Archive for ‘ART’

December 26, 2011

The Tower of Babel

We’ve all heard of the Tower of Babel.  But did you know it was located in Washington, DC?  The truth of the matter is there are more than one such towers in the nation’s capital.  Here are the locations of just three edifices of consummate blather.  One is located at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.  Another can be found on E. Capital Street and the third at One First Street NE.

These addresses are of course the sites where you will find the White House, the Congress and the Supreme Court.

The painting is by Abel Grimmer (1570-1619). 

File:Grimmer tower of babel.jpg

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Full moon over the Capitol. Yes, it’s definitely something coming from the moon.

File:Full moon night.JPG

                                                                                (Arun.blue at en.wikipedia)

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Shhhh. Listen carefully and you can hear the howling.

November 20, 2011

Hooking Up At A Bar

The painting is by Edouard Manet and is entitled The Bar at the Folies Bergere.

The expression on the face of the barmaid is curious and lends itself to interpretation. Not as famous as the smile on the lips of Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa the expression nevertheless arouses interest.

File:Edouard Manet, A Bar at the Folies-Bergère.jpg

The subject of the painting is engaged in conversation with a customer at the bar. Is she being propositioned by a man whose attire proclaims his wealth? She seems bored. Perhaps she receives propositions nightly. Perhaps from the same man and she is simply tired of his persistence. But he is a customer and a good one and so she must endure his advances.

And why not engage this man and succumb to his proposal? Is she of high moral character? Perhaps. More likely she is already a wealthy man’s mistress. So why spoil a good thing. Endure she must.

Or is she thinking it over? Why not leave her current lover and bestow her favors on another? There may be advantages in a switch, a turn of fortunes. Perhaps so she is thinking.

What do you think? After all, there is more to art than paint on a canvas.

77 cm × 53 cm

Image via Wikipedia

And here’s a dirty picture by Manet.

Edouard Manet, Olympia, oil on canvas, 1863, M...

Image via Wikipedia

When I put the words “dirty picture” in a post I get a lot of responses. Sorry about that.

October 2, 2011

Job Creators

Some of history’s most famous job creators. There are many more.

Alexander the Great:  He employed hundreds of thousands in his drive to conquer much of the known world.

File:Moses and Aaron before Pharaoh.jpg

Moses and Aaron before Pharaoh in this painting by Benjamin West. The pharaohs have long been known as job creators.

The Caesars:  Too many to mention, but during their conquests over centuries they employed millions and made the Roman legionnaire the most famous and feared soldier of the day.

Attila the Hun:  Attila brought employment to hundreds of thousands of members of the Asia steppes thereby ending food insecurity, also know as starvation, and relieving poverty for his people.

Napoleon:  He employed soldiers in one of the largest armies the world had known up to that time. He also forced European countries to raise large armies. He just doesn’t receive enough credit for being a job creator.

The Fast Food Industry:  This industry – you know all the brands – has created millions of low wage jobs that have helped poor people rise from the lowly status of welfare recipient and move up into poverty.  The fast food business – and the retail industry as a whole – is proof positive that the United States is an upwardly mobile society.

The War Industry:  Government entitlements to this industry have enabled the employment of millions in the deadliest war machine known to man. This machine, with its war industry support, has helped to create a new American aristocracy composed of U.S. corporations and Wall Street investors, by encouraging and protecting the interests of a wealthy elite across the globe.  A truly remarkable feat of the U.S. war industry is the development of murderous technology. Particularly noteworthy is the so-called drone. Unmanned so as to reduce American casualties, the drone only kills innocent people in the land of its enemies.  Sometimes it actually kills an enemy.

File:Joseph Overseer of the Pharoahs Granaries.jpg

Joseph is depicted giving an accounting to pharaoh of his granaries in this painting by Lawrence Alma Tadema. The pharaohs, like today’s CEOs, realized that people must at the very least be fed in order to be kept alive to toil at wealth creating labor.

September 10, 2011

You’ve Come A Long Way, Baby

THE struggle for equal rights for women continues and intensifies. And the equal rights movement may soon be joined by men – many of whom are coming to the realization that the savage brand of American capitalism is ravaging their lives as well.

