Thursday, May 14, 2009
Beauty is in The Eye of the Beholder
Robert Colescott was born in 1925 in Oakland California. This painting was done in 1979, it currently graces the lobby of the Portland Art Museum with four other highly provocative pieces by Colescott. The title of the painting, also the title of this post, is written on a little piece of paper at the bottom left, and in the painter's eye is you, the viewer. The painting within the painting is a reference to The Dance by Matisse.
Matisse's piece is Fauvist, primative, and was done in 1910. Colescott uses irony to expose his personal narratives. Take the half nude white woman as she dresses, with her stockings and her black bra. All her parts hanging out, in her red high heels and her dyed blonde hair. She too, is in the eye of the artist, the one who beholds you as you behold him, and all this to expose some beauty in the world....to make me ask myself what beauty is.
These paintings grab you, shake you out of your thoughts, beckon you to get closer, then open up like that long black coat on a flasher in the park that you'll never forget.