Friday, March 27, 2015

Well, That's Awkward

 Copyright © Edward Riojas

I take art seriously – most of the time. There are occasions, however, when I refrain from jealously guarding my craft, put down all the pointed art tools, and allow silliness to reign for a while. It’s healthier that way.

I’ve gathered for consideration ten paintings that, for one reason or another, are bound to make the viewer a tad uncomfortable. I could have added more examples. I mean, how many blobby Rubens gals does one need to view before blushing? How many objects does Hieronymous Bosch need to pull out from where the sun doesn’t shine before we start feeling embarrassed over his reckless imagination. You get the picture.

Because there isn’t always a lot of background on some of these works, I thought I would fill in the historical blanks and simply make it up.
"American Gothic," Grant Wood. 1930.
Let’s start with everyone’s favorite uncomfortable double-portrait, “American Gothic,” by Grant Wood. 1930. It’s like we just walked into someone’s heated argument, iced over with a flatulence problem. “That was NOT me this time.”

"Brawl," Georges de La Tour. c. 1630
“Brawl,” by Georges de La Tour. c. 1630. Ugh! Who ARE these creepy people, and who invited them to this painting?! And what’s up with the lady?! Too many questions.

"Peasant Wedding Dance," Pieter Brueghel the Younger. 1607.
“Peasant Wedding Dance,” by Pieter Brueghel the Younger. 1607. Really Pete?  Go get the garden hose already.

"The Ill-Matched Couple," Lucas Cranach the Elder. c. 1522.
“The Ill-Matched Couple,” by Lucas Cranach the Elder. c. 1522.   Ewww! Pleasedon’tFrenchpleasedon’tFrenchplease...!

"The Surgeon," Jan Sanders van Hemessen. 1555.
“The Surgeon,” by Jan Sanders van Hemessen. 1555. Like we really want to stumble into a quack’s O.R. and see the beginnings of a malpractice suit. “You DID remember to wash your hands, didn’t you?”

"The Peaceable Kingdom," Edward Hicks. 1826.
“The Peaceable Kingdom,” by Edward Hicks. 1826. Sure, the kid is born with one brown leg and you make him sit next to the worst taxidermy fail ever.

"Woman III," Willem De Kooning. c. 1952.
“Woman III,” by Willem De Kooning. c. 1952. This is where most folks bring up the subject of anything else.

"Judith Beheading Holofernes," Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio. c. 1599.
“Judith Beheading Holofernes,” by Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio. c. 1599. It’s all fun and games until someone gets a close shave.

"Melun Diptych," Jean Fouquet. c. 1450.
“Melun Diptych: Virgin and Child Surrounded by Angels,” by Jean Fouquet. c. 1450. Wardrobe fail. No wonder the angels are blushing.

"The Ugly Duchess," Quentin Matsys. c. 1513.
“The Ugly Duchess,” by Quentin Matsys. c. 1513. This is so wrong on so many levels. ... Uh, where can I get a print of this?

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