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On Gauguin being chased from museums for being a savage person and having said and done savage things

On Gauguin being chased from museums, poem and painting by William Eaton, 2019


The inspiration for this piece? See Farah Nayeri’s November 18, 2019, New York Times piece: Is It Time Gauguin Got Canceled?

For those wishing to read the text of the poem without all the colors intervening . . . here ’tis:

On Gauguin being chased from museums
for being a savage person and having
said and done savage things

Let those sans sin, one might reply,
Yet what’s so special about our times
(Though, at least in this, not special – sigh)
Is how many now loudly cry
(And not just great sisters and mothers) –
We’re not savage like those others!
Who we shun or, better, expose
Those humans painting too unclothed!
And saying, doing, quite savage things.
While we, the pure, accusations sling!

Also,

The French editorial cartoonist Xavier Gorce has, in his own way, weighed in on this subject:

Xavier Gorce, à propos de l'art et le political correctness

Sleeping nude encased in background, gouache painting by William Eaton

To invert a line from Emerson (“Self-Reliance”): in our artworks we may see our own half-hidden feelings?

Or there are these bits from Lucian Freud’s excellent Some Thoughts on Painting (Encounter, 1954):

The painter makes real to others his innermost feelings about all that he cares for. . . . The painter must give a completely free rein to any feelings or sensations he may reject nothing to which he is naturally drawn.. . . [I]t is of no interest whether it is inaccurate copy of the model. . . . The model should only serve the very private function for the painter of providing the starting point for his excitement. The picture is all he feels about it, all he thinks worth preserving of it, all he invests it with. . . . The aura given out by a person or object is as much a part of them as their flesh. . . . Therefore the painter must be as concerned with the air surrounding his subject as with that subject itself.