Saturday, May 21, 2022

When Life Imitates Art

 May 21, 2022

   I'm reading a tragic story of a talented young artist, Mathew Wong, who commited suicide at age 35. He was more or less on top of his game when he jumped off a tall building. These kind of stories always give me pause. How do we know if what we are doing is worth a whit? And, in the end, does it make any difference? Fortunately, I am still suffering under the illusion (or, should that be "delusion") that what I'm doing matters. It's a small blessing, but I'll take it.

When Life Imitates Art

   I recently saw this 1900s beautiful woman and was immediately struck by how much she resembles a Gibson Girl.

Actress Edna Loftus


   You can certainly see where the artist Charles Dana Gibson got his model from.

The Gibson Girl

   Or, did he? In the 1890s, the illustrator, Charles Dana Gibson, created the “Gibson Girl,” a vibrant, new feminine ideal who was the visual embodiment of what writers of the period described as the “New Woman.” So, if Gibson created the Gibson Girl in the 1890s and Edna was born in 1891, she would have been a mere tyke and not the beauty we see here. Perhaps it's more accurate to say she was emulating the Gibson Girl? Life imitating art?

The Queen of Country Swing

   At the same time, it's easy to see where the artist who created Honkytonk Sue got his model from.

BBB's Fave Honkytonk Sue Model

   And here is that beauty today at the foot of my studio stairs, still lighting up a room.

Kathy Sue and Uno In My Studio

   The bottom line is, draw what you see, not what you think you see. Why? Oscar knows. . .

"Life imitates art far more than art imitates life."

—Oscar Wilde

1 comment:

  1. Ironically, Edna Loftus first came to the public's attention as the leader of the Gibson Girls (a troupe of English showgirls) in the musical comedy called "The Catch of
    the Season." So popular was she in the role, after the show closed in England, the company traveled to Paris where they appeared at the Folies Marigny, being billed as The British Gibson Girls."


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