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Judith gets a room

To be clear:  this is NOT about the Biblical Judith.

This IS about a middle aged woman named “Judith” who was willing to pose for nude portraits. Twice.

judith (1999) Jocelyn Lee

Jocelyn Lee, “Untitled (Judith #1),” 1999, chromogenic print, 47 x 38 cm, sold by Rose Gallery, Santa Monica, California, US

Judith (2002) Jocelyn Lee

Jocelyn Lee, “Untitled (Judith #2),” 2002, chromogenic print, 47 x 38 cm, Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum, Cambridge, Massachusettes, US

Which leads me to say … “Nice boots. New hair-do?  Yes, those hot flashes are a bitch.”

But the true story from the artist, Jocelyn Lee:

I photograph portraits because I am curious about people, and our tenacious attempts to find meaning and direction in the world. I am particularly interested in how we reveal our vulnerability, which is not something our culture reinforces or encourages.

My portraits are about the things people consider when they are alone or in between moments of inactivity and reflection: aging, illness, sex, the body, states of transition, our desire for connection, and the search for personal identity.

I am interested in finding the physical and psychological beauty in things that are frequently overlooked: the quality of a middle-aged woman’s naked body, alone in a motel room; the way lingerie is filled with hope and expectation for physical intimacy; or the quality of light on a person’s skin as they sit on their bed before a day of activity. (1)

Now I see.  The door – first, closed and chained then half open with expectation.  The light coming from the right – first low like the morning and then higher like the afternoon. The nakedness and direct gaze in a cheap hotel room, contrasted with the downcast look and forced erotica of black lingerie in an austere 18th century setting.  Authenticity and artifice. Anticipation and disappointment.  Hope and despair.

The juxtaposition of being Judith.

(1) Jocelyn Lee: Statement on Portraits (1996–Present)”

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Posted by on July 2, 2013 in Whorey

 

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Judith, aka Big Booty Judy

Degenerate art is in the eye of the beholder.

Jankel Adler was a modern artist and a Polish Jew under Hitler’s regime which took power in 1933. In that year, two of his pictures were displayed by the Nazis at the Mannheimer Arts Center as examples of degenerate art. Adler left Germany, staying in Paris as part of the political resistance against the fascist regime in Germany. In 1937, twenty-five of his works were seized from public collections by the Nazis and four were shown in the Entartete Kunst (Degenerate Art) exhibition in Munich.

Judith (1927-1928 ) Jankel Adler

Jankel Adler, “Judith mit dem Haupt des Holofernes,” 1927-1928, oil on canvas, 59 x 30 in, auctioned by Christie’s, April 20, 2006, Tel Aviv, Hilton Hotel (Lot# 27 )

A number of respectable exhibitions of Adler’s works took place in London, Paris and New York During the 1940s. The cubist styles of Pablo Picasso and Fernand Leger influenced Adler’s figures throughout his life.  But unlike Picasso and Leger,  Adler often applied colors in a pasty manner – putting down a preliminary surface, covering it with another, and then scratching a pattern through the superficial layer to the lower color in a sgrafitto-like technique.

But speaking of degenerate, I would like to fast forward to 2013 to submit this song “Big Booty Judy” by Chris Brown to a Museum of Degenerate Art. Please be advised of offensive content.

We thinkin’ like 36, 24, 40 – That’s about right

Judy got a booty from here to there – Make a nigga smile from ear to ear
Order 3 more bottles of that belvedere – Then I point her out like you come here
You come here – And you come here

Booty sittin’ higher than a flight of stairs – Some can make it clap
Some really can’t though – Them Alabama girls said it’s all in the ankles
Speakin’ of ankles bent over and touch your toes – And pop it and make it roll I’m lovin this angle
Hah, I love this view that I’m lookin’ at
Dress so elegant, ass like the elephant – Shorty got me harder than I’ve ever been
So I’mma give it to like a motherfucking veteran – Barbie so sick so this dick be the medicine

And I know her name – She told me but all I heard…

Yeah, she make the club go crazy (crazy) – And the way she move her body is amazin’ (amazin’)
Yeah, she got me goin’ insane – And I don’t even really know her name

MI just call her Big booty Judy

 
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Posted by on June 20, 2013 in Whorey

 

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Judith is timeless

Judith II (1924) Issac Grunewald

Isaac Grunewald, “Judith II,” 1924, Oil on canvas, 64 x 54 cm, auctioned by Stockholms Auktionsverk, Modern Art, Oct 25–26, 2011 (Lot 700), Stockholm, Sweden

I was really surprised by this painting.   My first guess was: the work of a contemporary South American artist. Judith has the olive complexion, the massive dark hair, a stylish one-shouldered sheath in spicy tones, the gold loop earring and bangle bracelets of a Latin American style.  So imagine my astonishment to learn this is the work of a Swedish painter from 1924.  This depiction must have been shocking to the audience at that time, even in light of Fauvism, Cubism, and Expressionism.

And yet, this portrait highlights the fact that Judith is timeless.  Her story has been told and retold, her motives re-imagined numerous times from saintly to slutty, her means interpreted from self-sacrificing to sadistic.  And when you think about the 700 depictions that have been covered in this blog, her story is downright scary.

