Purveyor of Bollocks to the Crowned Heads of Europe
Monday, 24 November 2014
Does my arse look big on this?
I recently sold this little, African wood sculpture for about 10 times more than I paid for it, and now I miss it. I don't normally like 'ethnic' art, but this bit is rather fetching, don't you think?
The only slightly disturbing thing about it is that - from the waist down - it tended to put me in mind of Kim Kardashian every now and then.
I used to go out with a girl who had similar attributes to this Venus, and I can honestly say that one could have rested a book below her back to read it. I know this for a fact because I once did. It was not 'War and Peace', though, and I did not get much reading done.
The other slightly disturbing thing about it is the missing head, arms and legs.
Although these omissions could be misunderstood as disrespect, I know - as a sculptor - it would be an entirely different thing (I was about to say 'object', but that word is too charged in this context as well) to what it is now, and just wouldn't work as a piece of sculpture as it does.
I know that I have already said how - when assisting a sculptor in making a classical figure of Apollo - we experimented with putting a normal-sized penis on the figure, and this was a disaster which was easily rectified by whittling it down to juvenile proportions, as all the Greek and Roman sculptors did. If we had begun the other way round, this would not have been possible.
The trouble was that it was deeply off-putting to have a normal willy on it, and one's eye was immediately drawn to that region at the expense of the rest of the anatomical carving. This is the sole reason why the classical sculptors gave them diminutive tackle, and this in itself was an extremely valuable lesson to learn.
Cro has already pointed out that it is - somehow - better to have over-size hands and feet on a classical figure, so what you lose in the trouser-department can be made up for in other extremities.
The Victorians liked large backsides, but detested big hands and feet on all but agricultural workers.
If you paint large hands on agricultural workers, remember that they must also be red.