You may have come a long way, baby, but it’s too soon to give up. Females the world over are still regarded as the lesser sex and are often treated brutally to reinforce their inferior status.

File:Meister Francke - Geißelung der hl. Barbara.jpg

The painting above depicts the inferior status of medieval women.  Here a woman named St. Barbara is tortured because she converted to Christianity against the wishes of her pagan father. Tradition has it that by a variety of miracles she was cured each night of the disfigurement inflicted by the tortures. Finally she was beheaded, her father delivering the fatal blow that elevated her to martyrdom and sainthood.  Many fundamentalist religions even today relegate women to an inferior status and are not above inflicting cruel and unusual physical punishment for “sins” they committed.

Though women have made great strides in their quest for equality, the fair sex was exploited viciously in America in the early twentieth century; and for nothing more than standing up for the right to fair treatment, decent working conditions and a living wage. Those brave ladies who protested the indecent, often uncivilized, conditions under which they worked and existed, were often savagely beaten in the dark of night by goons hired by the early masters of American capitalism.

In one of hundreds of incidents that comprised the American labor movement, one hundred and forty six young women and men were burned to death in a fire that occurred at the Triangle Waist Company in New York City. The hundred year anniversary of the calamity that occurred on March 26, 1911 was recently observed in New York.

Most of the bodies burned in that tragic incident were ravaged beyond recognition and after they were recovered, firemen and police lined the corpses up on a nearby pier for relatives to come and identify and claim and finally to give a decent burial to their loved ones.

The book by David Von Drehle – Triangle-The Fire That ChangedAmerica – relates the story of these heroic women in savage detail. A great book no doubt but it was decades before American workers achieved real change and many were murdered in the process.

Are savage modern day capitalists seeking to return to the days of old?

In a word, absolutely. Have no doubt the Barons of the modern economic system would spare no cruelty should their domination ever be seriously challenged. The brutality and violence waged against American working men and women in the past may be a harbinger of what lies ahead.

Is it an exaggeration to apply the conditions portrayed by the artist to the modern world? Perhaps. But in some societies, physical cruelty toward women, included beheading, exists today.

Yes, you’ve come a long way, baby. But you’re not there yet.

And if you happen to be a male who thinks he’s safe, well think again. The Barons are coming after you. They have already successfully lowered wages in many industries and reduced benefits and eliminated pensions. And now they want your Social Security. And you know what? They’ll get it. The real mystery is why so many Americans vote to give it to them.

May 22, 2011

AN IDLE MIND

An idle mind is the devil’s workshop. So is a dirty mind.

I should know.  I’ve been cultivating one for years.

Here’s another in the Corruptus Maximus series of dirty pictures. Hope you like it.

File:1863 Alexandre Cabanel - The Birth of Venus.jpg 

This magnificent work of art is entitled The Birth of Venus. It was painted in 1863 by Alexandre Cabanel and is on display at the Musee d’Orsay in Paris.                        

Well, it’s Sunday and I’m off to church.

Funny thing. God’s never there.                                                                                                               

April 17, 2011

DIRTY PICTURES

CELEBRATING HOMOSEXUALITY.

Actually homosexuality is really nothing to celebrate – anymore than bisexuality or heterosexuality. You are what you are and that’s about it. So why celebrate.

But in the past, some artists and their patrons were titillated by ladies in various forms of embrace.

Two such works are noted in this post and modern connoisseurs consider the pieces to be among the finest of the many works of art of the same subject on display in museums throughout the world. 

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The Sleep by Gustave Courbet 1866.

This work was commissioned by a Turkish diplomat and was intended for his private collection. The motif is obvious and it is thought that this and other suggestive Courbet paintings were responsible for his reputation for moral depravity.

Athough the ladies appear to be sleeping, some art critics have suggested they are engaged in a romantic embrace and enjoying foreplay.

And just in case you didn’t notice, the detail on the vase in the background is spectacular.    

File:Gabrielle d Estree - Louvre.jpg

The subject matter is once again obvious – lesbian foreplay. The ladies are sisters enjoying a bath and presumably other delights. The model on the right is thought to be the Lady Gabrielle d’Estreese, a mistress of King Henry IV of France. The artist is anonymous.

OK. Enough dirty pictures for one day. 

(You can double click the images to see a larger view).