Art Criticism: Brick Oven PizzaPosted: February 17, 2014
One of the wonderful things about art is how it touches you when you least expect it. Today’s art critique is an example of that.
Last night, I stopped for a bite at a favorite restaurant. You might expect me to say that I found this painting in the restaurant. If you do, you’re wrong. This painting touched me when you didn’t expect it to. One of the unexpected ways that art can touch a person is from the window of a clothing consignment shop when all that person really wants is some gnocchi.
Why would a clothing shop feature a painting for sale in its front window? I don’t know, let’s attribute that to that unexpected element of art.
I think it was Rod Stewart, but it may have been someone even older, who first said “every picture tells a story“. This painting proves Rod and that theoretical other person right. This picture tells a story
Knowing which story the artist intended to share with us is challenging. As your art critic, I try to bring you certainty, or something like that. This painting leaves me conflicted. I’ve no choice but to discuss both of the tales that I believe that the artist may have wanted us to enjoy.
Tale number one
As you can see, this painting depicts a nude, Rubenesque* woman emerging from a wood-fired pizza oven. This is the finest pizza oven ever. It is the only pizza oven ever sculpted from marble.
No one should enter a hot pizza oven. That brings us to the unanswered question of this piece of art – what is the woman’s motivation for being in this obviously cool oven? The way we answer that question informs our vision of the painting.
I suppose you could see this woman as a nudist involved in a game of hide and seek. Her head is turned toward the right edge of the painting because the person who is “it” has run past her hiding place. Thrilled that her logic that no one would believe a nudist would climb into this dark, sooty cavity was correct, she is emerging to run back to “base” and win the game.
Tale number two
The more likely story that the artist is trying to tell with his picture is an inspiring tale of a woman who won’t be held down by society. Yes, this is a painting of the first woman to become a pizza oven repair technician. She is emerging from another successful interior resurfacing job or perhaps a fire-box replacement.
In our era, we are rightfully offended when we hear someone say things like “she is the best female pizza oven repair person I’ve ever known”. It is important that we recognize skill for what it is – something that isn’t diminished by gender.
Back at the time of this painting’s creation, women were not readily recognized for being accomplished at what they did. To make ends meet and attract business, the subject of our painting had to play upon her sexuality to get work that men of the same era were able to get without undressing. Today, we call this era the 1970’s.
So behold again, my friends, a painting. A painting of a pizza oven and a nude woman of indistinct motivation. Enjoy it.
I’m going for pizza, what do you want on your half?
*You think I’m not an art critic? Did you notice that I used the word Rubenesque? Thank you.