The latest Twitter flub occurred with ASUS’s tweet for the introduction of the new Transformer AIO (see below).
Some commenters say that it’s not sexist to compliment a woman on the shape of her bum. Others say that it’s disgusting and they’ll never take their business to ASUS again. While the remaining people tell everyone else to lighten up and extract the sticks from their bums.
I don’t know that I find it sexist per se. Maybe just gross. Or, rather, uncomfortable. I just think it’s weird when corporate brands that aren’t overtly sexed (e.g. Victoria’s Secret, GameStop, Bud Light, etc.) make overt sexual comments. The brand spokesperson is transformed into the typical sleazeball found in bars and drinking establishments everywhere, cat calling all female consumers with a couple bucks in their wallet.
Here’s a way to put it: when I go to bars, I appreciate the men who sit and talk to me in an effort to get to know me. Nights with those men end with a promise of a future date, the exchange of phone numbers and, occasionally, a sloppy kiss or two. The men who make comments about my body, however, are quickly dismissed and made fun of minutes later.
Brands! Listen to me this! Don’t be the second guy. Nobody likes that guy. Except for his nicer and more attractive buddies who use him as an unknowing wingman. And, by publishing comments like ‘I like the shape of her bum’ (paraphrased), you perpetuate that very image to millions of users of social media. THINK, THINK, THINK.
I don’t have a whole lot of graphic design skills at the moment. Which, considering my career goals, is a little unfortunate, I know. But I’m working on it.
So. Attempt 1. A bastardization of pop art and constructivism a la El Lissitzky.
I know, I know. The custard is sort of a big, fuzzy blur, but it’s a start, I suppose.
Here’s the original:
Lissitzky, Beat the Whites with the Red Wedge, 1919
And here are Shepard Fairey’s (with agency Studio Number One) 2009 Want It designs for Saks Fifth Avenue that play off of Lissitzy’s coloring and style:
The font of which sampled from Rodchenko’s advertisements and Soviet propaganda, like:
Rodchenko, Untitled Advertisement, 1924
(art history and advertising musings after the jump)
Sorry, I tend to stray from my train of thoughts frequently. So Manet.
Olympia is based off of the traditional reclining female nude, specifically Titian’s Venus of Urbino (1538).
Venus is a marriage portrait, commissioned by the Duke of Urbino. The woman, herself, is soft and curvaceous, her pose languid and inviting. Her expression invites viewers into her space, sending out a “come hither” to everyone. The flowers in her right hand emphasize her femininity. She is depicted masturbating: a symbol of fertility - people believed that if one masturbated after intercourse, then their chances of conception were increased. At her feet is a small dog curled up, signifying loyalty and fidelity. In the background, two servants are packing linens into a marriage trunk.
In 19th Century France, “Olympia” was a common name for a prostitute - I suppose it would be like doing a painting of a skinny, busty woman wearing skimpy clothing and calling it “Bambi” or something today. Her pose differs from that of the Venus in that she’s reclining but still managing to exude power and control. Her accessories are trendy, fancy, and would have been expensive. Rather than serving as a lead-in to her body, Olympia’s left hand is a stopping point on her thigh. Her servant enforces the perception of her wealth. In place of the dog is an arching black cat.
So through this, Manet is challenging the viewers, who are all wealthy members of the upper-class. They hate her existence (as a representation of successful prostitutes), yet they are the ones supplying her income. Through her pose, Olympia is showing that she is in control of the situation, and her hand reinforces this message.
It’s great, isn’t it? I mean, he could have stuck to a safe or normal topic, but instead he goes on a campaign of social criticism.
thank you :) this blog is more of my watching and reading site; my active one is thymeenoughatlast.tumblr.com
I really like your site, by the way. it’s absolutely lovely.
so I posted an image of olympia by manet months ago and never explained myself. which must seem odd. questionable at the very least. my bad.
for a long while, I seriously considered being an art history major and then go on to teach it at a university. I’ve done almost two years of research on ancient roman sarcophagi now and taken both of the intro-level survey courses, so I suppose I could still do it eventually. but I realized that I want a job that fluctuates and changes. so I decided to just keep art history as a hobby.
anyways, olympia is one of my favorite paintings because manet is such a freaking badass.