Spatial visualization ability is one of the necessary (but not sufficient, in math terms) talent components. And one of the reasons men get to be creative (here, a careless writer might be tempted to add “more than women”, only to get ravaged by feminist critique) is their high testosterone level, that somehow links up to their increased spatial ability.
Even the most creative men may not be aware of this fact (proven by a test with testosterone injections into lab rats against a control sample of their castrated male comrades), but they have a gut feeling they need more of the hormone. That’s why male artists are so much into the whole muse thing. Guys, muses don’t provide divine inspiration: they raise very secular testosterone levels.
It’s not surprising then that many male artists have been notoriously famous for bedding and occasionally even marrying their models. Many of those artists would ultimately re-marry other models, but what would you expect from a male chauvinist bastard driven by his subconscious craving for more testosterone? Forgive him, for he was motivated by a noble purpose: the need to better rotate 3D objects in his mind, to make more of his great art.
Ms Venus, whom I recently interviewed in this blog, believes the nude genre has been largely defined and informed by hormones. But then, even though she is a goddess, she never said she was omnipresent and omnipotent, so her opinion is open to debate.
We didn’t cover German expressionism with her, for the very obvious reason: Ms Venus agrees to model for artists concerned with the ideal beauty concept but not the ones interested in creating stimuli for mental masturbation. She loves playing with scandal, but hates being a part of one.
And what a scandal it was! Imagine the beginning of the past century, when women couldn’t yet vote, Picasso had just slapped the public cheek with his Avignon girls, and Harem Pants were testing the limits of societal decency:
German artists were the Pussy Riots of the time with this:
There were four of them, initially, untrained university drop-outs with a mission to reinvent art by rejecting traditional values. And only two of them (Kirchner and Heckel) went revolutionary about the female body.
It was criminally radical. One of the group, Fritz Bleyl, designed a poster for the first group show that featured a very modest nude.
This excellent graphic work was still banned by the police.
Ironically, their “new values” would become traditional and then outdated in less than a decade. I wish there was a woman among them, though. If a painting similar to the ones above was made by a woman, she would be proclaimed the greatest and the bravest female artist. Alas, they were all men.
These four Germans started painting nudes with their legs spread wide open, and vaginas exposed in no uncertain terms (Egon Schiele would break the last taboos a few years later).
At their early, pre-war, years, they preferred blues, greens, oranges, and reds, and loved crowning their models with fashionable hats or bows. For a time, their art wasn’t passionate and dark, it was…irreverent and cheerful.
While the innovative value of their art is as obvious as its scandalous character, the big question is, are these nudes any good outside of art history context?
Think about it. I’ll make a close-up on this lady over the weekend.
In the meantime, you can read what the curators have to say about it (not that it helps to understand anything):
Oh, and one more thing: why would they leave the hat on?
PS I am sorry to have told you about the castrated male rats, but if you thought neuroscience is just about harmless brain scans, and IQ tests, you were very wrong.