Monthly Archives: March 2012

Now for something completely different (XXXIV)

A Date With Judy (1953 vol. 34)

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From 1966 to 1969, I was entranced by a television drama set in East Africa called Daktari.    It featured Dr. Tracy – a veterinarian at the fictional Wameru Study Centre for Animal Behaviour – his daughter Paula (to flirt with all the safari guides and veterinary interns), and his staff (who frequently protected animals from poachers) and local officials.    The last season included Jenny Jones, a seven-year-old orphan who becomes part of the Tracy household, played by child star Erin Moran (who grew up to become Joanie Cunningham and fall in love with Chaci and write a tell-all book).    But the most popular characters were Tracy’s pets:   a cross-eyed lion named Clarence and a chimpanzee named Judy, .


Like I really needed the kids in middle school to associate me with Judy the Chimp.


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Judith in a balancing act

Emil Kazaz, “The Head of Holofernes,” 1998, Oil on Linen, 43 x 36 in,

Another robust Judith depicted by Emil Kazaz – looking as full-of-herself as ever.   Here we have her in the Whistler’s Mother Pose in her red pantaloons, black stockings, and gold slippers with red bows.   How risque and slightly scandalous!

But the real work of art is the rapt attention from Holofernes’ ginormous face as it stares at Judith from the plate on her lap – while a green fruit balances on his forehead.   Giant lime?  Immature breadfruit?  Avocado, tomatillo, cherimoya, feijoa?   Mutant olive?

We may never know.  And we can only imagine the humiliation heaped upon Holofernes as he has to endure this garnish precariously perched on his noggin.   Unable to utter a word.   While Judith manages it all deftly with one hand.

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Posted by on March 30, 2012 in Cacciatore


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Judith explains it all

Judith:   Look, don’t take it so personally.

Holofernes:   …

Judith:   What else could I do?   I would have done the same thing to anyone else who backed me into a corner.   Maybe even before three days of parties.   Or maybe I would have waited until the Assyrian Arak ran out.

Holofernes:   …

Judith:    Sure, we’re all having fun until somebody loses his head.  I now I suppose you will pout.

Antonio Zanchi, “Judith,” c.1660-1670, Oil on canvas, 117 x 98 cm, Regional Art Gallery, Tambov, Russia

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Posted by on March 29, 2012 in Distracted


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Judith trips out

Judy Glantzman, “Judith and Holofernes.” 2008, Oil on canvas, 62.6 x 162.6 cm,

Like any good rock concert, I might better appreciate contemporary art with altered consciousness.   But like any good rock concert, that is what makes it challenging and fun.

This is the work of Judy Glantzman, who describes her work as:

“A cacophony of voices desired to be heard, these paintings can be seen as the inside of my head made visible …The paintings are worked over a long period of time. The repetition and repainting allows me freedom to form each figure without judgment – I choose to reveal myself, but what is revealed can be scary. I try to be unafraid of my work.” (1)

Definitely, there is a lot going on and it could be revealing.   The focal point is the dark head at the center of the painting – apparently cradled in Judith’s hands in front of her chest.   Emanating from this center are a myriad of other images, a spectrum of innate emotions about the beheading of Holofernes.   It is as if all these people and events are present in the moment that Judith has taken his head – all the circumstances that led up to the moment and all the circumstances that will be altered by it.   And they radiate out from Judith and Holofernes like waves that ripple from a drop of water on a still surface.

Antecedents.  Consequences.  Reminders that our acts are never simple things.  And some are more concentrated in their effects than others.


(1) Scene B Scene, 11c., Dactyl Foundation- Judy Glantzman: A 30-year Retrospective, April 4, 2009

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Posted by on March 28, 2012 in Cacciatore


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Judith gets real

August Riedel, “Judith,” 1840, Oil on canvas, 131 x 96 cm,                                                                  Neue Pinakothek, Munich, Germany

Real.  Luminous.  Sensitive.  Colorful.

Those are descriptions of the work of August Riedel.   Riedel went to Italy in 1828 and after a brief return to Germany, he settled in Rome in 1832.    His works were popular among the Bavarian royal family, and this painting “Judith” is one of his most famous.

After all the Renaissance, Mannerist, and Baroque depictions of Judith in absurd gowns and contorted poses and ridiculous settings, Riedel’s Judith seems so practical and logical.   The hair, the stance, the expression, the garb – understated and appropriate.   This is a believable Judith.   strong and resolute but somewhat uncertain.

Yes, I would imagine there would be uncertainty somewhere along the line.  Coupled with hiding Holofernes’ severed head behind her back, that would be real.

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Posted by on March 27, 2012 in Glory


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Judith feels a chill

Maybe a jacket would help? Or a wet teeshirt?

Ryan Humphrey, “Judith after the beheading of Holofernes,” 2011, pencil and ink on paper, and

But she should watch her back.  The Maid appears to be jealous.

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Posted by on March 26, 2012 in Whorey


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Judith procrastinates

Maid:  Psst. I know you enjoying showing off the severed head, but we need to go.

Judith:  In a minute.  gawd, sometimes you are so pushy.

Maid:   But you forgot that you promised your mother you would stop but for Sunday dinner.

Judith:   Dagnabbit!  You’re right. I suppose I need a shower.   And I told her I would bring the entree.

Maid:   Well, I think there is still some meat in the bottom of this bloody bag …

Judith:  Do you think she would mind if we brought along a guest?

Artemesia Gentileshi, “Judith, the head of Holofernes and the servant,” 1611-14, oil on canvas, 129 x 96.3 cm, Palazzo Chigi in Ariccia, Museo del Barocco Romano, Collezione Lemme, Rome, Italy

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Posted by on March 25, 2012 in Distracted


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