STARK NAKED BLUES

As I write about art, I couldn’t miss this opportunity to try writing about art in the manner of a music critic. Thank you, the Daily Post for this idea!

Blues comes in different colours. It can be a bourbon-fuelled frenzy of reds and greens or the plain hangover gray. This reclining nude painting from a Russian realist artist is the namesake of the Thrill is Gone, that famous B.B.King piece that is also the most common complaint in couple therapy, when the couple is over 40.

Gely Korzhev – currently on exhibit at the Institute for Russian Realism

The curve of the slow tune that gradually builds up strength towards the crescendo of the nude’s bottom, indicates wear and tear of the day’s toll on a working class woman. The G major chord of the red headscarf, expertly introduced by the stingy guitar solo reminding a Blues lover of B.B.King’s latest recordings, does not give a hope. On the opposite, it stresses the absolute lack of it. The heavy minors of the boots, punctuated by the expressive drumming expertly performed by the neighbour behind the thin carton wall make you feel the previously unmapped depths of the blues, as a music genre.

The thrill is gone. Where there was hope, there’s despair. The expert music lover may not like the rusty sounds of French horn sometimes seen heard at the bottom of the composition, but no, it’s not a fault of the performer. It was meant to sound rusty, for despair is never a sweet melody. Some coziness is provided by the thick whistle of the kettle brass oboe. It is obvious the musician keeps his oboe in top-notch condition. Perhaps, this oboe is the only bright sound in the song, but one that is indeed capable of taking any blues lover on a tour of his live. It makes you forget the carnal desires of the body, replacing them with a burning desire for tea. Or vodka. Because you want to get “free, free from your spell, baby”. Fortunately, the “baby” doesn’t mind.

If you missed the item on modern nudes, very good people say it’s worth reading.

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2 thoughts on “STARK NAKED BLUES

  1. earwaxdissertation

    I love this writing piece. I am a huge blues fan (i love old school SunHouse, R.Johnson, Lead Belly etc.). I also love art history. When I was back in college, I had a better sense of seeing the similarities in feeling the music in the paintings I would look at. It was hard to articulate at times, but I guess, you did a nice job of it.

    Reply

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