Sunday, July 20, 2008

Two Dancers on a Stage

Two Dancers on A Stage (Edgar Degas, 1874, Courtauld Institute of Art, London). French impressionist Edgar Degas was justifiably famous for his “through the keyhole” paintings of the arduous life of Parisian ballerinas. However, beautiful and poignant these paintings may be, Degas missed a major opportunity to enhance them with the addition of a gorgeous, graceful dancing Hound. As you can see the insertion of the Hound adds new interest to a scene so familiar to admirers of Degas (although I must say, I think the tutu makes me look fat). Anyway we can fully admire the grace and beauty of the Hound with his swan like neck in full extension, his delicate feet positioned en avant and his manly attributes boldly displayed.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Wimsey Gothic

American Gothic (Grant Wood, 1930, Art Institute of Chicago): Now this is one of the most iconic of all American paintings. It depicts the artist’s sister and his dentist, in a formal, stiff pose reminiscent of the style of northern renaissance paintings. It has always been unclear whether the painting is glorifying or mocking Midwestern culture. However, in either case, I have always felt that this painting is seriously lacking the one iconic element that would make it complete. The front porch looks disturbingly empty, a situation which I was able to rectify with a simple addition. Wimsey Gothic