The Georgia Straight (June 10-17 2010 issue) Titillates

2 reasons the newest issue of The Straight titillated me into writing this post:

  1. An amazing photo
  2. A revealing article


The Contents page is capped by a pretty amazing photo (“Runner’s Splash”) by Dave Bryson.
"Runner's Splash" by Dave Bryson in The Georgia Straight (June 10-17 issue)

Looks like he’s a professional wedding photographer whose got an excellent eye and superb technical skill – check his site out at


The Modern Woman, the newest exhibit at the Vancouver Art Gallery, is reviewed in this new issue of the Straight.
Jean-Louis Forain's "Young Woman Standing On A Balcony Contemplating The Paris Rooftops" in Robin Laurence's article, "Modern Woman exposes a disquieting inequity" in The Georgia Straight June 10-17 2010

I’m shocked to read that the exhibit is not, as I presumed, of works by women. It is of works by men of women. And (as noted by the article’s author, Robin Laurence) by men, such as Renoir, who said “I paint with my prick” and Degas, who wanted to view women “as if he were looking at them ‘through a keyhole.'”

Hmpgh. Now I understand why this exhibit is being labeled “controversial.”

When I first heard that description of the exhibit, I immediately thought, “Oh, there goes reactionary Vancouverities again – the show is probably full of women painting their vaginas or of women placing themselves in “men’s roles.’ Ooooh – time for everyone to freak out because we can’t handle anything more expressive than some painterly brushstrokes on a landscape.”

But no, it actually is controversial – I’d go so far as to say upsetting – because the exhibit’s title suggests that viewers will be treated to the work of female artists.

I must note, though, to Laurence – you write, “It’s disconcerting to see how many drawings here… obscure or avert the faces of their naked female subjects.” I’d like to offer my artist’s perspective on that:

Though many people may not want to accept the idea – it’s really fucking difficult to capture a person’s face properly. Even if the artist is not concerned about exact likeness, it is still terribly difficult to capture correct perspective and placement of the elements of the face.

The face, the hands, the feet. These are the bane of every artist.

So I offer this: as talented as Rodin, Degas, or Bonnard may have been, perhaps they chose to “obscure or avert” their model’s faces out of simple laziness. Once they got the body right, they would rather move on to another pose than hammer out the damn complexities of the face. Perhaps they were not consciously disrespecting the faces of their models.


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