathryn Stockett, it was my twenty minute warm-up this morning after helplessly cleaning the guest bathroom.
The nicest comment I got on my Four Seasons quadtyck came from Honey, who told me the paintings are much more attractive in person than they are in the blog post. Photography doesn't do justice to brushstrokes.