HAHA, so i found out this paper i wrote for my art class... apparently not a big deal cuz I FUCKING ACED IT. So since my sex life has been nill lateley due to work (fuck yes i got a job!) and School (fuck yes i have a 3.5 GPA!) i thought this update would be giving you this paper i aced.
Also, this weekend is celebratory... might hang with flyboy again :D
Quick note, this paper was written in about 1 hour before class. IT was a comparitive essay so we had to find a yardstick and compare and contrast 2 works of art. Both of these works can be seen at LACMA (Los Angeles County Musuem of Art). I am actually wondering what people think of it, i think she just gave me an A cuz she was tired of reading papers.
The Unchanging Standards of Masculinity In Art
Masculinity, and its counterpoint femininity, is one of the few things in society that has not changed in the thousands of years of society. Society has changed, it has changed the rules and dictated importance away from men being more masculine, but that does not negate its impact
The Bateman Mercury is one of the oldest surviving Greek replicas. It is a roman re-production of the Greek god Hermes
The Mercury shows off his masculine credentials in a few ways. His winged helmet indicates a certain amount of combat readiness. He shows a strong body in the defined muscles of his shoulders, chest, stomach and legs. He is nude, one of the ways men like to show off their masculinity, being nude in the presence of other men to show off their physical size (this manifests today in the locker rooms at gym, however briefly they may be nude). This masculinity is juxtaposed onto a very feminine pose, with his left arm to his lower back and his right arm supposedly leaning on a column. However this effeminacy may be a result of us not seeing his arms, as they have been broken off, and the fact we do not know what else was around the Mercury statue in roman times. In my personal opinion I like to think of his missing arm holding a football, or doing something physical.
The Bateman Mercury is a great show of the Romans filling their cities with sculptures of masculine men as gods. It was part of their warrior culture, to conquest new lands they needed strong men to fight. They also needed men of strong character to work in the markets, men of intellect to design new buildings and help solve Rome’s ever present housing shortage. The same could be said of Europe in the early 20th century. Before the Second World War, much of Europe, like Rome before it, was busy controlling its colonies. This colonialism required young men to join the military and fight for the interests of its homeland. Whether they agreed with colonialism or not, many artists of the time helped re-enforce the romantic vision of soldiers going to war. Many went back to the Greek and roman form of nude males fighting to help show this masculine ideal. One of the most famous was Auguste Rodin, who showed males almost exclusively in the nude, but one of his students would create a sculpture that would truly show off a celebration of masculinity.
Antoine Bourdelle first started working for Rodin in 1893. Their work together on The Gates, Rodin’s sculpture of a great door
Masculinity may be an ideal, but like all ideals many fall short. Luckily masculinity comes built in with its very own yardstick to compare. The Bateman Mercury is not a guy to mess with to be sure, but I think if most guys had to get into a physical altercation (for many the best test of physical strength) they would prefer to take Mercury to Herkales. In the strength of character department, while Mercury looks like he would fight for what he believes in, utilizing his physical and emotional strength, herkales shows that in the act, proving without a shadow of a doubt he will fight for what he believes in, be it food, freedom or women, he will fight for those things which does show him to be more of a man than mercury.
Masculinity is an ideal to be held to. We all fall short many times, but art does a good job of reminding us what that ideal is. It can be as simple as a United States Marine Corps recruitment add, or a sculpture of herkales firing his bow, or even mercury leaning on a column, it all helps to build in a man’s mind that he must be held to a standard higher than he holds himself. Modern society may try to rid the world of masculinity and violence, but it is those things that help men learn their place, and work to improve their lot in life. Without the masculine drive, and without the push for strength in every area of their lives, men would become women and the fragile balance that holds our sexes together would crumble.