Messages of the Erotic Kind

Artist: Edouard Manet | Olympai

Artist: Edouard Manet | Olympai

The titular prostitute in Manet’s Olympia covers her genitals – but the flower in her hair and the bouquet on the left stand in for what she covers.

Artist: Glyn Philpoht | Apres-Midi Tunisien

Artist: Glyn Philpoht | Apres-Midi Tunisien

In the woozy Orientalist fantasy of Guy Philpot’s Après-midi Tunisien, the flowers signal the sexual availability of the two men to each other.

Flowers could symbolize sexual availability for both men and women. I think we need to bring this beautiful yet subtle way of messaging one another into the 21st century. This garden of earthly delights deserves to be revived. -tM

Paintings & Provocations

Artist: Balthus | Thérese Dreaming, 1938

Artist: Balthus | Thérese Dreaming, 1938

I find this painting enchanting and restorative. I do not understand the controversy around this piece as being disturbing and offensive. There is nothing salacious about it in my view.

I understand all art is subjective and that we cast onto it our own personal gaze of experience, however, to have such a piece censored from show, points to a sad state of affairs in our creative world. Is our culture so terrified of sexually awakened girls, of the interior lives of youth, or perhaps it is ourselves that we fear the most?

All I know is that this painting reminds me of what it means to fall into oneself, to shut out the world in daydream.

So if museums need to warn people of arts content on plaques before entering, so be it, because she is too beautiful not to be seen up close and in person. -tM


Artist: Martin Johnson Heade | The Orchids Nesting Hummingbirds and a Butterfly

I am completely taken in my this particular painting. I get lost in its many dream like layers. There is something incredibly fantastical about the way Mr. Heade paints light into his pieces. His paintings are moody and specifically reminiscent of lands far away yet familiar in beauty.

If only I could own one of his magical pieces, I would sit in front of it for hours on end and move through its layers of paradise joyfully.

I hope you take the time to enjoy any view you may have this weekend also. -tM