Blondes have more fun. . .

Birth of Venus – aka “what guys go for and thus what women pay for”

Here we go on the ideal of beauty, the goddess divine and yep, you guessed it she’s a blonde! She rises from the sea in all her Renaissance glory – hair wafting in the breeze, like a Vogue magazine cover.  Her skin a pearly, white alabaster, mildly awaiting her silk robe in a lovely rose-pink.  And like all great models, she’s seven feet tall. The painting is breathtakingly perfect, luminous and luscious in details.  And many, many minions in Botticelli’s studio worked very hard to make it so.

Ms. Beauty pageant  has a problem though.  She’s off-balance.  The art people call it “contraposed” (in italian contrapposto.) She is “fixing to” slide right off that seashell due to the fact that her weight is too far to the right to sustain her stance. (Permit me to be nauseatingly metaphysical for one moment.)  The pursuit of beauty or perfection puts us off-balance.  Beauty’s very nature is un-human (she’s a goddess) and thus fleeting (see the wind.) I imagine her toppling into the sea, legs akimbo.  I’d pay to see that painting.   Fundamentally, this “perfection” is tenuous and very likely dangerous.

Despite my post-modern warning, the painting itself is gorgeous beyond words and you still just have to worship it. . . behind the plate of bullet proof plexiglass that is.  A very nice touch of irony.

Super size me

Botticelli, Sandro. Birth of Venus. c. 1482. Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence

Botticelli, Sandro. Birth of Venus. c. 1482. Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence

MOMA virgin

Self-Portrait with Cropped Hair Frida Kahlo (Mexican, 1907-1954)  1940. Oil on canvas, 15 3/4 x 11" (40 x 27.9 cm). Gift of Edgar Kaufmann, Jr. © 2011 Frida Kahlo / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / SOMAAP, Mexico

Self-Portrait with Cropped Hair Frida Kahlo, 1940, MOMA, New York

Been to alot of museums in my day, but today was a first for the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.  Dragged along my significant other who isn’t much into art, although I’m making progress.  Went straight for the fifth floor, not sure what I would find, but recognizing some big names that the SigO might tolerate.  Got the audio guide phone to help us out, in case we forgot our art history – Ha!

Walking through the first gallery I was taken again by Frieda Kahlo’s magnificent unibrow.  No wonder Diego Rivera left her (his exhibition is on the 1st floor).  Seriously though. . .we all try real hard to beautify and she just is sitting there unabashedly glorifying the unibrow.  My guess is she is  questioning the power beauty gives a person and then just flat out making you admire her big unibrow.  Ballsy!

Note to self: these were painted after her lover left. . .

Wandering through the galleries of picture snapping people, I was not prepared for major works by the heavy hitters that I had only seen in books.  If you like the impressionists and post impressionists, you have to persevere and make it through to the end of the fifth floor galleries to hit the jackpot.  Several huge (20 ft or more) canvases of Monet’s waterlilies! Incredible.  They swallow you whole and make you gasp for air.

Definitely worth another visit. I will be coming back for more!