Wednesday, August 21, 2013

No Boundaries International Art Colony sure shows no boundaries with some stuff in their show.

We at USA DOT COM venture far afield in the choice of topics and general forms of enlightenment. But rarely have we gotten disoriented enough to take on serious art.

Bath House nude art - pencil, ink, nib drawing

Nude at Tobacco Barn (I think. Not sure. Has Backache. Not in local show.)

By Verne Strickland   August 21, 2013

We at USA DOT COM venture far afield in the choice of topics and general forms of enlightenment. But rarely have we gotten disoriented enough to take on serious art.

An exception has to be made at this time due the presence of a prestigious art affair in progress in Wilmington and Bald Head Island. The group, which, for want of some other title, is known as the "No Boundaries International Art Colony".

They wanted to name the organization "Stuff the Democratic National Committee Is Not Responsible For" -- but that title was already claimed.

Actually, that might be a bit misleading, because this has nothing directly to do with politics, except for my bet that a Republican on the board of this busy non-profit might feel just way out of place.

We, the staff and management of USA DOT COM, have had some fun and frolic ridiculing certain major art movements in the U.S., which have dipped deeply into federal coffers to fund and promote totally obscene junk designed to stun, amaze and disgust. And the "objets d'art" have been wildly successful with meeting that goal. 

I have to say that "No Boundaries" has not made that mistake.The colony has apparently sought no public funding. In addition to obtaining sponsorships and donations, it generates funds through the sale of art created at past colonies.

International participation has come from artists in over 26 countries on four continents, and the group's board has been hard at work documenting more than original 350 No Boundaries artworks, with 260 of these available for purchase. Some of those works are on display at downtown Wilmington restaurant Manna, 123 Princess St.

No Boundaries is also working to align itself with more local organizations. It's an effort to involve the community with the diverse group of artists the colony attracts while growing public awareness.

I have behaved myself admirably up until this point, but as I proceed, I think you should be advised to ask your kids to leave the room. What I have to say is that I was taken aback by a publicity photo in the local StarNews of a couple of No Boundaries leaders standing before a large painting that would not have been out of place in some of today's most notorious sexy magazines.

We chose not to post the stunning photograph here as it is truly graphic, truly prurient, and truly weird. 

Needless to say, it would not have cleared the stern Victorian censors for inclusion in "National Geographic" -- which routinely depicted bare-breasted African ladies going about their routine village life. Aside from this,  modest lingerie ads in Montgomery Ward catalogs were the first such exciting photos of feminine beauty that boys of my generation had ever seen.

I liken at least one of paintings hanging in the No Boundaries show at Restaurant Manna to a Picasso painting (shown here) -- not one of his most celebrated -- though even spartan Picasso sketches can command a king's ransom. This, of course, is not in the local show.

Anyway, while Picasso routinely took great liberties with the human form, few if any of his paintings could qualify as appealing to prurient interests. So what? Art ain't generally sexy anyway.

But the painting depicted in the StarNewsOnline feature from the No Boundaries event could be qualified as a XXXer compared to Pablo's cortortionist nuden

There is a contortionist element in this No Boundaries rendering also, although the two nudes here are clearly entwined in the raptures of intense lovemaking. The woman participant is bent over backward, making it easier for the male nude to vigorously attack her exposed "no-no" with some of his facial and oral apparatus in a way that gave Michael Douglas a very scary throat cancer. Ooh.

Look, I know I'm being melodramatic about all this. It's my style, and the subject matter here sort of compels me exaggerate mischievously for crowd appeal.

And I'm no prude either. I want to tell you that. I won a Bachelor of Arts degree at East Carolina University (in earlier years aka ECU, ECTC, and probably by other acronyms I was shielded from.) I think those secrets may have given our football team more of a chance on the gridiron. I do know that we whitewashed Miller-Motte two seasons ago in the Soybean Bowl. We sent our six-man squad against them to even up the odds.

I mention my Alma Mater to sneak in the fact that my major was English and my minor art. And the student models in the anatomy sketching classes were outstanding. No, I'm no prude, dudes. I been around.

Before I close out this puzzling diatribe, I want to offer sincere apologies to the No Boundaries International Art Colony -- an apology which I am certain will be haughtily rebuffed, if even acknowledged. And I deserve that.

I just have to say welcome to Wilmington, friends. We are a bit of a sophisticated and historic little village, and almost everyone who comes here has a swell time and leaves happier than they were when they arrived.

Please don't mind me. And please come back. If you like, you may complain about my tasteless article by calling Justin Lacy, who did such a commendable job on the StarNews feature. His phone: 343-2343 for the paper's Features Section.

Ask him to tell art patrons hereabouts that Verne Strickland, who formerly cropped tobacco on area farms, then traveled to over 30 countries as an award-winning TV reporter, will likely not be writing anymore features on the art world.

I know they've be relieved to hear that.