My aunt used to call me “Rubens” back when I was in college in Florence, Italy. It was partly because I was studying art history and also had a little something to do with the fact that I was toting around a sizeable rear-end. While it annoyed the hell out of me for a while, in the end it stuck and now I look back on those moments and smile. Peter Paul Rubens painted women that were truly the most beautiful in his day and age, the 1600s, and it seems “the bigger the better” might have been his MO. It was a different time…
Today I imagine most kids go to museums and look at a Rubens and ask the question, why did he paint “fat women”? Don’t shake your head, I’ve heard this said with my very own ears in several museums where Rubens’ paintings are displayed. It’s a harsh reality presented in a very straight forward way. You don’t need me to tell you that the ideal size is a size nothing these days. When Kate Moss said “nothing tastes better than being thin” she was defining a generation of women who will stop at nothing to fit into the smallest size possible.
So this latest “art work” by Italian artist Anna Utopia Giordano couldn’t be more appropriate for sharing. Flavorwire displayed Giordano’s new “Venus” Project and the comments have been very interesting to read. They vary in mood from the angry art historian that doesn’t appreciate the classic pieces being toyed with to the “chubby ladies” man who wishes the artist would have made the women larger instead of smaller.
What this artist is trying to do is awaken our eyes to the drastic change in beauty that has occurred. I do not believe she was meaning to offend, but rather educate. And it is truly an education in comparisons. Giordano, FFG salutes you and the statement which you make in re-adjusting these pieces in art history.