Homosexuality doesn't seem to have been acknowledged in epic culture, at least there is no evidence for it in Homer, but this vase was made for a 5th C clientele for whom homosexuality was widely accepted. So here Achilles has been translated from a robust warrior into a lissom youth. If you follow his glance … Continue reading Achilles and Patroklus.
Here is Hermes with a satyr and deer. He is the go-to god for Facebook ( and my favourite) as he is god of communication, change and all forms of exchange and transition. Hermes (best boots, probably gilded leather - solid gold not ideal for flying) is enjoying a role play. He holds the wine … Continue reading The Berlin painter in satirical mood.
Amazon wearing petticoat under leather armour. Andokides 525 BCE . Alexander McQueen Fall/Winter collection 2003. Amazons were usually thought of as a race of ferocious female warriors. Here the artist has given them sweet expressions and great legs. Because the black gloss hasn't adhered properly we can see the initial drawing underneath. The one on … Continue reading Andokides, Amazons, Alexander McQueen
Most Cycladic goddesses/warriors are straight with not a child bearing hip between them. This cheery little guy, about 7 inches high was made by a maverick genius somewhere between 2800-2300. The back is subtly undulating and every angle tips away from the expected so the whole thing has a wonderful fluid dynamic. A little beauty. … Continue reading Cycladic and Bronze Age Genius.
I confess I find abstract art often the most difficult to respond to. I can be left cold, disappointed, or just baffled. Happily, Sally Cole’s work has the opposite effect: I find it moving and absorbing. She has a rich language of mark-making which is sophisticated, versatile and characterised by very different energetic qualities. Sometimes … Continue reading Internal Landscapes by Sally Cole.
Butoh is an art form which is at the same time instantly recognisable, but extremely elusive of description or definition. Like the paintings of Francis Bacon, the way one is brought in contact with the force of reality comes from an aesthetic which is a tightrope walk between horror and beauty, one which you often … Continue reading A Brush With Violence. Ghosts, Hamlet and The Art of Butoh.
If you had to invent a god of art, you could scarcely do better than the Greeks did in creating Hephaistos. It’s easy to identify with his story. He is Hera, the Queen of Heaven’s attempt at procreation without Zeus. Seeing a baby disabled, his feet facing the wrong way, she casts him out of … Continue reading Art and Alchemy