I spent several hours this morning looking for contemporary dog-art works at the 55th Venice Biennale. I got nothing. But it doesn't officially start until tomorrow, June 1, 2013, so I'm hoping some will appear.
I had the privilege to attend Boston College, class of 1989. Patriots' Day, the day of the Boston Marathon, is an event like no other. Picture July 4th, spring break, and the Super Bowl rolled into one. Yesterday broke my heart. Boston will recover, but that beautiful, heady, quintessentially New England civic celebration is now history.
In the late 19th century, Oscar Wilde was a passionate proponent of Aesthetics, a movement that emphasized aesthetic values over socio-political themes in literature, fine art, and music. In 1887 Wilde established himself as an art critic by reviewing an exhibition of London's anti-establishment Grosvenor Gallery. He and the devotees of the gallery, whose interiors were green and yellow, dressed in those colors. And the similarly clad sunflower became the perfect accessory.
"The unconventional Aesthetes were lampooned in Punch magazine and satirized in the 1881 Gilbert and Sullivan operetta Patience, which included the following lines:
A pallid and thin young man,
A haggard and lank young man,
A greenery-yallery, Grosvenor Gallery,
Foot-in-the-grave young man!
The success of Patience in England inspired Wilde's overseas
tour and launched him as a celebrity, but its stereotypical characters
caricatured the sexuality of Aesthetic leaders. So some of the fans who
wore sunflowers to Wilde's lectures surely wore them as the 19th-century
equivalent of the gay-pride rainbow flag.
The modern connotation of the
word gay may stem from the fact that it was an acronym for Green And
Yellow. Greenery-yallery." (Read the full article.)
In honor of the U.S. Supreme Court hearing arguments for federal recognition of same-sex marriage this week, I've selected some dogs and sunflowers.
Aesthetic Garland Stove Oscar Wild Trade Card with Pug, 1882 via ebay
Sunflower and Dog Worship by Stanley Spencer, 1937