Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Artistic exposure

A fad seems to be emerging in the art world for daubing paint on the skin of naked women. The artists who are doing it (most of them men) say a woman’s body makes a far more interesting canvas than paper or board. Maybe so, but it’s rather less easy to frame a woman and hang her up on your wall. The most an enthusiastic collector could hope for is a good long inspection followed by some snaps for the photo album. 

The latest exponent of this technique is a fellow called Andy Golub, who spent last summer painting volunteers on the streets of New York City. After being charged with “public lewdness”, he was allowed to continue with his work on condition that his models kept their G-strings on until nightfall. A fair compromise, I would say. For all its brash in-your-faceness, the Big Apple isn’t ready for beavers in broad daylight. Even I sometimes get a peculiar taste in my mouth after seeing them in humid conditions. 

As with all art forms, there are radical pioneers pushing at the boundaries. A performance artist called Marni Kotak recently gave birth in a New York art gallery, claiming her delivery was “the highest form of art”. The critics were suitably impressed: 

“I feel the entire audience accomplished this together with Marni using their commonly created positive energy,” declared Katherine Hybenova, editor of the Bushwick Daily

I wonder what they did to make her feel their positive energy. I would have sung a gentle yet uplifting tune, like She’ll Be Coming Round the Mountain. On second thoughts, I would have hummed it – a woman in labour shouldn’t be distracted with fatuous lyrics. 

Araceli Cruz of the Village Voice arrived shortly after the birth to find Marni “calmly eating a banana”. You have to admire the devotion of an artist who continues to perform for her public after the exhibition is over. When I left the ring in my circus career, I scratched my armpits and buggered off quickly. Any bananas were eaten in the privacy of my trailer.

I have to admit I’m in two minds about Marni’s nativity performance. A human infant squeezing out of its mother’s birth canal is certainly an amazing spectacle that rivals the special effects in Alien or similar movies. But shouldn’t the baby have a say on whether it’s displayed covered in yucky goo, bawling its head off with a horrible tube sticking out of its navel? I wouldn’t want to be gawked at by New York avant-gardistes in such an undignified condition.

A photograph of Marni in the final days of her gestation is displayed below for my curious readers. Rarely have I seen such a prime specimen of luscious womanhood. I printed out a copy for my females, who immediately pestered me to invite her to the Congo in their eagerness to massage her thighs and buttocks. There was nothing remotely sexual about their request. We gorillas are broad-minded apes who appreciate firm flesh from whatever quarter, particular the hindquarters.

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that green and purple chick. omg
I imagine that the N H S could make a few bob if all maternity wards doubled up as art galleries.
hmmmmmmmmm........I have to admit, that I find child birth somewhat of an art form. Now a gorilla massaging a butt ....not so much...ICK!
The green chick may not be art, but I know what I like.
My gran had always wondered why women bother with manual labour when easy-clean, c - sections are readily available :p
Good morning GB. Chipper today, I hope?

Now, I have attended several childbirths in my life, and while they are undenibly emotional and dramatic events, the lady giving birth in the gallery and the subsequent critical comments are a clear indication that there are people out there who really have their heads firmly up their arses.

I think shipping them out to the Congo and making them forage for their own food while being plagued by mosquitoes and leeches would be very good for them.
Chrischaos: Do you like her colour scheme? It's quite striking, but not the best camouflage.

Scarlet Blue: They would have to train all the mothers in performance art first. Maybe they could hire Marni to give lessons?

Jayne: Don't talk until you've tried it, Ma'am! Our fingers are very supple!

Al: Men have been obsessed with green chicks even since the first double-episode of the original Star Trek series. I believe her name was Vina.

Jaya: Some women like to be conscious when their baby is being born. But if the aperture isn't sufficient, I guess they don't have much choice.

Jon: Good morning to you, Jon, I am chest-thumpingly chipper as always! How I wish you'd been invited to the live birth performance. I'm sure you would have written a fascinating review even if you hadn't felt the positive energy. I wouldn't mind hosting any of those ladies - women can do most things with a bit of training.
"the entire audience accomplished this together"... did they all take an epidural too?
Humans can't be lowly animals displaying themselves to get some action, so its called art or sports.
I have to say, the words "performance artist", when appended to someone's name always makes me want to run the other way. At the risk of inviting inflamatory replies, I've got to say I think a lot of so-called art is just self-indulgent fannying about, and the 'critics' that encourage this sort of nonesense are invited to take part in my latest installation piece: Foot Up Self-Important Critic's Backside.
I wonder if cursing was part and parcel of Marni Kotak’s performance art?
I think I managed to raise swearing to an art form during my three performances. ;)
A couple of months ago, I was approached by an artist who wanted to paint the Dutch national football kit on me.

I thought it would be much more interesting if he could paint the football kit onto the footballers themselves.
robert heinlein was ahead of his time with i will fear no evil.
I obviously don't understand art. To me, these things all reek of Warholism. I'm sure there are plenty who would disagree with me, and that's their right. Attention whores plain and simple. Can't they just write a blog like the rest of us? :)
All I can think when looking at that first photo is "Doesn't that tickle?" And what if either of them gets excited?
You're great with the weird stuff, GB. That's why we love you.
Steve: I think they went for a natural birth with empathic pushing and breathing.

Mark: Yes, even flashers think they're artists of a sort.

Argent: Yes, but the critics always have the last word, no matter how hard you boot them in the arse. It's their ability to write pretentious twaddle that determines what is art.

Beth: Swearing is certainly an art form if it's creative, which may not be easy if you're in labour.

Deborah: You were right to refuse, Debbie, people would have thought you were an unfeminine, football-loving wench. You need something more exquisite to be painted on your skin.

Billy: You mean he predicted giving birth would be an art form? He must have been a real visionary.

Angie: Not everyone can write blogs, Angie. They wouldn't be doing what they were doing if language was their forte.

Robyn: Could anyone tell if the girl was excited, Robyn? Don't answer unless you really want to.
I came back just to have another look at the green chick. Now, I have care of something.
Art leaves a lasting impression. I heard the following lyrics once in the fourth grade and still remember them:
"She was comin' 'round the mountain doin' ninety,
When the chain on her motorcycle broke.
She was layin' in the grass
With the muffler up her ass
And her tits playin' dixie on the spokes."
um, GB? what exactly are you doing with these beavers that leaves such a peculiar taste in your mouth?
I was asked to get my face painted in college as part of fresher's day. If only I knew about this fad then, I would have got my body painted. It would have been scintillating.
I agree that painted woman are an art form... that's why I am currently hanging Jenny over the fireplace. She really ties the room together I think.
Pretty chicks. ;)
Al: Don't forget to have an eye test afterwards.

Fred: A tragic tale. I hope there is a second verse in which her tits were restored to full health.

Henrietta: Nothing but looking, Ms Kage. We gorillas have very sensitive palates.

Runaway bride: I'm sure your painted body would have attracted an enormous audience, Miss Runaway. Do you think you would enjoy the sensation of paint on the skin?

Steve: Make sure she doesn't overheat when you light a fire. You might need to baste her regularly with cold water.

Interweb fails: Quite.
We appreciate your concern about her tits, but her ass was the real victim here. I'm sure you agree.
I plan on keeping my eyes closed.
If you're going to do the body paint thing, then the only way to go is gold, like in Goldfinger. Of course, this is not something I would do...not that bold, I'm afraid.
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