Yesterday's BS carries an article named The Bathing Ladies. It basically talks about the artists from the early 20th century, trained in a style that has now come to be identified as academic realism.
Now i am sure most of you dont know what is academic realism. Let me help you here..
Academic Realism is a style of painting & sculpture produced under the influence of European academies & universities. What it basically means is painting a naked woman. Any painting/sculpture which has carved the most quintessential parts of a woman's body in order to depict that the woman is in her most comfortable form when naked could mean academic realism back then or as a matter of fact even now. Naked, keeping in mind that the comfort levels of a woman in the painting remain undettered even if she is amongst a crowd. (or so i understood)
The article carries pictures of 2 ladies, one unclothing her self as if to go for a bath & another of a wet woman just out of a bath in a white cotton saree which then clings to her body because of the water creating the element of voyeurism.
So i always wonder.. what's the pleasure one gets from painting a naked woman? Ok. granted Pleasure.. I'll buy the pleasure part.. The artists might be thinking of a woman in a partially clothed state which he would have otherwise wished to rip apart & so he goes ahead with his imagination and carves out a piece of what they call an 'art'- which is what people seem to be buying!! These 20th century paintings are auctioned for about Rs. 60 to 70 lakhs.. which is quite an amount. and that too of a partially or a completely naked woman when there's already enough sex & a hosts of naked woman available a dime a dozen.
What impression would you want to give the visitors by depicting pictures of naked woman from the early 20th century on your living room wall? that you love to see & show off naked woman time & again & in order to pursue this passion you have spent 70 lakhs or that you are just too artistic that i fail too see that you do??
But the fact remains defying the argument stated above that people paint naked women & they are bought & money is earned. I think whether its from the early 20th century or from the late 21st century the excitement of a naked woman remains where it is. I don't mean to criticize people who paint or buy these pictures. I just want to ask them wots the deal?
The world may have moved ahead, the adoption of culture from the west to the east may have legalized painting & selling of Nudes in India & women may have become more outrageous & comfortable with their body. There may be a culture of bold sex of various kinds (lets not get into that. my previous posts hv already spoken abt it) & there may be a hell lot of sex workers now paying income tax.. Soo??
But still, There is nothing that beats the glimpse of a partially naked woman. The thought of imagining her entirely naked thereafter is an extremely enticing one. Semi-nude is the word. According to the article there were artists in the old era who had devoted themselves to painting the bathing women?? what a profession? If someone asked them what do you do? he would reply i am an artist, i paint only naked women, especially those who have just come out of a bath.. :) Hilarious. Their work of art was called The Bath series. With all due respect, and with all the open mindedness, its still pretty amusing...
Academic realism is almost practiced everywhere today. In fact what is practiced extends even beyond that.. The kingfisher calender would be nothing else but a nuance of academic realism.. Its almost playing with the viewers imaginative power.. Actually any human being with a radar like equipment would need no imaginative power to see whats beyond the visible, in this case!!
So my questing again.. whats the deal with the painting??
Guess it all boils down to the hyped protuberance on the woman's body.. They are where the men are born .. & they are where they would die.. :D
Do i have any replies here, men?