Artworks
Turkish Bath
0
Be the first to vote…
jtucker's picture

Contributor

Got a hankering for some tasty man meat? Well look no further, because Sylvia Sleigh has that one on lock.

This is Sleigh’s rendition of an earlier Turkish Bath painting by Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres, which was full of the more normative gaggle of naked ladies. The art world was overdue for this sausage fest. A true feminist at heart, Sleigh worked to reverse stereotypical gender rolls in art by placing men in traditional female poses. Take that, Ingres.

Though this piece is a criticism of Ingres’s painting, it was visually inspired by Titian’s Venus and Lute Player. Sleigh clearly knew her art history. The man with his back to us strumming a guitar is supposed to represent the lute player. The man lounging next to him is modeled after Sleigh’s husband and is said to represent Venus, the goddess of love (which is sickeningly cute). The man with brown hair in the center is not Jesus, but Scott Burton, a sculptor. To the right of him is John Perreault, an art critic. (If you want to see John in all his glory check out Alice Neel’s painting of him.) To the right of John is Carter Radcliff, a poet and an art critic, and finally there is Paul Rosano who Sleigh thought was really hot and became obsessed with painting. Phew. That's a lot of dudes.

Sleigh recalls that all the men were excited to hang dong, which was an unexpected but pleasant surprise for the artist. Personally, if an artist asked me rock my birthday suit in the name of gender equality I would be naked faster than you can say exhibitionism. Sadly, posing nude as a women may not be as effective a method to plea for egalitarianism in the arts as Sleigh’s approach. I suppose I can keep my pants on and leave the real trail blazing to this bodacious band of bros.