Thursday, February 9, 2012

Men Painting Manly things : Women's Edition

Posted by: Dave

I still haven't seen enough of a change since my last posting so once again I have to confront the pressing concern of the lack of manliness in contemporary art. In this particular installment, I will be addressing the depiction of women in paintings. I know a lot of people think women always have to look feminine, but as far as my ignorance is concerned, "feminine" is still a kind of metal on the periodic table. I was doing a lot of research recently on Wikipedia and stumbled upon some amazing statistics. Did you know that women can do more than lie around naked in bed all day wearing sheer negligee and fawn over themselves in a mirror? I found out that woman can actually become doctors, soldiers, lawyers, vikings, and even astronauts. Shocking, I know. This post looks at women doing (wo)manly things in painting.

I will use the scale above to rate the following works out of 10. Just so you can get an idea of how the scale works, let's use Bouguereau's paintings as the gauge for wussy and Charles Bronson as the gauge for manliness. Something like beef jerky would be somewhere around a 7 and scrap-booking would be around a 2.

Harold Piffard's "Joan of Arc" proves to us some woman can fight by doing more than just pulling hair and scratching. Try gouging out eyes with thumbs and disemboweling with a halberd. According to Spike's "Deadliest Warrior", Joan of Arc would have even been able to defeat the Duke of Normandy on a one on one battle, and as we all know, Spike is never wrong. Rating 10

If Ilya Repin's Tsarevna Sophia Alexeevna walked into a Bouguereau painting, she would kick the crap out of some prissy peasant, steal her giant ceramic jug, fill it with whiskey, chug it, then smash it on a rock. She has the best "piss me off and I'll break you" expression I have ever seen. Visible outside of the window, the viewer can she has had her opposition hung to death. They probably recommended she wear a sheer outfit. Rating 10

Ok, I know what you are all saying, "but Dave, she is half-naked, weren't you just complaining about that, wah?" Wrong. Woman are allowed to be depicted half-naked in paintings as long as their back looks like a bag of potatoes, and she is in a fight to the death with a demon. Enough said. Leave it up to Frank Frazetta to save art again. Rating 10


  1. My wife scrap-books, and there is usually a lot of blood and swearing, so you might want to re-consider your evaluation of that activity's manliness.

  2. .....Never. Any hobby that comes from Micheal's is wussy.

  3. There's narrative art and there's rendering stuff... what kind of man just renders stuff?? Man up homie!

  4. Awesomely entertaining post as always, David! However I feel the need to point out that your submission for the Joan of Arc painting seems (to me at least) to be closer on the Wussy side of your own scale. Might I suggest a more (Wo)Manly version? Have you by chance seen Donato Giancola's Joan of Arc? Now that is a woman kicking ass and taking names (and looking HOT while doing it)! Surely she would be much closer to the Bronson end, don't you think?

    1. Thanks for pointing us to that great painting.

  5. I agree with you there Lagoarthur. I actually wanted to use that one and the Rancor painting by Martinez but I didn't get permission for use of their images first. I try to be careful about that. I actually just bought Donato's video so maybe I will do a post on that at some point.

  6. The Rancor painting is actually property of Lucasfilm, and I don't want to piss old George off.

  7. No need to get sassy Mike (see what I did there). I know the illustrators are kicking my ass in terms of manly subject matter. I am so ashamed. On that note, The Art Department (TAD) is having a huge sale on DVD's, including Donato's, Manchess, and Manly's. I picked up a bunch for only 7 bucks a pop to home my narrative skills further. My next project will be my first attempt as a more ambitious narrative work.

  8. David, take your shame and go Hulk mode... smash your cast paintings and be reborn as SUPERDAVEHULK!!!!

    I was going to ask if you guys wanted to come to Illuxcon. Maybe the next step in your development...?