Realism Retrospective In Catalonia – It’s Time I Became An Eccentric Millionaire So I Can See These Shows

junkyardarts April 12, 2011 5
Realism Retrospective In Catalonia – It’s Time I Became An Eccentric Millionaire So I Can See These Shows

fugint de la critica - pere borrell

Seriously.  It’s not as if the states don’t offer amazing exhibitions all the time, and it’s not that I don’t get to see some of them! I have!  But man, the more I hear about exhibitions going on in areas that I never really would have considered visiting (because, well, my bubble doesn’t have pictures of these places) I realize more and more that I need to become that eccentric rich lady that wears old wedding dresses and Havisham it up.

Now…to get to that point is another story.  While I think of ways to become rich doing things I love (support Junkyard Arts!!) let’s look at some of the works that will be at the L’empremta de Courbet exhibition, and some of my favorite realism works from artists over the world.

This one is a favorite and was shown at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Courbet exhibition:

the bathers courbet

What is great about this painting isn’t just the incredible attention to light-play, texture and well, realism.  But it is the outrage that this painting caused when it displayed at a Salon in 1853.  A member of the Salon jury angrily claimed “the vulgarity of the forms,” which did not conform to the idealized nudes of Academic art. Critics expressed disdain for the dirty feet of the models (as if real people never had dirty feet) and let’s not even talk about the brazen hussy with her fallen stocking (indicative of moral squalor, imagine what wearing flip flops would mean?!).  It’s not so different from today I guess, lady gettin’ harassed by on-lookers just cuz her stocking fell down.  Can’t get a break.

Niñas - Pere Borell del Caso

Pere Borell’s work will be at the exhibition, and I hope this one is included.  Ninas is captivating for a few reasons, but I always get caught up in the hand.   That tiny child’s hand pointing me out in a crowd, judging me, waiting for their moment to strike.  The light bouncing off the tip like E.T., getting ready to give me some weird alien disease and keep me behind plastic where they can do their bidding…you know what?  Let’s move away from the kids, shall we?

the desperate man courbet

The Desperate Man by Courbet has traditionally been used by first year photo students as a recreation project for class, and also represents an exercise in realism, the movement Courbet started.  It’s certainly an interesting painting, but the human subject isn’t as important as the artistic subject; the man almost staring directly at the viewer, popping out of the canvas with harsh shadows, wrinkled clothes and desperation for, I dunno, reality?  This isn’t the pretty, idealized portrait of a young man commonly painted in this time – it is a desperate attempt to show real human emotion, grit, dirt under the fingernails, stains in the clothes, the real life that was glossed over with Vaseline on the lens in art.  Coincidentally, Courbet also gave us a portrait of the first bad boy and Johnny Depp’s muse, so that’s cool too.

bartolome murillo

This one is charming.  Bartolome Murillo will be featured in the exhibition. I stare longingly at the exhibition, from over here across the pond, mimicking the young lady in the painting…except I’m wearing sweatpants, there is an empty bottle of wine on the sill and I’m crying because I can’t see the exhibition in person.

Ramon Marti Alsina

Ramon Marti Alsina will also be in the exhibition.  I’d like to think this painting represents the turmoil my mind and my bank account have frequently when I fantasize about wild trips to museums around the world.

the wounded man courbet

His (my) heart bleeds for world travel and magnificent adventure!

the fox in the snow courbet

I think the moral of the story is: I need to attack life like the fox attacks the squirrel: crush it at the waist, shake vigorously to break the neck and tear the shit out of it until I get it’s innards smeared all over my face and I am satiated with the meat.  Also: play the lottery more.

MNAC /

5 Comments »

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