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  #1  
Old 01-17-2007, 06:50 AM
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Amsterdam statue to honour prostitutes

This is interesting. There are bronze statues honoring all sorts of people, but I'd never expect this. But of course, it is Amsterdam.

Amsterdam statue to honour prostitutes

17 January 2007

AMSTERDAM ó A bronze statue will be established in the red light district in Amsterdam in hour of prostitutes across the globe.

The idea originates from Mariska Majoor, a former prostitute who now runs the Prostitute Information Centre.

The statue is being designed by artist Els Rijerse.

The artwork will probably be unveiled at the end of March.
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Last edited by Merlion : 01-17-2007 at 09:57 AM.
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  #2  
Old 01-17-2007, 09:41 AM
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Re: Amsterdam statue to honour prostitutes

In America we have done a lot worse. We have a whole genre of music, "Rap", that honors gansters, whores, drug-dealers, and just about anybody who exploits other people. Which is fitting, because that is what the music itself is doing.
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  #3  
Old 01-17-2007, 02:42 PM
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Re: Amsterdam statue to honour prostitutes

Rap - music. I don't think so.
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  #4  
Old 01-17-2007, 03:29 PM
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Re: Amsterdam statue to honour prostitutes

Well, we used to have this genre of music called "standards" in which mafia connected drunks sang about having sex with women they werent married to- but I guess thats a lot better than black kids doing it.

If you think rap musicians are so bad, you really ought to read Nick Tosches biography of Dean Martin- for over 20 years, he took enough percodan, every day, to kill a normal person, and then drank a quart of alcohol on top of that.

And his buddy, Frank Sinatra- well, he is sometimes credited with helping arts funding in California- it seems that he was lunching in the Polo Lounge, in Beverly Hills, swearing loudly and profusely, and a nearby gentleman complained. Ol Blue eyes picked up the phone on his table, and wacked the complainer so severly he was taken to the hospital with a brain concussion- the complainer went on to become one of the board members of the most prestigious art museums in LA, and has since donated millions to art organisations, and spent millions more on his own collection- while before being bopped, he was only mildly interested in art.

Then there is that old standby, Homer (not Simpson- the greek guy) whose spoken word to music stuff (say, isnt that what rap is?) honored killers, rapists, and even guys who screwed their mothers (oedipus, anyone?)

My point being, of course, that rap music, much like Johnny Cash singing "I killed a man in Denver, just to watch him die" is nothing new, and does not indicate any new levels of depravity- if something horrible can be done to one human being by another, chances are the Greeks got there first, and they were just copying the Eutruscans.

As for honoring prostitutes- well, its a legal business there, how is it any different from a statue honoring a famous business mogul or banker? Certainly the models are better looking.
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  #5  
Old 01-18-2007, 09:35 AM
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Re: Amsterdam statue to honour prostitutes

Hi, I don't particularly like rap (my motto is "rap is crap!"), but I've got to agree with Ries on this one.
By the way, those prostitutes you're vilifying are mothers, sisters, daughters or in some cases sons to SOMEONE! They are people.
Although I wouldn't want my daughters doing that for a living, it is a LEGAL profession over there, with health inspections every week or two.
There are plenty of statues of corrupt politicians out there, I think it would be nice to see one of a hooker.
Have a great day,
Jeff
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  #6  
Old 01-18-2007, 11:26 AM
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Re: Amsterdam statue to honour prostitutes

Ironman: There is a huge difference between vilifying and honoring. Nobody here is vilifying the prostitutes. It just seemed a bit much to honor them in this manner.

Ries: I would like to give you the benefit of the doubt in the intelligence department by believing you can draw a distinction in tone and attitude, if nothing else, between Rap music and the works of Homer, Sinatra, and others whose cultural expressions have explored the heights as well as the depths of life without dwelling exclusively in *** expletive deleted *** . This is aside from the "musical" aspect of Rap that provides all the harmonic refinement of a steam engine crashing into an alarm clock factory.

I realize that depravity is not a new thing, but the intensity of it, and the vibration of it, and its visiblity in our current culture is extremely more pronounced than it was back in the early 1960's. If you do not see this then I remind you of the frog that does not realize it is being boiled when the heat is increased ever so slowly.
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Old 01-18-2007, 04:40 PM
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Re: Amsterdam statue to honour prostitutes

Quote:
Originally Posted by GlennT
In America we have done a lot worse.
Worse??? You mean that the act of making a statue for prostitute is bad then?

