Thursday, October 11, 2018


Here is the origin of "Orientalism", families who are cloaked to us, like those depicted above. I am presenting three paintings by Lalla Essaydi, a Moroccan woman now living in the USA.

Here is Lalla as she is in reality.

This is a painting by Lalla that is Orientalist.  It is currently up for auction at Christies and has the estimated value of more than twenty thousand dollars.  What makes it "oriental" -- to my mind -- is that it draws on a long tradition of beautiful reclining women (sometimes nude) hinting at harems, receptiveness, and a material culture of beautiful fabrics.  There is probably more.  The undercurrent of eroticism is part of Lalla's vocabulary and is specifically female.

In fact, I post this as a counterpoint to the many things I want to say about unique, nearly cloistered, communities, specifically the Blackfeet and Smash Street Boys.  Often art is one of the bridges that allows us access but does not tell us how to react.

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