Sunday, February 11, 2007

Art: The bane of my existence

I’ve never been much of an “art” fan. I mean, what is art anyway? All I usually see are tons of weird looking paintings I have to pretend to understand while others are finding the meaning of life in them. I’m always confused and saying things like, “Yes, the use of color in this... er, thingy here is magnificent,” even as in my head I’m thinking a third grader could’ve done better LOL.

Don’t get me wrong, there are artistic things that I love; old buildings and architecture come to mind. I enjoy aged neighborhoods with little streets cars can’t go through and the structures that surround them. I find fountains and piazzas irresistible, and I’m also incredibly fond of anything from the Renaissance Period.**

Since I’ve been in Madrid, I get dragged along to a lot of museums and art galleries where famous artists are being shown. If it were up to me I’d never set a foot in these places on my own, *sigh* but we usually go for tapas and wine after and I so don’t want to miss that! LOL

Anyway, yesterday we went to an exhibition at the Thyssen Museum, The Mirror and the Mask: Portraiture in the Age of Picasso. I’m surprised—and delighted—to say that I truly enjoyed it! It had some odd things from the “Cubism” era, which I find appalling and incomprehensive, but in general the other stuff was quite normal; easy on the eyes and the mind! There were even some I couldn’t get away from because I found them so enthralling.

I’ll post pictures of my favorites. You can tell me what you think about them and what your thoughts are about art in general.

Amedeo Modigliani - Antonia, 1915

Paul Gauguin - Portrait of a Young Woman: Vaïté (Jeanne) Goupil, 1896

Pablo Picasso - Olga with a Fur Collar, 1923

Max Beckmann - Quappi in a Pink Sweater, 1935

Lucian Freud - Girl with Roses, 1947-1948***

**I remember stopping by Il Duomo in Florence, almost every day after school, and sitting under the Vasari and Zuccari fresco in the ceiling of the cupola. It mesmerized me; I could look at it for hours on end and always find something new in “the final judgment.”
***God knows that portrait freaked the shit out of me. If a woman that ugly showed herself to me in the middle of the night I’d die of cardiac arrest on the spot!!! How can anyone consider such a hiddeous thing “artistic”?


20 comment(s):

Blogger Nikky said...

Ok, Trollop. you're in Madrid, I found my absolute FAVORITE painting there in the Prado about 15 years ago. It's by Diego Rodrigues Velazquez, the title is "Las meninas"... check it out, it is beautiful!!
For my wedding my brother gave me a copy of it (He was living in Madrid at the time, that's how I ended up visiting there for 3 weeks when I was 19) and I treasure it still!

2/11/2007 01:30:00 PM  

Blogger Harlot said...

I don't really know anything about paintings and i won't pretend i fucking know what this color symbolize or that stroke implies, etc. But, art, i LOVE it. It's just pritti. :P

Not into Picasso. I love Monet and all that Impressionism bit. For me Impressionists had the most fascinating and the most awesome paintings. It's like, they just crazily stroked their brushes without thinking but they had produced the most beautiful stuff...

2/11/2007 01:40:00 PM  

Blogger Harlot said...

Oh forgot these portraits. Okay, ANTONIA, blech. Ugly. How could this be one of your faves???

VAITE, don't know. She looks like one of those weird dolls that come alive during the night to give you nightmares. :S Ohgad... (But at least i remember Gauguin's name from art class. :P)

OLGA, she looks like one of those women in those stupid coloring books they sell in Christian floating bookstores.

QUAPPI, now her i like. She looks like she's in a hotel lobby wasting time just looking at different people who pass her by and she judges everyone by their shoes and handbags.

GIRL WITH ROSE is fucking scary! (She's the best one though.) I think she looks like she's one of those members of a cult that marry their brothers or cousins. :S Seems like she's waiting nervously for a lover who is her only hope. Or maybe it's her wedding night and is waiting patiently for her surprise hubby to show up and take her to bed or something.. :/ She has freaky eyes.. i think it's because her hands are bleeding with the way she clutches those thorny roses..

2/11/2007 01:49:00 PM  

Blogger Vanessa said...

I don't know anything about paintings. I can't even draw. Except for a stick figure. Perhaps ask me about gardening or even Project Runaway lol, and those I can answer. But paintings? I know some famous painters of course, like Vincent Van Gogh, but anything more than the most basic info I have no clue about those.

2/11/2007 03:06:00 PM  

Blogger Vanessa said...

If I have to pick between these 5 paintings, I choose #2. I like the colors and the young girl.

2/11/2007 03:08:00 PM  

Blogger Marg said...

Going to the Thyssen art gallery in Madrid was the first time I remember actually enjoying going to an art gallery.

Occasionally I take my son to the art gallery here in order to introduce a bit of 'culture'. LOL

2/11/2007 06:00:00 PM  

Blogger Shoshana said...

