Yeah I dissed Bouguereau in a previous post and here I am saying that Jean-Léon Gérôme is awesome! It may appear that I am biased as their art is similar but that similarity is really only in the quality of how the figures are painted – and the word ‘quality’ is not used here to denote a hierarchy of perfection. I use the word quality to denote a style of brushstroke and use of light and shadow.
Our friend Jean-Leon had romance in his soul, adventure, pathos, passion! The nude was just a motif to tell the story not to sell the art! Yes there is a pretty butt right in the middle of the painting, you see it but it’s only a focal point of the narrative. The sculptor falls in love with his creation and she comes to life – it’s sad and yet glorious at the same time ; it reminds us of how complicated our human minds are.
I’m basically a simple man and things like bondage fetish stuff seems overly complicated to me. I’m plain unflavored maybe not even vanilla – as Maude Flanders said “unflavored for me please”! My kryptonite is pumpkin spice – I will totally die if I drink coffee with that dandruff of Satan in it. Knowing who you are and working with that knowledge is helpful if you want to be happy and productive. There is room for many flavors!
Sure there are lots of people who prefer a Venti Flat White over *ack* blumpkin spice – but because I know what I like – it doesn’t bother me if you like some other flavor – everyone gets to decide what they like. Maybe one day I’ll like flavored coffee or find a guys hairy or smooth muscular ass sexy but I don’t think so. I’m just glad that Michelangelo was into dudes as his work is made better with his focused and concentrated preference. I just couldn’t stay motivated to paint a masterpiece like The Last Judgement, I’d at least have to paint giant penises on the devils or something!
I can’t help but judge what floats your boat – judging is just my personal opinion not a reason to prevent you from doing your thing. Go ahead and put your special leather gear on as long it is done with consenting adults just don’t require me to be into it too! I’m sure my parents might have wondered about my sexuality when I bought the Judas Priest “Priest in the East” album (they re-released it as “unleashed in the East” but the art is the same).
I didn’t know Rob Halford was wearing gay leather biker fetish gear back then – it just looked cool and that album cover art is excellent (the music is obviously top notch too). That picture is a feeling of total triumph – and since it’s Judas Priest they are triumphing over an evil robot invader or some source of corruption that the human race is better off without! I can appreciate the male body as art – for that feeling of triumph and righteous victory, camaraderie etc – this works as fine art. Read into it whatever you want!
I had to unlearn prejudices that I was raised with (by society not so by my parents who were open minded) to reach a point of balance. To know the self you have to know the other and the easiest way to un-learn a prejudice towards people is to simply get to know someone of that persuasion – when your commonalities outweigh your differences you are winning!
Ignorance is the dark that you light up with love. If you refuse to light that flame then the dark is always scary and you react out of fear. But that is your choice and I can’t take that choice away from you even if I don’t prefer you to have it – it’s still a divinely given right to have your opinion.
I just don’t want everyone to be Judas Priest fans – it’s an exclusive club for people like me – those triumphant over the robot invaders!
A fellow local Peoria Illinois artist is Jessica Ball and she is everything that is right about art – dedicated, focused and unique. She is the pumpkin spice of painting.