Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Happy Birthday Gustav Courbet

He would have been 194 yesterday.  I miss him already.

Gustav Courbet.  Dog!  This is the guy who painted the single dirtiest painting in the history of mainstream western art (at least amongst really famous guys).  Called The Origin of the World, it's just a big hairy crotch shot of a woman.  The Wikipedia page for the painting is here.  Do NOT open it at work!

When they had the Courbet retrospective at the Met a couple of years ago they had to erect a false wall in the gallery and hang the painting on the other side of it.  Kids weren't allowed in.

Me?  The man has his detractors but I'm a big fan.  He painted this ...

And I painted this, with help from my friend Richard Kessler ...

The original started out as a painting of two people -- Courbet and his girlfriend, snuggling under a tree.  She dumped him half way through, so he painted his cloak over her and added some blood on his shirt.  Voila:  The Wounded Man.

191 years later, I visit his show at the Met, go home and voila:  The Wounded Man.

The camel spits; the caravan moves on.


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