men_in_full: (Default)
I'm trying to pull a lot of stuff together right now, so posting here might be a bit anemic for awhile. When fall comes, and with it the cooler weather, I try to spend as much time outside as possible. Also, I am also going to be out of town for a good part of October, which means I have to *get ready* to go out of town. I don't do that efficiently ... :D

I will try to keep up with posting, even if my posts aren't saturated with "thinky thoughts." In the meantime, here are some images of large men in traditional Indian iconography.

The Nawabi were high-ranking administrative officials in the Mughal Empire. This Nawab gazes out at the viewer with forthright assurance. (Click for full-sized image.)



(link)


Man and god in full in India, 5 more, one NSFW )

men_in_full: (opera goers)
I have no idea who the figure is in the painting. He doesn't look like the typical representation of the "holy fat man" Ho-Tei (mistakenly called "the laughing Buddha.") Since the caption calls him "The Fat God," I'll take its word for it. It's a charming image, though, and the patter looks lucky indeed.


men_in_full: (Default)
I found this story today by weird coincidence, while doing a search on "super tube"+"art poster" (those black-and-white drawings you color in with markers.) I guess google flagged it on "tube" and "poster." Turns out that the poster art for Gavin Davis's play Fat Christ was banned from London tube stations for being "blasphemous" and in generally bad taste.

The play, interestingly, is "based, in part, on a person who auditioned for the play Jesus Christ Super Star and was told he was too fat to be given the part."

I'm not sure exactly what is supposed to be offensive in this poster. After all, most Western art shows Christ as a light-haired, light-skinned man (not as an olive-skinned, well-tanned Middle-Easterner with curly black hair - although that would be more realistic.)

Perhaps it's the boxers. But religious paintings in the Renaissance showed religious figures dressed in contemporary clothes (for the day.) Nothing new there. Would it have been less offensive if he'd been wearing swim trunks?

Or ... drum roll ... is it because the Christ figure is fat? Is the fatness of the male model really the offensive element here? Spiked's Nathalie Rothschild thinks so:
Perhaps suggesting that Jesus suffered from slow metabolism or indulged in fatty food is the ultimate form of blasphemy these days, when obesity is seen as a mortal sin.
Where the London censors really miss the point is that in Christian theology, Christ came to save all - but definitely "sided" with the downtrodden, those who were at the bottom of society, who were oppressed for all sorts of reasons. Certainly in the UK, especially, fat people are experiencing oppression - like being denied surgery, fertility treatments, etc. on account of their weight. Children deemed "too fat" are being removed from their parents' custody. So it's not surprising, that a fat Christ would be thrown off the tube, so to speak.

Further, Isaiah 53:2-3 tells us that Christ was not beautiful or remarkable in appearance.
He hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, [there is] no beauty that we should desire him. He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were [our] faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
While I disagree with the idea that a fat Jesus is "ugly," the *expectation* that any visual representation of Christ should adhere to conventional standards of "beauty" (which includes thinness or "buffness") contradicts what is directly said about Christ himself.

Silenus

Mar. 31st, 2007 09:54 pm
men_in_full: (Default)
According to Camille Paglia in Sexual Personae, the Greeks adopted the long, sleek lines of the ideal Egyptian form and made it their own. Thus the gods became "beautiful" in the modern, Western sense - economical of form, lightly muscled, well-defined.

But because Greek religion was an amalgam of older folk beliefs mixed with the more recent Olympian pantheon, they never quite lost the more "prehistoric" gods. The older gods and goddesses, instead of being children of Zeus, were children of the Earth herself. Such a one was Seilenos (in the Latin, Silenus): "Shaggyhaired Seilenos, who himself sprang up out of mother Gaia (Earth) unbegotten and self-delivered." (Nonnus, Dionysiaca 29.243)

Silenus )

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