Wednesday, February 21, 2024
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Talking bodies

Many art work implicate lust, desire, and want. Jean-Honore Fragonard’s painting “The Swing” perfectly exemplifies sexual tension, lust, want, temptation, and voyeurism. In this 18th century masterpiece, an older man pushes a young woman on a swing while a young man hides in the bushes below to catch a glimpse up her skirt as she swings.

The temptation that fills this painting is like no other, the love triangle between the subjects creates suspense. The young woman, supposedly a mistress, lifts her legs as she swings, as she knows about the lurker in the bush. She feeds the temptation of the young man, but carries on to take the affection of another. Some argue that “The Swing” is Fragonard’s best work.

Today in the 21st century, the styles and subject matter may have changed, but the same themes prevail in art. Yves Klein created Blue Women Artthrough many of his performances.  He asked nude women to be his subject matter, and had them to cover themselves in his patent Yves Klein Blue paint. He loved blue as a colour, but it was more than that: it was a form.

After the women were fully coated in blue paint, they went behind a screen and began pressing themselves onto a canvas. As their bodies touched, they left imprints of their blue body parts. A light shined behind the models so the viewers could see the shadows of the women creating the work. Klein made this work an experience, adding string music playing as the women continued to create the work.  The women were his paintbrushes: he guided them to where the markings should be on the screen. The women were instructed to touch one another, and to help make the painting become his masterpiece. In both works by Fragonard and Klein emerges one common theme: passion. Without passion, neither work could create the sexual charge present.

On, you, too, can replicate the body work of Yves Klein with the “Love is Art Canvas and Paint Kit: Abstract Art through Intimacy”—for the low price of $59. It includes the canvas, washable paint, and disposable slippers. It instructs you and a lover to put the canvas on the floor, lather up in paint and spend some quality time with each other. The kit comes with only one colour, so if you’re feeling a little more colour-happy, stop by at a DeSerres and ask for some nontoxic washable paint.

Getting hot and heavy with your partner could lead to some interesting abstract expressionistic markings on the canvas. Earlier this year, Lady Gaga and her partner had sex on a canvas, and she expressed the feeling of freedom and intimacy that came along with it. Not to worry, you don’t have to be an expert art maker when it comes to this, the motions and movements of your body will do the work for you.




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