While I can appreciate a well drawn picture, or even some classical music, (Schubert rocks!), my tastes in “art” tend more to the popular. I mostly listen to rock-n-roll, and when it comes to paintings and whatnot, other than the more dramatic renaissance/baroque type stuff, (Caravaggio), or surrealists, (Dali, Tanguy), I gravitate to talented amateurs and underground artists. Examples of the later can be found at the absolutely wonderful American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore, or on the pages of Juxtapoz Magazine.
Well then, I have to relate that I have recently had a happy discovery that has broadened my appreciation of fine art. It started with an innocent perusal of an article on Cornelius Gurlitt, (the notorious art “thief”, NOT the composer), on good ol’ Wikipedia. I was following the article’s embedded links, as I do when reading the wiki, when suddenly I stumbled upon the entry for Gustave Courbet, and there it was, one of the greatest paintings I have ever seen!
“What is this painting?”, you ask. It is called, “L’Origine du monde”, (The Origin of the World), and consists of a mostly nude young woman lying on her back. Her breasts are partially visible in the upper right corner, her thighs fill out the lower third, while, front and center, nicely highlighted, are her displayed-for-all-the-world-to-see genitals. WHOO HOO!!
Now before you scold me for never letting go of the pre-teenage boy within me, or being a dirty old man, consider that much of what we call “fine art” was simply a means of satisfying a basic human need before the creation of the internet, films, or photography. It is psychologically pleasing for males to view females, particularly young attractive ones. (PLEASE don’t hit me for saying that! I did not wire the male brain!)
We guys are fairly simple creatures. Did you know that wearing red can make a woman more sexually attractive to a man? Or that the old joke about us only having enough blood to operate either our brain or our wicked willy, but not both, has some truth to it. We do in fact become “cognitively impaired” in the presence of a hot chick, and the urge to be admired by a pretty woman can make us do stupid, dangerous things. Thus the evolution of extreme sports, I suppose. (As if boxing and American football weren’t stupid enough!)
But let’s get back to the subject of art. I contend that art, like all human endeavors, exists to satisfy a need, or more accurately, many needs. And one of the needs most certainly satisfied by art is the male urge to meet and mate with attractive young women.
Don’t believe me? Okay, here’s an example: ballet. Yes, ballet, that art form seemingly popular today only with young girls, old ladies, and homosexual men. But would you believe that historically the ballet was a clever means for wealthy dirty old men to meet and interact with, (in private!), impoverished young ladies, supposedly for the mutual benefit of both?
I first learned of ballet’s sordid past when we went to view an exhibit on Degas and the ballet at the Smithsonian. These days it seems ballets historical kinship with the brothel may be more common knowledge, and this kinship may in fact still be occurring! Be that as it may, I’m still not a ballet fan!
So, to come full circle with these thoughts, through the lucky discovery of one of Courbet’s paintings, I have gained an appreciation for the visual arts. This appreciation was rendered in me by the painting satisfying one of my needs.
WHOO HOO!! Naked female parts!!
Originally posted by us on FullofKnowledge.