Ahaha... how naive, many people outside occidental vision would say that many occidental married man has at least met a prostitute, his wife, and the other way around too?

"Honey, I _love_ this diamond"

"Oh my love, what do you do to your loving sugar dady today?"

Come on, who can say this doesn't exist.

So to be straight to the point and honor prostitute is definitely not a "bad" thing in my opinion.

Just to let you know, in France, prostitute are like in the USA in most states: outlawed, despised and prosecuted.
Yet, the tax bureau is in direct relationship with the law enforcement: each time a prostitute is arrested, they check if she paid her mandatory flat-fee tax of EUR 1,500 per month. Yes, one thousand five hundrer euros per month for some people who have no rights nor legal status nor social security. It's at the very least a bit steep. For me, it's government run slavery and hypocrite stance.

Oh, and for Rap and music, well, just have fun discussing "What is music" on top of "What is art" ;-)
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  #8  
Old 01-18-2007, 04:55 PM
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Re: Amsterdam statue to honour prostitutes

Quote:
Originally Posted by philpraxis
Ahaha... how naive, many people outside occidental vision would say that many occidental married man has at least met a prostitute, his wife, and the other way around too?

I must have missed the nuance of european thinking and did not realize it was actually a sculpture honoring the institution of marriage! I withdraw my concerns!
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  #9  
Old 01-18-2007, 04:58 PM
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Re: Amsterdam statue to honour prostitutes

Quote:
Originally Posted by GlennT
I must have missed the nuance of european thinking and did not realize it was actually a sculpture honoring the institution of marriage! I withdraw my concerns!
well... no, you have missed more than a nuance then
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  #10  
Old 01-18-2007, 07:11 PM
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Re: Amsterdam statue to honour prostitutes

I see no problem with the statue (should we say sculpture?) honoring prostitutes. As others say, the Dutch like to have fun in their own way. On the other topics, I have little or no affinity for rap, but I did read a newspaper article the other day, probably by United Press or Associated Press, the distributors, that reported about 80 to 85 percent of Americas, both men and women, have sexual relations outside of marriage by some mature age I donít remember - say 60. Often, though again I donít remember the numbers, this extramarital activity occurred while the subject was married.
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  #11  
Old 01-19-2007, 10:10 AM
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Re: Amsterdam statue to honour prostitutes

Hi, Only 80-85 percent? Maybe that's just the people who would admit to it. I would think in reality it's probably closer to 99 percent.
Remember, variety is the spice of life!!!!!!!!!!
Have a great day,
Jeff
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  #12  
Old 01-19-2007, 06:35 PM
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Re: Amsterdam statue to honour prostitutes

I can only deduce that Glenn has not actually listened to much rap.

Now me, personally, as a 51 year old white male, have been listening to african american spoken word set to a beat type music since the mid 60's.
I was a big fan of The Last Poets, and Gil Scott Heron, who are generally conceded to be the inspiration for what became rap. Of course, the traditions go back much farther, thru scat singers like Lambert, Hendricks and Ross, Cab Calloway, and Slim and Slam, and back to playground "dozens" and jump rope rhymes. Slaves had no instruments available- they had to rely on their mind and voices alone.

The vast majority of rap, just like the vast majority of lounge singers in the 50's, is not very good- I am the first to admit that. I subscribe to the 90% rule, which is that 90% of anything is usually pretty bad, especially in the creative fields, and true talent only occurs 10% of the time.
I have heard plenty of truly mediocre jazz singers doing standards, but to balance that out, I love the wit, humor, and unique stylings of Mose Allison or Bob Dorough. Never was a big Sinatra fan- besides being a truly despicable human being, a drunk and a drug addict, his music was pretty top 40, middle of the road by my standards.

There are a few great rappers out there, just as there are some great jazz singers. The good ones are intelligent people, who work with talented musicians, and write ironic, witty songs about the world. Most of the good ones dont talk about Bitches, Benzes, Guns or Drugs.

I am a fan of the Beastie Boys ever since their first album, well over 25 years ago- I would compare them to Lenny Bruce or George Carlin in their cynical wit. Their latest is kind of a post 9/11 "New York, New York". I really like MC Doom, whose new album with techno producer DangerMouse is quite good. I like several of the new english rappers- Mike Skinner, who goes by the name "The Streets" is quite interesting. Ice T, now the big star of movies and TV, actually did some very intelligent, biting political stuff early on. KRS One, Wu-Tang Clan, and newcomer Immortal Technique are all well worth listening to. The anti drug song "White Lines" by Grandmaster Flash, now almost 30 years old, is a classic.

