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Feb. 25th, 2018

Studio pic - pencil shaver

M. Ashraf/Nahid Akhtar - Dear I Love You

Feb. 24th, 2018

Studio pic - pencil shaver

Continental School (19th century) -The Masked Admirer

Ladies, if it were broad daylight and you were out with a girlfriend, would you be creeped out if a masked stranger approached you with a gift? Under most circumstances this would be cause for alarm, even as far back as the 19th century. ‘The Masked Admirer’ by The Continental School depicts this scenario in a straight forward manner while using our subjects’ body language to successfully illustrate this uncomfortable interaction. The woman, hunched toward her companion and away from the masked gentleman while shooting him an expression of disgust, is obviously upset by his approach, and his wearing of the mask in this public scene is probably the primary cause for her reaction. Maybe she wouldn’t be as defensive if he ditched the mask. Just a thought.

On the other hand, perhaps the anonymity of the mask offers this otherwise shy man a method to approach the woman without fear of outright dismissal. The fear of being rejected face-to-face might concern him, so he wears the mask to shelter his pride when she disapproves. Of course the creepiness factor of approaching a woman in this manner might not occur to him, since he’s so focused on the possibility of rejection. Two different worlds.
Online social networks grant modern folks their own form to anonymity as the court strangers for romantic—and not so romantic—involvements. Not sure if a masked man offering a gift at one’s doorway is equivalent to anon-bros from dating sites sending unsolicited photos of their bodies, but I’d say their the same ballpark and definitely merit caution, if not a call to the police.
Studio pic - pencil shaver

Einstürzende Neubauten - Die Interimsliebenden

Feb. 23rd, 2018

Studio pic - pencil shaver

Henri Gervex - Return from the Ball

This morning I would like to share 'Return from the Ball' by French painter Henri Gervex. This piece is a good representation of what I refer to as the "After the Party" genre--scenes depicting subjects crying or consoling either themselves or a companion after a big social event, usually a nighttime affair like a ball or masquerade party. Attendees always have high expectations for these events, and it seems something always goes wrong. Either they drank too much and did something questionable, or their date somehow upset them. I guess weeping afterward at home was what folks did before technology gave them the capability to drunk-Instagram their frustrations to the world.

Anyway, Gervex's scene is fairly straight-forward. Out of the two dozen "After the Party" paintings I have gathered, I selected this work because I like the composition, and more importantly that it also features two subjects who I presume are a couple, satisfying my loose requirement for a love-themed Art of the Month of February entry. The woman, crouched while of long dress trails across the floor, seems absolutely deviatated, while the man, facing outward toward the viewer, seems at a total loss as to what he should do. Perhaps one of his actions upset her and he's figuring out his next course of action, or maybe her plight is something else entirely and he completely taken by surprise. Either way, tread gentley, my friend.
Studio pic - pencil shaver

The Ventures - Venus Goddess of Love

Feb. 22nd, 2018

Studio pic - pencil shaver

Felix Friedrich Von Ende - Courtship

Today I would like to share 'Courtship' by German painter Felix Friedrich Von Ende. I enjoy how this horizontal canvas presents our two subjects at the left side, providing a stong composition which carries the eye between the foreground and the background. From our perspective the man fits inside the outline of the tree, while the woman is located completely outside, which gives me the impression that she is a new face in this park, hence the gentleman's apparent interest. Though he might mean well, the way in which he's peering over at her, along with how he seems to emerge from out of the shadow of our tree, gives him a slightly creepy vibe. He seems more hesitant than desperate. On the other hand, she appears questionably preoccupied with the design on her fan. Perhaps she's actually waiting for him to start conversation.
Studio pic - pencil shaver

Marc Bolan & T.Rex - Hot Love

Feb. 21st, 2018

Studio pic - pencil shaver

Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema - Shy

Today I would like to share 'Shy' by English painter Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema. I like how the title might refers to their party--the young man tossing the flowers on the woman's lap while his identity is obscured behind the corner wall, or the woman herself, who seems overwhelmed yet delighted with this attention from her mysterious admirer.
Studio pic - pencil shaver

Bob Crewe And Charles Fox - An Angel is Love (from 'Barbarella' OST)

Feb. 20th, 2018

Studio pic - pencil shaver

Albert Henry Collings - The Influence of Man's Ambition

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you The Influence of Man’s Ambition!


Along with George Elgar Hicks’s ‘Woman's Mission: Companion of Manhood,’ which I shared this past Saturday, Albert Henry Collings’s title for today’s painting makes a bold, old-timey proclamation which deserves an eye roll from modern viewers. That said, perhaps this piece worth a second a look to understand the artist’s earnest sentiment. They don’t make em’ like this anymore.

First off, I really admire Collings’s simple yet effective narrative approach to this scene. “Man” is seated at a desk, his face obscured from us, while overhead Collings supplies a plethora of womanly figures engaged in activities ranging from motherly, festive, sensual—and yes, there’s even an female angel straight from Heaven! Not a bad turn out!

Yes, some might argue that these women are mostly nude in order to satisfy the male perspective, however, citing the preposterous title, that’s would be the identified objective of this painting. After all, man’s ambition isn’t without its own share of flaws, which some might state are rooted in greed and power. Furthermore, perhaps this work is more successful at underlining’s man’s limited view of the female sex at this point in history; Out of the half-dozen women floating over this fella’s desk, not one is demonstrating their skills in the work force or exercising the right to vote. Depending on when Collings painted this work, I wonder if those milestones would've made a difference in his finished product, or if "man's ambition" simply involves woman operating as a convenient muse.

All that aside, I really admire Collings’s use of light, and the composition is pleasant to the eye.

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