SALOMÉ'S DANCE

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DE DANS VAN SALOMÉ

pen and watercolour on paper
2015 - 130 x 350 mm

WORK IN PROGRESS

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I like Richard Strauss' opera a lot, but somehow I keep having difficulties with women in their thirties or older playing the role of a fourteen year old girl. Yes, I know: no fourteen year old could ever sing this role, but still. I also have difficulties with the rather silly tendency to reduce her dance a kind of striptease, because it is, generally speaking, more a question of showing a nude body than a real seduction. Plus it makes the entire scene a bit embarrassing to watch as it does not feel natural, and our culture would never tolerate a 14-year old undressing in public.
I prefer, say, Gustave Moreau's take on the subject.
This said: I started this drawing as usual, that is: without any notion of whatever subject. Then, when I showed the still unfinished black and white state to some friends, Breck (Outland) suggested Salomé. I liked this a lot, so it became Salomé's Dance. The music that goes with it is of course Richard Strauss'.
I may yet do another one on the same theme, with Salomé herself as subject. It may even become a triptych, who knows?