Saturday, July 28, 2007

Mental connections

This painting has been on my mind all week. I've Googled the image untold times. It's always haunted me because at times, it seems like we leave a faint image of ourselves behind as we move from one task to another. Through some trick of the eye or a certain undefinable motion, for a split second, we can see where a person was a moment ago and where they are now, as if watching a filmed special effect. Or maybe that unusual visual perception is just one more proof of my weirdness.

Then I found out that today is the artist, Marcel DuChamp's, birthday.

Hmmm. Interesting coincidence. Between this, reading Einstein's Dreams, and thus thinking about all the possible dimensions of time, how they could be expressed, and what the consequences would be in how ordinary people live their lives, I've had some (I just have to say it) rather far out mental journeys this week.

Now this painting is Nude Descending a Staircase (one of the scandals of 1912 for some reason I just don't understand). The body is definitely suggested, but it's always looked to me as if the subject were wearing a ballgown from some bygone era of glamour. You know the type that's fitted to below the knees and then flares out in some dramatic ruffle. You'd need opera gloves and a long cigarette holder to complete the look. I'm thinking only Bette Davis or Barbara Stanwyck at the height of their 'dare to call me a bad girl' beauty and strength could pull it off.

You don't have to tell me. I'm weird. I know. Who else would associate Einstein, Marcel Duchamp, Bette Davis and Barbara Stanwyck in just minutes. Weird, definitely, but fun? Oh yeah.

4 Comments:

Blogger Theresa Williams said...

Oh how interesting that this is Duchamp's birthday! I was reading about this not long ago; I've been steeped in Modernism of late. The painting was considered obscene because people didn't consider it to be really "art." They thought art was something that brought pleasure and beauty into their lives, that elevated the soul. But this was, well, just weird to them and they felt threatened by it, so they considered it to be obscene. The Modernist artists were basically challenging our whole notion of what art is. It was the same with the poets, who were breaking away from the old forms and experimenting with new ones. I think it was William Carlos Williams who saw this Duchamp and celebrated it because he felt it released him from old expectations. (Don't quote me on that!)

July 28, 2007 10:36 PM  
Blogger Lisa :-] said...

I can see your "below the knee ruffle" interpretation of the figure... to me, it looks very mechanical, almost robotic. Certainly not something one would believe was produced in 1912....

July 29, 2007 12:47 AM  
Anonymous laura said...

How do you come up with your paintings? I am always enthralled by the art you choose, but never manage to come up with blockbusters myself... how do you set about finding a piece of art? I mean... I love browsing art museums, but have no idea how to do it online. Suggestions?

July 29, 2007 3:12 PM  
Blogger Jimmy said...

That's something I like about art, it unleashes our imaginations. You did a nice job with your interpretation, not weird at all.

July 29, 2007 7:17 PM  

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