Saturday, 30 November 2013

Playing catch up with 'October Week' - Nail Art Challenge, Inspired by an Artist (final challenge) Pick Your Favourite!

YESSSSS! I have been looking forward to doing this mani since before I started this nail art challenge in July! Life got in the way and I have had some time off, but there is absolutely no way on earth I was going to miss the last installment of this challenge. I had planned on doing a mani inspired by this artist even before I knew what the group had organised, and so when I decided to participate I chose to put my personal plans on hold and save it for the last week of the 'Inspired by an Artist' challenge. So I have been waiting a long ass time for this moment, and nothing was going to stop me from doing this final mani!

The last week of this challenge is 'Pick Your Favourite!' and there can only be one winner for me, this is the legendary Gustav Klimt. Though the name may not be familiar to you, there is one particular painting of his that probably will be as it is generally quite well known, I see it everywhere, and it's the painting here on the right called ' The Kiss'.

 Now before you read any further please know, I am a total nerd about this guy, this is as about as nerdy as I get for anything. I really really love his work and I really don't think I could live without it, so you are gonna have to forgive me for the lengthy post because this is an artist I'm quite passionate about! By the time I've told you why I love this guy, and then about the painting I chose for my nailspiration, we will have been here a while already, I just find everything about it so interesting! If you've got shit to do and just want to see the nails, scroll down to the bottom (you will see a second painting on the way down that my nails are inspired from), but if you've got 10 minutes and the patience for a bit of a read, there is at least a cool little story in it for you too!

Gustav Klimt was from Vienna, Austria, and is also famous for being the founder and leader of the Vienna Secession along with a few other prominent Austrian artists. This group was created because Klimt and the other artists had grown tired of the original Association of Austrian Artists, who were more focused on a conservative, traditional style of historic art.

Klimts images are full of fantasy and imagination, at times even a touch of surrealism, and with a strong erotic undercurrent too it's no wonder that he tired of the conservatism of his previous group and moved on to establish his own. I am so glad he did as the result is a collection of some of the most beautiful and sensual paintings I have ever seen.

If you really only know the painting pictured here, I strongly recommend you go and do a google search on his other works, they truly are spectacular. His rich choice of colour is always absoultely perfect, his use of pattern is imaginative and enchanting, and the sensuality of a lot of his paintings just pours out the images and washes over you. What I really love about Gustav Klimt though, is that he really truly adored women. I am more than a bit of a feminist, I think women are godesses that should be worshipped not just respected, and that we have all failed to understand this for far too long. Despite modern movements for the freedom and equality of women, we are still undervalued, underappreciated, and underestimated, and it grates me that some people still refuse to accept that we are infact the superior sex. (hehehe :)

But Gustav Klimt got it. I look at many of his paintings and I just know that even then in the late 1800's he saw women just as I do now,  as ethereal Godesses to be adored and worshipped and venerated. Every image of a woman he has ever drawn or painted screams 'LOVE, RESPECT, AWE, WORSHIP'. Women were his inspiration, his muses, he understood their power and embraced their superiority, he valued their individual beauty and complex nature, and he appreciated those things. Every single brush strokes says 'I love you and I live for you'. Seriously, what is not to love about this guy?

So now you know why I am totally in love with this artist, and you will hopefully have googled some more of his images and understood what the hell I'm babbling on about, let's talk about my nailspiration!

I chose one particular image to work from, it's one of my absolute favourites, and the image is known as 'Judith 1'.

Judith's story is basically of a beautiful widow who tricked her way into the tent of Holofernes, (a general who was going to destroy her home) by manipulating him using the desire she already knew he held for her. After seducing her way into his tent, she gets the general so drunk that he passes out, at which point she draws his sword, decapitates him and carries the head away with her. There is still some debate today as to wether Judith may also have been a rape victim of the general too, and though the biblical version insists that no such violation took place, let's face it, it's pretty good motivation to go out and chop someone's head off!

The story of Judith has been depicted in literally hundreds of paintings throughout history. Earlier renditions show Judith as a kind of messenger of god, virgin like and chaste, fighting against evil. In more recent times however, modern artists started to explore the darker virtues within her, those that drove her to commit such a violent act. These modern images concentrated more on the seductress that gained access to the general with tempation, a ruthless woman who decapitates a man without a second thought, a fearless and rather aggressive femme fatale.

This image by Gustav Klimt is one of the most famous of those modern and more erotic depictions and I love absolutely everything about it, every last detail, every last significance. I love the use of colour, the bright but warm earthy green mixed with rich metallic golds and bronzes, I love the details and transparency in her robes and the patterns in the background, I love that it shows only half of the decapitated head as though to say to him ''This story is not about you'', and most of all, I love that Judith looks like a powerfully smug, elegantly aggressive, erotically supercharged yet classy as hell, mother fu*kin' Queen! She is flawless and the expression on her face just says it all.

An interesting fact about this painting is that the face of Judith is actually that of Klimts longest standing lover and muse, who's face you can actually recognise in a few of his paintings. I can't recall her name right now (My 50 books on Gustav Klimt are in a storage unit!) but it was reported by friends that Klimt did in fact adore her. I think the fact he chose to use the face of his most loved muse for the role of Judith in this stunning, powerful and fierce portrait, speaks volumes about his perception of her.
She was his Queen, and with this image he's basically saying ''You got my balls in the palm of your hand my Godess, and I love it!''

I have an enourmous copy of this painting waiting for me in my storage unit when I return to Europe, which alway takes pride of place in my house, It's kind of a little welcome note that lets people know who is the Ruler of my kingdom!

I always thought that this painting had some beautiful patterns and colours that might be simple to replicate onto the nails, and as much as I love that Queen, I could never paint her onto my nails with the skill that she deserves, she would end up looking like a cartoon if left to me, so I decided to just leave well alone and stick to the finer details.

My sister in law Taisa is modelling for me again and I am sooooooooo jealous it's not even funny, she's been wearing it for a couple of days now and everytime I see them I wish my nails were in a good enough condition to have done it on me, I guess I'll just have to give it another go on myself when mine are better and hope it comes out as nice!

I used way too many polishes to get into it really, there were like 3 different shades of gold, 5 of green, most of which have mixed or blended, the detailing polish, a flaky (It's an orange and yellow flaky as leaves of the tree on the ring finger but it wouldn't even come up in the pic), a whole bunch of different brushes, I am sure you have heard enough of me going on today already, I guess one day I'm gonna have to start doing videos of all this stuff!

Though certainly not anywhere near Klimts standards, I really like this mani! I was never going to be able to convey all the crazy stuff I see and feel when I look at this painting on my little nails, attempting it would just be setting myself up for disaster, but I still think I've managed to create quite a striking, unusual but elegant design, and considering I painted it all free hand and strictly with polish, I've managed a pretty good job of the small details, which is unusual for me! Regardless of how I feel about this mani, I already know that I will be attempting many more klimt inspired designs in the future!

If you made it this far through my long ass post then I thank you for your attention and patience, I hope you at least found it all as interesting as I do, and that the nails at the end were worth it!

I'll be back next week with a bunch of cool nail designs and swatches that I managed to prepare before I made my big move!

1 comment:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...