As humans we have such a tortured relationship with our bodies that it frequently takes artists to remind us of how beautiful the human body can be whether it is big small, male or female. I recently experienced a wonderful exhibition called “Nude” at the Art Gallery of NSW.
The introduction states
” The art of the nude is fascinating because it shows the body reveled. It also fascinates because it reveals something about us …it gets us thinking about big questions at the heart of who we are today: questions about beauty, desire, truth mortality, equality and power.” It certainly got me pondering all of the above.
When my friend Lynn suggested the visit I leapt at the chance to see the classical sculpture of the kiss (le baiser ) by Auguste Rodin which I had missed out on during my recent visit to Paris due to renovations at the museum.
Could there be a finer sculpture of the male and female bodies who are linked in a tender first kiss before the full force of passion kicks in?It is so very human and so truly exquisite because (to me) although it is created from the solid earth element, it seems to flow like water depending upon which angle you are looking from. I can’t help but wonder how did the kiss start-although it’s pretty clear where it’s going to end! The artist took for his inspiration the karmically fated lovers , Paolo and Francesca from Dante’s Inferno. That’s not what I feel when I look at the magnificent artwork, but instead focus on the powerful act of transformation that constitues love. The same transformative power is also evident in the beautiful painting by Picasso of himself and his wife as his face morphs into hers and she turns into a dove. My other favourite is the portrait of Modligliani’s wife by the artist. You can feel the love he has for her in the softness of the portrait.
What a wonderful way to end a brief visit to Sydney! Later, while reflecting on the exhibition, I thought of my friends both near and far and what it is I love about them. I cherish and appreciate them not only for their physical beauty but also the beauty of their hearts and spirits.
Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and Holidays to you, my wonderful