Sunday, May 5, 2013


day 2, thursday: educate us on something you know a lot about or are good at. 

um.. hm hm hmm... there are two things that i am most passionate about (other than my man and my religion): art history and women's studies. so, i'll tell you about a painting that i wrote 10 pages on last semester, and it deals a lot with feminism.

may i present to you, The Tub (1886) by Degas.

>>"Edgar Degas, born in Paris in 1834, would become one of the most noted impressionist artists of his time. Throughout his eighty-three years of life, he made dozens of paintings of middle-class Parisian women. Today, he is most remembered for his paintings of elegant ballet dancers. With thick, quick brush-strokes and heavy impasto, his ballerina paintings are famous for being full of graceful figures and fluid movement. However, there is another large series of Degas’ art that is less popular, but just as vast (and more controversial), and that is of female nudes in private places. He painted several paintings with the same subject matter, over and over, of which were typically nude women doing trivial things that are generally meant for private spaces, such as women bathing, drying off, or combing their hair."
>>"This painting depicts a young girl bathing in a shallow basin with very little water. One can presume that she is of middle or lower class, judging from the condition of the room and the bath, along with the modest belongings she has on the table next to her. She crouches in the tub and uses a sponge to help rinse the back of her neck, perhaps trying to conserve the small amount of water she has available. Painted from the perspective of one standing in the room, next to the tub, the viewer gets the feeling of standing over her, in the same room, watching her as she performs this intimate task. One cannot see her face, as she does not face the viewer. But one can see her backside, the side of her breast, and her bare legs. She is exposed, and she is vulnerable."
>>"The main question is this: Should Edgar Degas’ depictions of nude women in private spaces be considered exploitive toward the female body? Why or why not? One must ask at which point the subject matter of Degas’ female nudes becomes less about a serious study of the female form and more about capitalizing on sexual elements."
>>"I would argue that the peculiar paintings of women bathing, specifically The Tub (1886) by Degas is, indeed, exploitive, objectifying, and disempowering. Though there are more than one painting by Degas in 1886, titled The Tub, which are all very similar, I will be focusing on the one described above because it happens to be one of the better known pieces in what could be called Degas’ “women bathing series.”"
>>"The Tub has been considered a controversy from the start. In the year the painting was exhibited, Degas was accused of misogyny for the first time.[10] In her book, Looking into Degas: Uneasy images of women and modern life (1986), Eunice Lipton claims that “Degas’ images embody this confusion, his most blatant treatment of the subject is in his milliner and bather images”.[11] It is recorded that Gustave Geffroy, a writer and critic who died in 1926, commented of The Tub:
It is indeed Woman depicted in these six poses, but woman without facial expression, without eyes, stripped of the illusionistic decoration of her toilette, woman reduced to the gestures of her limbs, to the appearance of her body, woman considered female, expressed in her animality alone, as if this were a zoological treatise requiring superior illustration.[12]

The terms “animality” and “zoological,” connote an extreme objectification and dehumanization of women. Geffroy’s was not the only appalled critic of Degas’ 1886 exhibit.[13] Still today, the same points are argued today—was Degas’ The Tub an avante-guarde and brilliant exploration of female anatomy, or was it a disturbing and degrading intrusion upon the private space of women? Either way, I would argue that the treatment of women in Degas’ The Tub, whether professional or not, is an experiment with the portrayal of women, and in that way it is an exploiting factor."
>>"The angle at which the scene is portrayed further adds to the exploitive nature of the painting. The angle at which we view the woman would suggest we are in the room with her, standing over her and watching her. However, the woman shows no sign of acknowledging the viewer, which suggests that she is unaware of her observer. It is as if she is under the impression that she baths in private. We enter her space uninvited and unannounced. Instead of Degas’ previous paintings of women in brothels, where the women are facing the viewer and with no shame, the figure in The Tub is turned away; her face blocked from view. The figure does not welcome an audience—we intrude upon her, spying on her. Therefore, our presence in the painting is inappropriate. We are put in the position of a “Peeping Tom.” In fact, in the book Degas by Degas (1990) (part of a series titled Artists by Themselves), edited by Rachel Barnes, it is reported that Degas said in reference to one of his paintings of a nude women drying her feet, “It is as if you looked through the keyhole.”[15] This act of “peeping” attracts individuals with deviant behaviors. That Degas would specifically use this phrase to describe his painting implies an intent to appeal to a type of perverse behavior.""
>>"Furthermore, by hiding the face of the woman, she is denied an identity, and therefore Degas is objectifying her. In the book Degas, Images of Women (1989), it is asserted, “By repeatedly depicting the models from the back, the artist not only drew attention away from their personalities but also from their sexuality.”[19] However, without her confronting us, she is denied any control of how we perceive her. We, as viewers, are not allowed to see her face and meet her character. We are only meant to look at her body. With no apparent personality, her body is solely an object. With no available sign of her individual presence, we are only left with her sexual presence."

hope you weren't too bored by reading that.

day 3, friday: things that make you uncomfortable.

honestly, not much makes me uncomfortable.. but i'll try to think of things.

>>fake laughs
>>meeting people for the first time
>>raw meat
>>math or science

day 4: saturday: favorite quote.

iiii can't think of anything. i have soooo many favorite quotes, i don't want to limit myself. but here's my favorite scripture! (not that i don't have very many favorite scriptures, haha. but this one has stuck with me for years.)

>>10 Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.

day 5, sunday: publicly profess your love and devotion for one of your blogger friends. what makes them great? why do you love them?

oh this is easy. BECCAMARIEDESIGNS.BLOGSPOT.COM. becky is my older sister, and she is my mentor. she is so easy to look up to. she was always the angel of the family - i don't think she's ever said a spiteful word in her life! she is such a talented artist, with the most lovely, creative ideas. she is a mother of two, a part time student, and a business woman. she cooks delicious food, is a natural photographer, and is a really fun blogger. she also is very service oriented. since i started college she has been one of my best friends and been there to listen to me and advise me every day for the last four years. i aspire to be more like her.

>> there! i'm all caught up! oh, and p.s.:

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