There are plenty of serious musicians who work in the field.

As far as the "steam engine in an alarm clock" type of music- well, I plead guilty to that one- I happen to love Ornette Coleman, for example, who had very similar things said about him in 1959 by "true" jazz fans. His late 60's album "Science Fiction" is one of my all time favorites. I probably own 40 discs of Miles Davis' post Bitches Brew electric bands. I have always loved Captain Beefheart- used to be, you could clear a room by putting him on. Tom Waits album Swordfishtrombones is pure genius, in my book- I like his song "9th and Hennepin" too, of course. I enjoy a variety of dissonant music, and again feel that actual study of the genre would prove that in electronic based music, as in anything else, there is good and bad. Its easy to take potshots at something you havent taken the time to actually pay attention to, much less study.

I would also disagree that our culture is somehow more bestial or degraded now than it previously was- in fact, I would say we are much more civilised, not less. As a child, I vividly remember de-facto segregation and racial beatings taking place as late as the mid 60's. Children are beaten less now, police cant just shoot people without an investigation, actual violent crime rates have been falling, disease, starvation, and poverty are all reduced. Wife beating was taken for granted as a mans right as recently as the mid 50's in most of america, it was legal for adult men to marry 12 year olds in much of america- all kinds of things are much better now than even 30 years ago.

Pornography has always been around, violence used to play a much bigger role in american society- the big difference is that with our current media saturation, you find out about much that used to be kept quiet.

People are still people.
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Last edited by Ries : 01-19-2007 at 07:02 PM.
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  #13  
Old 01-20-2007, 11:10 AM
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Re: Amsterdam statue to honour prostitutes

Ries, you beat me to it. I was going to post something about all these white guys putting down a music form they know nothing about. At this point all I can add is that there are many styles/genres of rap, just like in rock, jazz, blues or classical. If you can't name at least a half dozen in each, then you are not qualified to discuss that kind of music. Imagine limiting rock to surf music, bubble gum pop, new wave, or heavy metal, etc., etc.. I think the discussion here was initially limited to "gangsta rap". Like all music forms, rap has evolved tremendously. Some of the most creative music today falls under the broad umbrella of rap.

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  #14  
Old 01-20-2007, 01:24 PM
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Re: Amsterdam statue to honour prostitutes

rap.rap.rap....they call him the rapper
long ago and far away, that word had to do with schmoozing with women

that being said:

back to the statue------does anone have a link to any of Els Rijerse's other works----? (when I looked for any on-line, i was led to porn sites)

rod
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  #15  
Old 01-20-2007, 04:10 PM
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Re: Amsterdam statue to honour prostitutes

Quote:
Originally Posted by jOe~
Ries, you beat me to it. I was going to post something about all these white guys putting down a music form they know nothing about.

I guess my black friends who don't like this music either are at least more qualified to talk about it than me, based on the color of their skin.
But even if my skin color disqualifies my opinion, my ears tell me all I care to know about the stuff.


At this point all I can add is that there are many styles/genres of rap, just like in rock, jazz, blues or classical. If you can't name at least a half dozen in each, then you are not qualified to discuss that kind of music.

If you haven't tripped on heroin, I guess you cannot talk about drugs. By the way, I have produced a music CD of my own orginal music. If you haven't then maybe you are not as qualified as me to discuss any kind of music. But only by your logic. I'm not enough of an intellectual snob to require the credentials of those who have an opinion about music.

Imagine limiting rock to surf music, bubble gum pop, new wave, or heavy metal, etc., etc.. I think the discussion here was initially limited to "gangsta rap". Like all music forms, rap has evolved tremendously. Some of the most creative music today falls under the broad umbrella of rap.

God help us!

jOe~

If all the promotional money in the music industry was to be found in the bubble gum pop music genre, that is were you would find "some of the most creative music today".

BTW, I once asked Herbie Hancock in the late 70's why his current album at that time was having a disco sound. Was he selling out to where the money was? He said that it was because he liked it, just like he liked the jazz that he had done previously. I believe he believed that, but he was lending his creative talents to a genre that did not appeal to me, and the spiritual aspects of his earlier music got lost in my opinion, as did my patronage of my erstwhile favorite jazz musician. A creative musician who found it necessary to work in a genre that paid the bills. I don't doubt that there are creative musicians in the rap genre, there for the same reasons. As for me, I don't need to pretend I'm cool by delving into a music form that assaults my idea of harmony.
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Old 01-20-2007, 06:14 PM
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Re: Amsterdam statue to honour prostitutes

So anybody who works in a genre you dont like is a sellout?