Trollop, have you seen Guernica? I love that Picasso painting, even if it's horrible to look at. I've always meant to look at it in real life...but I'm not going to be in Spain for a while yet. :P

2/11/2007 08:14:00 PM  

Anonymous Gun_Wielding_Bitch said...

I can appreciate art to a point. I don't find symbolism in them, I could give two shits about brush strokes or color. I guess I just don't get it. You either like it or you don’t.

I LOVE going to the DIA (Detroit Institute of Arts) but I don't stand in front of a painting for more than 5 minutes. I don't dissect or discuss it. I either like it or I don't.

Most people say you can't take it all in just 5 minutes, I say I could in 3 minutes but I want to make my entrance fee worth while and stay there

I'm like that with photos too. People come back from vaca or have a kids b-day and they hand you 1,000 picture for you to look at, I go through, look, go to the next then they get mad because I didn't stare at each pic for an hour.

I guess I'm just not sophisticated or what not.

I do have to say that I saw this painting once (ok it was a print of a painting) and for some unknown reason, it actually made me stop and look at it. I bought the poster and everything because I loved it so much. It is La Jeune Martyre (The Young Martyr)1855 by Paul DaLarouche

I didn’t care for the paintings you posted but I still think you are great :)

2/11/2007 09:44:00 PM  

Blogger Jordis said...

I like Monet as well. I think he's a genius. Renoir too who produced great paintings of people. He's like this great observer of what everyone was doing and he projected them in vibrant colors.

2/12/2007 01:39:00 AM  

Blogger Jolie said...

I know little about paintings but I know Manet and Monet. LOL. I prefer Manet, the perverted one who transformed Venus into a prostitute. Very bold and different from everyone who had the usual depiction of Venus as this perfect seemingly innocent beauty. There's also this painting of his (I can't remember the name) depicting a picnic where men are all dressed so well but the women are in the nude.

2/12/2007 01:58:00 AM  

Blogger Jolie said...

Trollop, love the Last Judgment of Vasari and Zucarri. Frescoes are way impressive. How hard it must be to paint those ones on the ceiling?

2/12/2007 02:01:00 AM  

Blogger Vicious Trollop said...


the guernica is amazing! I took a guided tour through The Prado a couple of months ago and they explained what it meant and the details and symbolisms in it. The story of how it was comisioned and how it didn't have a home until after Franco died. I don't understand picasso, but even I can see, he truly was a very gifted man!

I bought a replica of the guernica for Harlot. Might actually send it one day LOL

2/12/2007 02:26:00 AM  

Blogger Harlot said...

I love Monet. I just love his water lilies. It's just... beautiful. He made a lot of versions, there's one with green reflections, violet ones, under the bridge, etc, but i specifically love the one that that look like clouds. It's very well-known like Van Gogh's Starry Night but it's got to be my favorite.

Klimt is another one i like with all his golden colors LOL. I like his Danae, that curled woman who look like she's either sleeping or having an orgasm LOL. It's pretty. I like his water serpents too. Degas, i love his ballerinas whether the dancing ones (as much as i love paintings, i rarely know their names :S)or those girls putting their ballet shoes on. They look perfect and i don't know, they remind me of my childhood dreams. :P

2/12/2007 02:33:00 AM  

Blogger Harlot said...

It's weird. I started liking paintings when i entered a sculpture class LOL. Didn't learn a thing with those classes btw. :S Well except to make a comb out of a bar of soap. Oh! I also made one that look like pretty shoes. :D

2/12/2007 02:40:00 AM  

Blogger Polly King said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

2/12/2007 12:40:00 PM  

Blogger Polly King said...

Didn't Picasso used to live in Madrid (or was it Barcelona) when he was young?

I'm not an expert but I enjoy going to these exhibits. I remember seeing this painting in Paris called The Origin of the World. I was with my dad and it was a little embarrassing since the painting is a close up view between a women's thighs up to her erect nipples. LOL.

Trollop, I think The Guernica is one interesting painting. I would love to see the original some time.

2/12/2007 12:45:00 PM  

Blogger Isabella said...

Trollop, great paintings, though for the life me I can never interpret these lot. Glad you're having fun circling the museums in Madrid, even if forced. LOL

2/12/2007 04:46:00 PM  

Blogger Petra said...

I used to have this poster of VanGogh's Starry Starry Night during college. Such a dark, haunting painting that is. I wonder if Vincent wasn't insane and saw the world differently instead of the one from his crazy mind, could he have produced great paintings like the masterpieces he did?

2/12/2007 06:58:00 PM  

Blogger Harlot said...

Good question, Petra! Wonder if he would have painted Starry Night at all.. he surely wouldn't cut off his ears. :S

2/12/2007 07:23:00 PM  

Blogger Shoshana said...

Guernica is one of those paintings that I'd actually enjoy looking and never get bored. I had a whole semester of it, and my professor did a wonderful job seeping the love of that particular art to us.

That's one I'd like to see...more than even Mona Lisa.

2/12/2007 10:05:00 PM