"You Paint" Revisited
Our discussion of the matter brings to my attention the fact that in this blog I often function more like a journalist (and not an investigative one, but rather the humorous and opinionated feuilletonist) than like a careful scholar. While I don’t think this is necessarily a terrible thing, I wouldn’t like to mislead my readers.
Thus, other readers might like to know that:
1) I wasn’t implying that Rembrandt was an unworthy subject for a film. (Whether the film is any good, I have no idea.) Furthermore, while I am opposed to grossly inaccurate movies about historical figures (such as the infamous film about Artemisia Gentileschi), I am not necessarily opposed to films that stress the personal lives of historical persons. If the person had a personal life that makes for good cinema, and the historical facts are not skewed and misinterpreted, such films can be worthwhile. It seems to me that the films about artists Frida Kahlo, Camille Claudel, and Carrington fit into that category, at least from what I know of the artists. There are those who will complain that this trivializes the work in favor of the biography, but I think that more often this causes viewers to become interested in finding out about the work.
2) For those who didn’t look, the Quick.cz piece on the Australian woman featured a photo of her face and cleavage (presumably a topless photo, but it was hard to tell for sure--see right) and said nothing about what sort of paintings result. To the best of my knowledge, she is not a serious artist using a gimmick to become better known (or with some sort of underlying theoretical basis to her work), but someone who just thought it would be great fun to paint with her breasts instead of her fingers. Now, the problem here is that it is really impossible to tell from the Quick.cz piece whether I am doing her a grave injustice by speculating that she is more of a joker than an artist. Performance artists are always trying things that sound idiotic until you read the rationale (and sometimes still do even then).
3) While I think that much of what I see of Czech journalism can only be called tabloid-focused and will take any opportunity to insert naked women into the news, I admit that if I were a tabloid editor and heard of someone who painted with an unconventional body part, I would certainly want to run an item on it. Indeed, as you can tell, I am a closet tabloid editor. I am incapable of resisting cheesy, contentless stories of this type, and while I call for gender equity and an end to sexism, I am also a great fan of completely ridiculous pseudo-news and call for more items like (old favorites from the Weekly World News) “Psychic’s Head Explodes” and “Meat-Eating Kangaroos”. (I have little patience with celebrity gossip, however. Elvis Presley’s face has appeared on too many tortillas for my taste.)