So it is nice to still be surprised.  To find Judith can be recycled and come out fresh after all these years. To realize that after all these years, her final victory is being resilient.

 

 
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Posted by on April 15, 2013 in Cacciatore

 

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Judith, Act 2

Amerigo Focacci, “Judith,” c.1900-1929, Bronze, private collection

I already have his head so … who is next?

 
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Posted by on December 2, 2012 in Whorey

 

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Judith at the Jersey Shore

Felice Vatteroni, “Judith,” 1936, white marble statue, 77 x 22 x 20 cm

OMG!   With that hair, Judith could be on MTV’s Jersey Shore.

 
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Posted by on November 20, 2012 in Whorey

 

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Judith in Santo Sospir

There is a long story here.

Villa Santo Sospir, St Jean Cap Ferrat, France

Jacque Cocteau –  poet, novelist, dramatist, designer, playwright, artist and filmmaker – was enchanted by the Villa Santo Sospir, the vacation home of his friends Alec and Francine Weisweiller.   When first invited there as a guest in 1948, the walls of the villa were empty and Cocteau asked Francine if he could draw the head of Apollo in charcoal above the fireplace in the lounge.
And the drawing continued through the summer of 1950, with frescoes inspired by Greek mythology and allusions to the Riviera.   Cocteau worked without any preliminary drafts – drawing in charcoal, then enhancing the drawings with color diluted in raw milk for a tempera frescoes.   Cocteau wrote: “you should not dress up the walls, they drew on their skin, so I dealt with frescoes linearly with the few colors that enhance the tattoos. Santo is a villa Sospir tattooed. “

After finishing the walls of the villa, he painted the ceilings in soft tones of pastel.  He then made two mosaics for the patio entrance: two faces and a snake on the threshold, the head of Orpheus on the left wall.   And finally three years later, Cocteau made the Aubusson tapestry Judith and Holofernes for the bare wall of the dining room – based on a 1948 design he executed in pastel on cardboard at his home in Milly-la-Foret. (1)

Jean Cocteau, “Judith and Holofernes,” 1948, pastel on cardboard, Jean Cocteau Severin Wunderman Museum, Menton, France

Not surprisingly, Cocteau was known to employ symbolism in his work.  Fish, fishermen, water, and sea symbolism are pervasive emblems, as well as shapes that look like Runic or Egyptian letter “M” that resembles the alchemical sign for water.   The name of this rune is “Dagaz,” which in many ancient languages means  “fish.”    In many other ancient languages, the syllable “Dag” or “Dagaz” means “day.”   And it is this rune that is incorporated  in his tapestry of Judith and Holophernes, his drawing of Her Majesty Queen Cleopatra, his Portrait of Raymond Radiguet, all over the Chapel of Saint Peter, and probably in many other places. (2)

(Post Script:  this drawing is located in the Jean Cocteau Museum – newly opened November 2011)

And now that I have referenced his use of symbolism, that is as far as I can venture into alchemy.  I am much more comfortable with discussing interior design and Jungian archetypes.

Jean Cocteau, Dining room, 1948-51, Aubusson tapestry, Villa Santo-Sospir, Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, France

Jean Cocteau, “Judith and Holofernes,” 1951, Aubusson tapestry, Villa Santo-Sospir, Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, France

Qhat I see in Cocteau’s Judith is a triumph and a trial.   The trophy head, hidden in the robe, as Judith tiptoes past the sleeping army.    She seems cat-like in her tiger print drape, in her pointed facial features, in her stealth.   She appears to be from another world – a separate creature from the Assyrians.  And so she walks toward the viewer, away from the darkness and into the dawn with power and success at her side.

Bon appetite?

(1) Villa Santo Sospir
(2) Tracy R. Twyman, Jean Cocteau: Man of the 20th Century, Dagobert’s Revenge Magazine, 1998

 
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Posted by on October 25, 2012 in Glory

 

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Judith takes drugs … or needs to

Let me begin by saying (once again): I am not an art critic.   Then I will follow by saying: these are the most depressing works of art I have seen.

Sergey Loginov, “Touch,” 2010, plastic, oil, needle, 21 x 37 cm, http://www.loginov-art.com

Sergey Loginov, “Farewell,” 2010, engraving on plastic, oil, 24 x 39 cm, http://www.loginov-art.com

Sergey Loginov, “Nostaligia,” 2010, plastic, oil, needle,          31 x 39 cm, http://www.loginov-art.com

Sergey Loginov, “Play,” 2010, plastic, oil, needle, 26 x 37 cm, http://www.loginov-art.com

Sergey Loginov, “Homecoming,” 2010, plastic, oil, needle,       40 x 56 cm, http://www.loginov-art.com

Sergey Loginov, “Memory,” 2010, plastic, oil, needle, 40 x 56 cm, http://www.loginov-art.com

Sergey Loginov, “Dream Holofernes,” 2010, plastic, oil, needle, 28 x 36 cm, http://www.loginov-art.com

… unless this is supposed to be a balloon in the Thanksgiving Day Parade?

 
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Posted by on August 21, 2012 in Cacciatore

 

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