Thursday, June 29, 2017

Her Beloved Pride

Once upon a time, back when hair was big, shoulders pads were wide and leggings had stirrups, my BFA Thesis at the Cleveland Institute of Art was all about The Seven Deadly Sins.

Me, with my Seven Deadly Sins board game, just before my 1986 BFA Presentation.
In the foreground, my life drawing teacher Francis Meyers
in the far background I can recognize James Groman and David Jupp!

This yearlong expedition into the artistic investigation and depiction of  Sloth, Envy, Rage, Greed, Lust, Gluttony and Pride culminated with a cross-shaped board game that was as religiously irreverent, fun and satirical as this free-thinking heathen student of illustration could imagine.

My hypothesis was that the sins were simply human traits that we all have. Taken to excess, yes, they’re not the best traits we have…but, in the grand scheme, they’re also not the worst. Note, the sins don’t include murder, lying, stealing, cheating, bullying, violence, taking away the rights of others, silencing opposing voices, reneging on promises, taking away healthcare from children, the sick and the poor, letting other starve, enslavement, taking away the right to control how your body is used …you know, the really bad stuff.

No, the Seven Deadly Sins are a fun group of juicy, deliciously, compelling human traits that are open to endless interpretation…and excuses to paint people. 

I decided to revisit the Seven Deadly Sins some 30 years after my 1986 BFA and have only just started to scratch the surface. So far, I’ve painted and blogged about Sloth, using my hardworking, but sleep loving son as a model, and have, won a Best in Show for my interpretation of Greed…who protectively guards her ideals and artistic integrity… entitled, Guarded Idealist

Underlying the human nature of the Seven (not so) Deadlies is that they mostly affect the sinner herself.  And, taken in moderation, they are necessary for self-preservation (Gluttony in moderation is sustenance, Sloth is rest, Lust is procreation…see?)

Perhaps the toughest one to interpret is the “sin” of Pride.

Yes, in Medieval Catholic lore, the concept of contrition and guilt loomed large, and a healthy self-esteem warranted Hail Marys, a wearing of a sackcloth and even some self-flagellation. But nowadays just about every self-help book and internet meme since Stuart Smalley first appeared on SNL want us to have a positive self-image and feel good about ourselves. In fact, just recently the conventional wisdom has changed about telling your kids you’re proud of them. Now you’re supposed to tell them they should be proud of themselves…for how hard they’ve worked as well as for their successes. 

In other words, take ownership of your awesomeness!

So, I present my triple image of my beautiful platinum-haired model and muse, paying tribute to, and embracing her own positive self-image…Her Beloved Pride.



Her Beloved Pride
Judy Takács

And, you knew it was coming…
I am PROUD to announce this painting will be appearing
as part of the

81st Annual Midyear Exhibition
Butler Institute of American Art
Opening Reception:
Sunday July 9 from 1:00 to 3:00


Butler Institute of American Art
524 Wick Ave.
Youngstown, Ohio
Butlerart.com

Show runs through August 20th

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