I dont think so. Personally, I dont see any similarity between Herbie Hancock's mid 70's electric music and "disco".
But thats because I actually listened to both, instead of throwing out "disco" as some kind of slur that we can all agree is terrible, like "wifebeater" or "child molester".

For instance, if you had actually paid any attention to what disco was, you would have discovered the amazing Arthur Russell- a classicaly trained cellist, who made some of the seminal disco 12" singles that were played in New York clubs in the 70's, and subsequently influenced hundreds of bands.
He couldnt have been in it for the money- because he never made any- he produced 12" singles that were pressed in maximum quantities of 100 or so, and distributed only to DJ's who played in clubs- no radio or commercial sales were ever even contemplated, and its only now, 20 years or so after his death, that the music is available to the public at all.
His other, also noncommercial music, that he was making at the same time, cello and vocals, is quite beautiful. And inextricably related to his disco work.

Nobody says you have to like any kind of music that assaults your sense of harmony.
But what I resent is you throwing out general, poorly defined categories of music as being all bad, without having spent the time to listen to them.
Or assuming that just because you personally dont derive pleasure from them, the musicians could not possibly have been sincerely interested in what they were doing.

I personally am totally uninterested in virtually all classical music- and not because of total ignorance- I took music appreciation classes in school, and for 10 years or so, my father had the classical station on nonstop in our home- but I just dont like it.
I would never pretend, however, that I am in any way qualified to evaluate which classical is good or bad, or discuss it in any real educated fashion- so rather than condemn the whole genre, I just agree to disagree with those who like it.

Taste, in music or art, is totally subjective- and we each, thankfully, can make our own decisions about what we like or dislike.
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  #17  
Old 01-20-2007, 06:41 PM
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Re: Amsterdam statue to honour prostitutes

The real issue I have with Glenn, is not that his tastes in art and music are very selective. Note, I'm not calling him narrow minded, or moralist or anything really. He just knows what he really likes.. and doesn't like everything that is not on his play list or viewing list. Thats o.k.. The problem I have is when people devalue art forms of any kind. Why not just stop at saying "I don't like it, its not my thing"? Same goes with life styles, beliefs, and cultures. Its the put downs I have a problem with, which seem to advocate the idea that "if only everyone held my values, the world would be a better place".
Man, I really want to see the Amsterdam statues. Even if prostitution in your book is the most immoral and despicable form of behavior, aren't you curious how its going to be depicted artistically?

jOe~
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Old 01-20-2007, 07:08 PM
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Re: Amsterdam statue to honour prostitutes

Quote:
Originally Posted by jOe~
... Man, I really want to see the Amsterdam statues. Even if prostitution in your book is the most immoral and despicable form of behavior, aren't you curious how its going to be depicted artistically?
Well, here is one report on what it may look like.

Red-Light District to Erect Statue in Honor of City Streetwalkers

January 17, 2007.... The statue, made by sculptress Els Rijerse, depicts "a self-assured woman, her hands on her hips, looking sideways towards the sky, and standing on a doorstep," according to Dutch agency ANP.

The specific location for the statue has not yet been announced.
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  #19  
Old 01-21-2007, 08:12 PM
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Re: Amsterdam statue to honour prostitutes

Back to the main subject :

Quote:
Originally Posted by fritchie
As others say, the Dutch like to have fun in their own way.
Believe me Fritchie, dutch people is not funny people and so doesn't have fun with serious subjects. And the subject is serious for them, they have a huge conscious of the social necessity of prostitution. More, they think it is a civic duty to respect and honor prostitutes as human being (not as business, Ries!!!) taking part to the equilibrium of the society, a little bit like psychologists or sportclubs...


Quote:
Originally Posted by fritchie
80 to 85 percent of Americas, both men and women, have sexual relations outside of marriage
extramarital activity doesn't mean prostitution. and prostitution doesn't mean pornography!!

I second Philpraxis regarding european concerns.
Are prostitutes sex slaves? OK, so why not honor slavery?
Well honoring refers to the past and this is my only concern with statues. I much prefer to question the contemporeanity of this universal reality (all time, all places) and the ambigous relation between prostitution and money.

