|KLIMT IN A BLUE SMOCK. By Egon Schiele, 1913.|
ANYTHING GOES IN ART--Early 20th century Euro artist Gustav Klimt (1862-1918) remains popular with collectors and aficionados for his dusky hued, erotically charged pre-Art Deco themes that reflected a Titanic era age when “a glimpse of stocking—was indeed shocking” and sex was taboo in theaters and polite conversations.
When considering shifting cultural sands and tastes, Klimt’s era was not that long ago. It was Klimt, who pushed the tush into the faces of the art world. He was after all, the new master of mixing naturalism with modernism.
His work (and that of fellow Austrian Sessionists) tore down the draperies of demagoguery when it came to false modesty. To quote another popular song of the era “Everyone’s doin’ it” so why not make it art? Klimt arrived when the world was ripe to blow Puritanical dress codes and attitudes into skies.
Klimt attacked false modesty not with a dagger but with an artist’s brush. A brush in the hands of a true radical is a very dangerous weapon. Ask the targets of political cartoonist Thomas Nast.
Klimt, however had a more contemporary ally than Nast. By the late 19th century, photography was the next big thing. Classicism paled. It had its run. Real images of real people and places were the talk of the town from shop girls to salons.
The creatively starved masses demanded nouveau. Klimt was nothing if not prompt at arriving at the front lines of progressive era radicalism. His art became the booster rocket of its time for championing the previously taboo but it propelled his genius to other artistic strata like graphic arts.
Klimt’s genius only grows with time. Yes, he could be called the preeminent pornographer of his era who shocked us with how beautiful the human form can be recreated by genius with talent and taste--By Thomas Shess, Editor, Pillar to Post Blog
Also Wikipedia has a nice gallery from where most of the images on this blog were borrowed.
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