Thursday, April 16, 2009

Manet's Olympia 1863

I got my vision back, there might be a few figurative obstructions in the way but I can see past them now.  I love contacts.  For the period of time that I was glasses only I had the strangest feeling of vulnerability.  During the modeling sessions I had to take the glasses off.  I was stared at but could not stare back.  I couldn't even make eye contact with the people who were painting me.  They were blurs in my vision.

In college I studied Feminist Theory and International Relations Theory.  There's a power in the ability to observe and learn.  Most men hate being stared at or seen as an object of another man.  Women are used to it.  I say most men.  For those male art models out there, I am so proud of you.  I wish there were more of you.  But for the majority of men, they feel degraded when someone stares at them.  They are uncomfortable with being an object of a gaze. 

When Olympia was exhibited for the first time there was an uproar.  A naked woman dares to stare back at me?  Wow.  And for that very reason I love it.  A naked woman with power; a hundred years later it still sounds revolutionary. 

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