I overlooked this depiction of Judith – three times, in fact – before I finally put it in my collection. Why overlook it? At first glance, it seemed too obviously and overtly sexual. as if Judith and the Maid were being cast as porno stars who would lapse into a lesbian love scene after they do away with Holofernes (who they probably subdued with a three-way in the first place). Not the “art” I wanted to examine for Judith.
But a fourth pass led me to reconsider: if this is the imagery that is current to the first decade of the millennium, then it needs to be included whether I think it is cheesy or not. Perhaps it will be the legacy of this decade that legitimate art and pornography will merge into an art form for which we will be remembered. Who am I to judge? So here is the Judith of Holger Maass in all its overly oiled sensuality in contrast to the saintly subject.
First, on the right there is Judith – the spitting image of Nicole Kidman. With rosebud pink nipples and a halo. On the left is the Maid holding a pointy, glittery dagger (syringe?) in her left hand and the case in her right. Also with a halo but honey brown nipples. And her false eyelashes appear to be upside-down. That is, unless I have the two women reversed and Nicole Kidman is the Maid.
Both women are encased in an ethereal glow and have an expression of distraction – staring into space – as if they are totally removed from the action. While in the forefront lies a hunky Holofernes with surfer blue eyes and horrified expression. Although i can never understand why he is not putting up more of a fight. Dude, seriously – she is taking off your head.
And finally to my favorite element in this composition: the pink purse. Could be patent leather, could be plastic. But it cements the entire tone: artificial and campy. As opposed to the blood stained bag of meat that was the receptacle for Holofernes’ Renaissance head, the contemporary Maid has provided a pink handbag for the get-away (a tote, to be more fashion-specific). I am somewhat concerned that it is too small for the task but … this is an exercise in speculative fiction, so I’ll let it slide.
POST SCRIPT: And how dare I forget the ducks on the wing in the background. How very … quaint?