I just made an installation so to question this relation. I called it "Pepitas" a word which is used in popular spanish language to speak about money/gold ore, or to name a woman/a daughther who is invaluable for you. I putted up a window size transparent plexiglas and at the bottom front of it I placed a typical pink neon symbolising the working place of the prostitutes. Behind the plexiglas I placed golded soft balls made of dried seeweeds that I found on the beach. Those soft balls symbolise the prostitutes and their human or commercial value. It depends of the way YOU look at them!.
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Old 01-21-2007, 09:15 PM
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Re: Amsterdam statue to honour prostitutes

Anne, do show us a picture of your installation Pepitas.

You wrote, ".... golded soft balls made of dried seeweeds that I found on the beach. Those soft balls symbolise the prostitutes and their human or commercial value".

It is difficult to visualise this based on the words alone.
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Last edited by Merlion : 01-22-2007 at 05:13 PM.
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  #21  
Old 01-23-2007, 04:30 AM
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Re: Amsterdam statue to honour prostitutes

Agrees 100% with Joe and Anne here.
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Old 01-27-2007, 02:40 PM
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Re: Amsterdam statue to honour prostitutes

Thanks Ries, Joe & Anne for bringing some sanity & intelligence to this discussion. (Particularly thanks to Ries for introducing me to another line of inquiry into music). Like Joe, I wish we could drop this 'all x type of art/music is crap' style of comments - they get pretty tedious if nothing else.
Also I find it interesting that while sex workers are often derided its rare to hear any derogatory comments aimed at their customers - and after all don't they go together like a horse and carriage? (oops - or is that love & marriage)
Anyway back to the sculpture - I think this is the artist's website www.beeldelsrijerse.nl

James
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Old 01-30-2007, 09:15 AM
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Re: Amsterdam statue to honour prostitutes

James: Thanks for the link

somehow-I had pictured the statue to honor prostitutes as a tad more realistic than the body of Els' work would indicate....personal prejudice or forlorn hope?.
..............can hardly wait to see the finished statue......

Anne: There were some Dutch immigrants near us in the midwest as I was growing up, and they were not known for their humor.........more known for their taciturn personalities, and carefull ways-----I helped one with his garden which was an inspiration that has stayed with me for these many long years .........poor lonely sot married a woman he met in a bar----she saw no value in his flowers and constantly complained about the time, effort, and money which he steadfastly lavished on the flower garden............45 years later, i still feel the sorrow in his tired eyes and hunched shoulders
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Old 02-05-2007, 08:00 PM
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Re: Amsterdam statue to honour prostitutes

There is definitely a worthwhile approach to the subject (any subject) the artist will just have to dig in and find it. And it won't please everyone.
Every time I hear "The message" by Grand Master Flash or Doug E Fresh's continuous "la-de-da-dee" I wish longingly for my little dirty room on east 23rd street NYC, when life was simple (its much easier when you're a painter. you don't need space) Of course Rap can be good, as can a sculpture of a prostitute. Its all in the execution.
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Old 02-25-2007, 04:09 PM
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Re: Amsterdam statue to honour prostitutes

umm joining this a little late...just like to say having read this meandering enjoyable discourse on the imminent collapse of the morals of the whole of the US, shortly followed by those of europe...we are always a little behind you these days...LOL. I can't find, thats a lie I don't search, but my kids play it, very much I like in RAP. I find it immature, banal, commercial...just like I should...i'm old for gods sake!! And one of my best friends is a female sculptor who is 21 so its not that I don't have any kind of link with younger generations and my kids are twins 17 and one 22 and they kinda expect me to hate RAP and lots of other things that they feel are important...my goodness I thought the Beatles were gods when they were stoned out of there minds...now its just average pop...but its my pop so don't say its rubbish even if it is. Sinatra, yep a crook and a junkie probably, and a good entertainer...why should he be nice as well. Picasso, probably the greatest most of the timewas mostly as a person the pits, so what, don't care if he ate babies in his spare time. His work is great. Michelangelo and Leonardo with their screwed up hangups and pretty boys...who cares...just look at the work. Hitler and Churchill were painters...have you seen the work...pretty average to say the least..yep they are better of dead LOL. Obviously I could go on for hours but I won't, thank god I hear you say!!! But I would love that commission, to give that girl some grace and dignity that alas she may never of had in her lifetime. Remember too that prostitutes have been a major part of the work of artists in the past for a very long time. They certainly should have a statue in Paris, London etc etc and probably one in NY. A services to the arts memorial! Sadly this statue (not sculpture...they rarely are), will be predictable, banal, commercial...hey that could be a RAP song.

Aint life fun most times...even when its sh!t...just a thought and its great being here, great site glad I found it.
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