“We went to see a retrospective of Gustav Klimt and Egon Schiele’s original paintings at the Belvedere.” —theloversblog
I wonder if they saw the originals of these. I don’t love every Klimt in the world, but these two have been hanging on my walls for a million years. I don’t know why, but I get kind of a strange feeling when I find out I like the same art as the celebs I blog about.
More awesomeness by Harry Clarke (1889-1931). This is an illustration from one of Poe’s stories, but it could almost pass for a picture of an Incubus, no?
Today’s conversation about Baelyn Neff has reminded me of a lesson I once learned from my favorite short story: Charming, by Hans Christian Andersen. (It’s not a fairy tale - he wrote regular stories too.) It’s about a sculptor who falls in love with a very beautiful girl named Kala, but after they’re married he realizes she doesn’t have a whole lot going on upstairs. A friend of hers named Sophie comes to visit, who isn’t very attractive at all, but is very bright and witty. Kala eventually dies, and the sculptor ends up marrying Sophie. One day he says to her (I’m paraphrasing), “I can’t believe I wasted all that time with Kala, who was very beautiful, but had no substance. I’m so much happier now with you.” To which Sophie replies (I’m paraphrasing again), “You shouldn’t say that about Kala because she’s in heaven now…” - (let me just say that I don’t believe in heaven, but you don’t have to in order to appreciate this story) - “She’s in heaven now, and heaven is the place where your soul unfolds and becomes all it was meant to be, and now that she’s freed from the encumbrances of earthly existence, it’s quite possible she’s one of the most spectacular people up there.”
There are a couple of different reasons why I like this story so much. Here’s one of them. I was raised by very nice people who taught me not to judge others on the basis of their looks. I thought I was pretty enlightened on that score, but this story took it one step further and taught me that you should never judge anyone at all. Even the people you know very well (or think you do) can surprise you sometimes. So if my posts about Baelyn or anyone else ever get too snobby or critical, you’re invited to get right up in my ask and chew me out about it. Deal?
A quick word now about the illustration. I’ve always been a fan of this artist, Harry Clarke, and of art nouveau in general. Clarke did a lot of illustrations for Andersen’s stories, although this picture, I think, is an illustration from Faust. Clarke’s work is often compared to that of Aubrey Beardsley, of whom Brandon Boyd is a hard-core devotee (so much so that he’s got the guy tattooed on his wrist). Just goes to show that even right-brainers (like Brandon), and left-brainers (like me), can think alike. Another lesson learned.
Who knew that Jose Pasillas is into Alphonse Mucha? These are just a few of what’s on my walls.
This is off-topic, but I can relate it to Incubus if you bear with me for a second. This is a video of the hottest ballet in history, a little Art Nouveau number called Afternoon of a Faun. Though slightly abridged, and with poor picture quality, this video is the real thing, not the lame knockoff I just got back from seeing today. I mean, it was very nice, but not nearly as erotic as Vaslav Nijinsky’s original version, which pretty much rocked everyone’s world when it was first presented back in 1912. The music alone was considered obscene. No tutus, no pointe shoes, no fairy princesses, no swans, no Tchaikovsky. Just a young male animal experiencing his first sexual awakening and enjoying every awkward moment of it.
So I’m posting this video of Rudolf Nureyev in the original version of Afternoon of a Faun (music by Claude Debussy) as a way of venting my frustration with the fact that the ballet company in this town only seems to acknowledge the existence of a small handful of choreographers. Jeez, how much Balanchine, Robbins, and Tharp does one person need to see in a lifetime?
As for the Incubus connection, it’s a bit of a stretch, but the guy who first produced Afternoon of a Faun was a Russian impresario named Sergei Diaghilev, who was a huge fan of the artist Aubrey Beardsley. So is Brandon Boyd: