Sunday, November 13, 2011

Masterpiece or messed up?

by Alejandra Zapata

I am, in general, not a fan of remakes. King Kong, Miracle on 34 the St., just to name a few.
This remake is an exception in my book.
Consider, for a moment the atmosphere in the art world in 1863 when the Salon rejected Edouard Manet's painting Le Dejeuner sur l'herbe (Luncheon on the grass).

This painting was what we would call edgy, provocative and to some offensive at the time.
The shocking nature of this work was that it followed none of the "rules" of the time. The subject of the painting was rather ambiguous. It did not seem to include a religious, historical or mythological subject. The modeling of the details was simple. This was seen as a lazy move or lack of talent. When it was exhibited in the Salon de Refuses as "Le Bain" it met mixed reviews.
One critic wrote, “Not one detail has attained its exact and final form… I see garments without feeling the anatomical structure which supports them and explains their movements… What else do I see? The artist’s lack of conviction and sincerity”
My point is that the above photograph took considerable effort to stage properly without being too literal yet still recognizable as a reconstruction. The photography skill gives it even more credence. It adds to the experience an edginess that no Manet redux would be complete without.
I think is is a very well done work of art given the skill level incorporated and the full understanding of the original. Bravo, Alejandra!
What do you think?

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