Archive for the ‘Signs and symbols’ Category

Sylvia Sleigh’s male art

August 26, 2016

A follow-up to the last, bonus, section of my posting on Michael Heizer and Lynda Benglis, a section about Sylvia Sleigh and her gaze-reversal paintings:

Around 1970, from feminist principles, she painted a series of works reversing stereotypical artistic themes by featuring nude men in poses that were traditionally associated with women, like the reclining Venus or odalisque.

I’ve now collected images of five of these paintings in a posting on AZBlogX — not only witty, but also sexually arousing and meant to be. The images of the men are all stylized, but only a bit; they are also portraits of their subjects.


Two impressively eccentric artists

August 26, 2016

… in the current (August 29th) issue of the New Yorker: earth artist Michael Heizer (the subject of a profile by Dana Goodyear) and sculptor and painter Lynda Benglis, one of the arists in a current show “The Female Gaze, Part Two: Women Look at Men”. There will also be a bonus on artist Sylvia Sleigh.

(Mostly about art rather than language — plus another bulletin in the News for Penises series.)


Linguistics and its orthographically related disciplines

August 26, 2016

Nathan Sanders writes on Facebook to display the nameplate for his new position at Haverford College:

There are few people in LINGUISTICS who have not been afflicted by the spelling LINQUISTICS, or else LINGUSITICS. But it is a little-known fact that these are actual names of academic disciplines quite distinct from linguistics.


More on the David

August 23, 2016

News for Italian Renaissance penises, part 2. Material from the New York Times Magazine on the 21st — racy topic, but not officially X-rated.

Part 1 yesterday, with the cover of the issue, showing a crew working on a reproduction of Michelangelo’s David in Carrara, Italy (photo by Maurizio Cattelan), with David’s penis right in the center of the image. Then the story, “David’s Ankles: How Imperfections Could Bring Down the World’s Most Perfect Statue: My obsession with the flaws, reproductions and potential collapse of Michelangelo’s masterpiece” by Sam Anderson. Not ordinary reportage, but a “personal essay”, about Anderson’s experiences and emotions — though with plenty of research about the city of Florence (Firenze), its history, the artist Michelangelo, and the creation of the statue (which Anderson refers to as the David), also with Anderson’s interviews with significant parties in the current rescue efforts.

The penis of the David — probably the most famous and the most viewed penis in the Western world — is a recurrent theme in Anderson’s essay. A few words about the David’s genitals, and then on to excerpts from Anderson’s essay.


The Fine Art Exemption

August 22, 2016

The media news for penises.

The cover of yesterday’s New York Times Magazine, illustrating a story about Michelangelo’s David:

Shocking! A penis in the NYT! The word penis, quite a lot, but photographs, sculptures, drawings, etc. of penises, no. They would be at the very least crude, tasteless, and offensive, at the worst dangerous, because viewing them (so the story goes) is by its very nature damaging to sensitive people: to women in general, to children in general, hence especially to girls.

There is a customary Fine Art Exemption to the general ban on penises (or accurate representations of them)  in “family publications” (where the sensitive might come across them). This clause exempts penises in fine art, especially of high reputation and considerable age, where fine art is

creative art, especially visual art, whose products are to be appreciated primarily or solely for their imaginative, aesthetic, or intellectual content (NOAD2)

I’ve always found the FAE baffling, at least in its application to children.


Pink motels, Cadillacs, etc. etc.

August 19, 2016

Today’s Zippy takes us into the land of pink motels, pink fairies, and pink Cadillacs, which then takes us of course into the Forest of Pudendiana and sexual symbolism. There will be innocent drinks, plants, and animals, but mostly this is a world drenched in sex, gender, and sexuality.


We are in scenic Cherokee NC, home of a Pink Motel, with a fairy as its mascot — blue-winged in the cartoon, but pink-winged in older versions of the actual neon sign.

Symbolism I. Both fairies and the color pink have come to be symbols of femininity, and by extension, faggotry. But also, both of them, are symbols of kitsch: fairies and pink stuff are “cute”. Presumably the Pink Motel in Cherokee was designed not to bring in women or gay men, but to project a strong general senses of cuteness, like Tinkerbell and Hello Kitty run amok.


News for penises: dick pic advice from Eric André

August 16, 2016

(Obviously a racy topic, but, I think, no more than that.)

From Kim Darnell, a link to a 8/11 GQ piece about Eric André giving no-nonsense advice to guys about taking dick pics of themselves (you can watch the great video here). Eric at the lectern:


Key message: show your whole body; show your face. Man up. Who the hell — especially, what woman — wants to look at amateur photography of a disembodied cock?


Falcon trading cards: the faces

August 15, 2016

(Entertaining news for penises, from the past. Entertaining, but not for kids or the sexually modest.)

More unearthing: a set of pornstar trading cards from Falcon Studios in 1994. On one side, the faces. For each man, his face, name, and stats — this being a particularly hot and heavy neighorhood of Gayland, the stats are all about cocks and nothing else — plus a breezy writeup and some filmography. On the other side, the bodies, featuring, yes, those hard cocks. The face sides for nine pornstars are in an array below; the body sides are in a corresponding array on AZBlogX.


News for penises: the Orgy logo

August 14, 2016

(Warning: mature sexual themes.)

Putting DVD discs into binders (and discarding the boxes), to reduce my DVD collection to something spatially manageable, has brought me back to a classic gay porn film, Christopher Rage’s Orgy (1982), notable for, among other things, its all-penis logo (plus scenes of men having sex, in every configuration from solo, with a soundtrack, to 9 in a pile):

4 letters, 6 dicks: in Gayland, it’s all dicks, all the time. The flick has 9 pornstars, one dick per man, though I suspect that if Christopher Rage had been able to find fully functional multi-dicked men, he would have cast as many as he could get. Rage reveled in cocks.)


Exit BVM, enter elephants and lions

August 13, 2016

A charming piece — indeed, a hopeful story in mean times — on the editorial page of the NYT today, “A Changing of the Guard on the Front Lawn” by Francis X. Clines, about lawn statuary in a period of neighborhood change. It begins:

Where are the lawn Madonnas of yesteryear? One of the charms of wandering the outer-circle neighborhoods of New York, far from the towering commercialism of Manhattan, has been the statues of the Blessed Mother staring out serenely from the postage-stamp lawns of rowhouses.

“A lot of new nationalities came in, it isn’t what it was,” said Lou Campanella III, a statue and masonry dealer whose family firm sold “something like 300 Blessed Mothers a month” in her saintly front-yard heyday, which lasted into the 1990s. “Now, maybe 15 to 20 a month.”

But the beauty of the city’s continual immigration churn is that there are newcomers who have fresh preferences in lawn statuary, creating a new market.

Louis Campanella, 69, poses with a statue of the Virgin Mary that he painted at his workshop in the Bensonhurst neighborhood of Brooklyn



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