Let's get real!

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Let's get real!

From Rick Fink

Published before 2005


Martin wrote:
I haven't yet said anything about what's meaningful to me.


Kimball replied:
Why not? What is meaningful to you? Most of the discussion on this list is directed toward things that are meaningful to those in the discussion. If your previous statements are not meaningful to you then what is? That's what we'd like to talk about. That's what's real.


Hey, that's my cue!

I believe that Bouguereau loved people and that this love is reflected in his work. The incredible sense of perfection he strove for in all his paintings. His ethical business relations with his clients and patrons, his fair treatment of his students; allowing women artists to study with him.

Bouguereau was a devout Roman Catholic and yet he celebrated the flesh in a way that still seems enlightened! In his painting Nymphs and Satyr the women are very sexual and at the same time they are very clearly the victorious protagonists! Remember that even today women are portrayed as more passive than men; often the object rather than the actor. Look at the painting The Education of Bacchus and you see women and men together equally strong and vital! He was able to show the beauty of eroticism combined with love and respect!

Bouguereau has been criticized for his idealized perfection of the human form but I believe that he essentially viewed people this way! At the end of his life when painting was extremely difficult for him he still strove for the perfection that he loved. The level he worked at was so difficult and took such commitment! How many of us could do it? How many of his students or the thousands of artists world wide during his lifetime could do it? I believe that Bouguereau was an idealist who looked for excellence in the world around him!

By all accounts Bouguereau was an extremely devoted father and husband. How terrible then that his wife died at the age of 39 during childbirth and that four of his five children died early deaths! There was a lot of anguish in his life that no money or status could ever assauge! Is there anyone who could really look at his Pieta or Orestes pursued by the Furies and still call him a panderer? I look at Bouguereau and see a man deeply engaged in life at every level! That incredible intensity comes through in everything he did and moves us a century later! On my desk next to my computer I have Return of Spring to constantly remind me to embrace the joy of life. I look at this image of incredible beauty knowing that Bouguereau had suffered great loss before he painted it. I also know that in his own day this painting was so powerful that a man threw a chair through it while it was on display because he felt it attacked the virtue of women! If you look at the lower left quadrant of it you can still see where it was torn!

To fully enter into a debate about art we must be prepared to be as real as possible! To openly discuss our loves as well as our hates. The discussions on this list have informed and inspired me and I invite our new members to allow it do to the same for them!

Sincerely, Rick Fink

PS. Question: How many surrealists does it take to change a light bulb? Answer: Three. Two to lower the giraffe into the multi-colored fluid and one to turn on the oscillator!