Sunday, February 21, 2010

The Masochistic Delight of Erotic Excess: Podkowiński, Szał

 
Władysław Podkowiński, Szał (1894)

To make a long story short and potentially mistaken, the painter went crazy after presenting this equestrian sex fantasy to the cruel world of art connisseurs (I believe the world for him meant primarily Kraków).

Podkowiński was ripped apart by the critics who accused him of a tasteless pursuit of cheap thrills. Needless to say, Szał [Ecstasy] remains one of the most recognizable Polish paintings. Of course, it's also still recognized as kitsch, but certainly not cheap kitsch. And in a bare, minimalistic setting and with a Freudian mindset, I believe this painting could be interpreted as the be all and end all of art.

In the words preferred by our image-driven age, it's sex! animalistic desire! naked girl! red hair (=passion)! no gravity!

3 comments:

Bowleserised said...

I have been writing about this painting... The male imagination is an extraordinary thing when it comes to women and horses. Because you know that women would never invest time and effort in something if it didn't give them orgasms, right?

Misiula said...

What I can't get over is that the horse look like it's dying (in ecstasy, supposedly). And I don't know why but deep down I feel that it's a mare.

Bowleserised said...

The eyeball and mouth are utterly lascivious...