Do you remember this painting, from Mona Lisa Smile?
|Carcass, 1925. Chaim Soutine. Albright-Knox Museum.|
I remember being slightly annoyed the first time I watched this show (2003ish). Whyyyy did she have to pick the most grotesque and darkly modern canvas possible to rouse her students? It's like, half a degree away from Francis Bacon's triptychs (the only art that has ever made me physically ill)! Stuff like this is exactly what scares people away from modern art!
No one who has ever purchased a fresh cut of steak fails to see something alluring, entrancing even, in the curling swathes of muscle, and I think that was the mindframe Soutine started out with when he selected this strange but arresting subject.
I get it! I'm growing up! Withhold judgment for two minutes and you learn a lot of things!
|Can't get over the blues. Yum.|
His 1925 Carcass canvas was actually modeled after a Rembrandt van Rijn painting from three centuries earlier, which he studied in the Louvre:
|Carcass of Beef (Flayed Ox), 1655. Rembrandt. The Louvre, Paris.|
Thank goodness I have movies, and life, to teach me, year by year, the art of slowing down and withholding judgment for just a second so that I might discover some history, motive, or beauty in the actions of others that I would have passed by in earlier years.
This morning I burned through my snowday by watching Forrest Gump on TV. Now, I know this movie is 19 years old (1994!!!), and my thoughts on it are a little late, but I had a totally different experience watching this movie as an adult that I wanted to share. I got a bunch of its historical jokes that flew over my head as a nine year old, and found myself in more sympathy with Jenny Curran than I ever have before.
I remember being incensed at the movie's portrayal of drugs and nudity throughout Jenny's story. I was raised, as most of you know, in a Mormon home, with loving parents, surrounded by a firm, all-encompassing moral code. I did NOT think most of her story was appropriate to show in a movie. I thought her story was just Hollywood doing what it does best; tantalizing.
In my 20s, I have learned that promiscuity, drugs and alcohol, physical abuse, and manipulation are not just things I see on TV. I have had to make choices regarding my encounters with most of these things myself, and many of them have entered the lives of those I love. They are an inescapable part of reality, but, like Jenny learns, they can be overcome and resisted, through soul-searching, repentance forgiveness, and most importantly, love. True, there will be inescapable consequences to wrong choices, and it takes bravery to face one's demons, but that doesn't mean one should stop making choices or withhold love. I liked that the movie ended with a focus on family, and love, which is what Jenny, and everyone, deserves. I'm thankful for the Forrest Gumps of the world who will boldly state, "I'm a simple man, but I know what love is," "He should not be hurting you, Jenny," and "I will take care of you," to their Jennys.