With Valentine’s Day approaching once again, I began sifting through numerous passionate nudes. For some, several of these images may be straddling the line of pornographic vs. erotic. These images are meant to show the aroused side of the subjects they depict. They show the visceral side of our humanity, the sensuality that fills us.

As humans, we are made up of all sorts of emotions, desires and passions; the lust or love for another is one of those. These are portraits of human desire. Maybe some repel us, while others spark a flame in our belly that we will never be rid of.

May the softness of the flesh shown remind you of beauty and passion as we approach the Day of Love. May these images be a reminder of how desirable your lover is. May they remind you how beautiful you can be alone. May art always be a reminder of how wonderful it is to be human.

Look. Listen. Respond.

-Megan

Some links worth checking out:

Rebecca Guay, Francesco Tortorella, Zak Smith

Advertisements

Portrait Scavenger Hunt

December 28, 2013

The human figure is such a powerful vessel. It is the “stuff” that contains our beings. There have been several occasions that I have sat down to share a collection of portraits, but I stop myself. Which ones do I show? How many do I share? Everything I chose seems inadequate; even a few examples may be overwhelming. In the spirit of the new year being upon us, I decided to begin sifting through the Google Art Project to find some new works I had never seen before. I had my own little portrait scavenger hunt and have picked some of my favorites.

This first one is my favorite of the grouping. The girl is so cool, so innocent, except for that red flower protruding from her mouth. This painting captures her youthful beauty, but it also tells us there is something more there. Some hardship, some knowledge beyond her years.

Adolfo Guiard, The Little Village Girl with Red Carnation 1903

Adolfo Guiard, The Little Village Girl with Red Carnation 1903

Some artists may labor to hide the true character of the model, but the inside always finds a way of showing itself.

Klimt, Blind Man 1896

Klimt, Blind Man 1896

Agda Holst, Self-Portrait 1925

Agda Holst, Self-Portrait 1925

Sometimes what we don’t see tells us the most,

Toulouse-Latrec, The Model Resting 1889

Toulouse-Latrec, The Model Resting 1889

or maybe we are only shown a particular side of someone.

Guillermo Kahlo, Self-portrait

Guillermo Kahlo, Self-portrait

Maybe it is pain or vulnerability or joy despite these things.

Nickolas Muray, Frida Kahlo Lying Down 1946

Nickolas Muray, Frida Kahlo Lying Down 1946

Alexej Jawlensky, Portrait of a Girl 1909

Alexej Jawlensky, Portrait of a Girl 1909

Portraits have the ability to shape our view of the subject. They may persuade us to love or dislike the person we see reflected on the canvas. They connect us to the existence of others; we see parts of ourselves drawn in someone else’s face. What a pleasure to share such beauty with all people, past and present.

Look. Listen. Respond.

-Megan

Oh, Valentine’s Day, you bring us flowers, chocolates, and lots of love. I would like to add some art to this day of love. While pin-up girls may be the first or only thing that comes to mind when erotic art is brought up, erotic art was being made even before the Greeks started painting on walls and pots. (Next time you go to an art museum, look more closely at the Greek art.) While the Greeks saw their erotic art as a representation of dominance and social superiority, there have been artists that were and are condemned for work deemed as “inappropriate.” Regardless, I have collected some images for your enjoyment (or discomfort, whichever the case may be).

These images are purposely erotic, but there is also the argument that all art is erotic. Art reaches into the depths of who we are and tries to get something out of us. It works to stimulate us and connect us to something bigger than ourselves. I suppose, in that sense, all art is erotic.

Look. Listen. Respond.

-Megan

Stealing Art

September 5, 2012

Picasso is credited with saying, “Good artists copy, great artists steal.” Picasso was a painter who could make someone else’s painting his own; he “picasso-fied” many classic paintings. I am always amazed at the connections you find throughout time in the art world. Soutine’s Side of Beef always sticks out in my mind as an image used for stock material. (For Julia Robert’s fans, you may remember this slide as being labeled “grotesque” in Mona Lisa Smile.)

Soutine, Side of Beef (1924-5)

Both Francis Bacon and Jenny Saville have referenced Soutine’s work in their own paintings:

Jenny Saville, Torso 2

Francis Bacon, Figure with Meat

Bacon is also referencing another artist in his work. Figure with Meat is one of several Pope portraits that Bacon painted, and it is referencing a portrait done by Diego Velazquez. (One of his most famous works is Las Meninas.)

Francis Bacon, Study of Velazquez’s Portrait of Pope Innocent X

Diego Velazquez, Pope Innocent X

Most recently, I have discovered the painter Caroline Westerhout, who draws off the style of Gustav Klimt, giving new meanings to some of his paintings.

Caroline Westerhout, Judith-After the Trial

Gustav Klimt, Judith I

The connections you can find are endless because artists are always “borrowing” or “stealing” from each other to make a new idea or to reform an old one. Through this theft, art becomes more than a history lesson, it becomes a time machine for artists. We turn the dial back to see the stories of others, then return safely home and make them our own.

Look. Listen. Respond.

-Megan