Who’s That Girl?

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Untitled Klimt-inspired self-portrait 1994 oil and gold leaf on canvas

Do you remember that movie with Madonna and Griffin Dunne? Yes, that one. People made fun of it. It’s totally mindless stuff, but I thought it was adorable and funny. Oh well. You’ll soon find out that I don’t care what other people think of me. You can’t get caught up in that Shinola. Like Madonna, I’m Causin’ a Commotion. As that Jersey Shore couple says, “I’m gonna do me and you’re gonna do you” right before they scream at each other, smash each other’s stuff and head to the smoosh room…or something like that. I’m way off base here. Let’s go back to this picture.

Who is this woman? Well, my peeps, that is an interpretation of Ms. Lady Sensory, “gingered-up” and stylized a la Gustav Klimt. You should know that Lady-Gingers are acceptable. Lord knows I’ve been Ginger-enhancing for at least 13-14 years. If you have questions about Man-Gingers, you can read my post, Love on the Rocks.  Who painted this? Well, my peeps, that was yours truly, a 16 or 17 year-old Ms. Lady Sensory, teaching herself oil painting in her garage because she couldn’t use oils in high school nor in college due to ventilation issues. So here it is, the only oil painting Lady Sensory ever completed. It’s special and unique, just like Lady Sensory. Yep. Lady Sensory was an art major. She writes, she cooks, she bakes, she paints… she is a plethora of many talents.

If I weren’t trying to sell this piece, I’d contemplate using this as a dating profile picture, that is, if I ever wanted to subject myself to Snatch Dot Com or E-Farmony again. What? I use spell check. That’s totally accurate. Wouldn’t you want to date this girl? She is laying there in her fun quilted blanket, one hand missing, the other playing with snakes and stuff. It’s suggestive. Kinda dirty. She’s hot. Dudes like that, right? I bet I’d get a boatload of ‘winks’ that go nowhere. Whatever. I’m eating cocoa-dusted dark chocolate almonds listening to some old-school Sade: This is No Ordinary Love. Remember Indecent Proposal? Like Robert Redford would need to pay me a cool million to cheat on Woody Harrelson. Am I wrong? I don’t think so.  Although, I admit Redford does have a bit of a Ginger-y aura about him. Errrrr. These almonds are hella-good. You should totally pick some up and shove them in your face to make me feel better about myself.

Now back to my painting. Are you still reading? Great. Hoping for a happy ending for Lady Sensory? Nope. Sorry. None of that going on here.

Klimt-inspired dolls, 1994, acrylic & gold-leaf, NFS

This is just an artsy-fartsy post about a painting. Let’s tell the background story. When I was in my high-school painting class, Mrs. Turner gave us an assignment to reproduce a notable artist’s work on a non-traditional object and gave nesting dolls as the example. Others painted on trunks (I did that right before I went off to college), mannequin heads, etc. I just stuck to the dolls, because I had a plan. Several years prior to this assignment I saw the movie, Dying Young, starring a young and very Ginger-y Julia Roberts and Campbell Scott. Wait, what is with all this B-movie talk? Okay, bear with me for a minute. If you’ve ever suffered through this film, you’ll remember Scott’s character, Victor, had a bit of a Klimt fetish. I told Mrs. Turner I wanted to put Klimt’s 1907 painting, The Kiss, on the dolls. mind you, this is before The Kiss showed up in every Hallmark store and college poster sale known to man. Regardless, it’s still my favorite. She told me that Klimt had other women and encouraged me to research his work further to complete the rest of the dolls. Well, I did, and I now own way too many expensive Klimt art books stashed somewhere between Rochester and Syracuse. The dolls are over there to the left. In high school, you only had about a half-hour to set up, paint and clean up. So I did the majority of my painting in the garage or at the kitchen table while my mother ironed my father’s shirts; and that is where the dolls were painted. When I brought them in to school, Mrs. Turner didn’t believe I painted them and actually called my mother to verify. She gave me another painting challenge to try to get me to produce right in class, but she just couldn’t win – I was going to keep on doing my best work at home. I’m rather obstinate like that.

The thing that’s strange about getting older is that you can’t recall the things that seemed so meaningful at the time – the things you swore you’d never, ever forget. The bigger life-events just seem to eclipse the smaller, happier triumphs of our youth.  Sadly, I can’t remember why I created this painting and I don’t even remember the title. I do know the title was most likely clever (duh!), and the work was submitted for a student show. I remember wanting to experiment with oils (at home) and starting it the summer before my senior year.  I remember working on it throughout that year and having to hang it at a higher height in the show because the oil paint was not completely dry. Why I did an image like this at such a young age just baffles me. It was received well by my high school peers who will probably get a kick out of seeing it again in this post.  Until recently, I hadn’t looked at it in years. When I look at this painting today it tells me a very different story than what I imagine the 16-year-old-version of myself had intended, which is this: that hapless cad of a man in The Kiss took off with a much younger, much trashier replacement…the kind of replacement who doesn’t know how to dress appropriately, cannot accessorize to save her life, nor can she hold her liquor. Now classy Kiss lady is confined to her blanket alone to play with her snakes. The end.

On that note, it’s time to metaphorically “sage the apartment.”  I don’t ever want to hear that story again because I have a great 2012 planned. This painting needs to get the fudge out of my personal space. I imagine this lady will mean something entirely different to someone else, especially for Klimt fans or those who are into Lady-Gingers.

This piece is 20 ” W x 30″ H, oil on canvas, circa 1994.

Like it? Great! Comment or please send me a message privately for more info. In the coming months, I will be loading images worth chatting about on here and compiling an album of all of them on The Sensory Cart Facebook page.

The snakes look kind of one-dimensional; sorry about that. Mind you, I was in high school and they were done in gold-leaf so… just deal with it. They shine for you like that song, Yellow, by Coldplay. Not a Coldplay fan? Oops. Sorry again. Why am I apologizing? I’m not supposed to care what you think. Oops. I seem to have dropped an almond. 10-second rule. No apologies.

Peace, love, and cocoa-dusted-chocolate-covered-almonds….

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