Art On The Rack


tall and slender
thin and lean
what do such racked
such skeletal
figures mean

imagination extended
perception broadened
brought to brush and canvas
stone and chisel
bronze and rasp
unique reality
given expression
in the artist’s eye
and distorted vision

el greco

artistic differences
in paint and bronze

fashion’s fad
now continued
on the catwalk

do my eyes
deceive me
with beauty
in the eye of the bewildered
or perhaps following

and stretched out models
and elongated
in the artist’s vision

paraded to their public
asked to accept
an interpretation
allowing retrieval
of a larger truth

thus to become
stricken and striated
of a new generation

fêted now
as great and good
but fated still
to be misunderstood



The images at the top are, from left to right  . . .
El Greco:  ‘St.John The Baptist’ – c.1600; Oil on Canvas
Giacometti:  ‘Walking Man’ – 1960; Bronze
Modigliani: ‘Lunia Czechowska in Black’ – 1919; Oil on canvas
Parmagianino: ‘Madonna With Long Neck’
The bottom picture is of ‘Catwalk models’ – from Pinterest.



11 thoughts on “Art On The Rack

  1. You’ve honored some amazing artists here in your poem!
    Makes me think of some phrases like “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” and that artists have “a good eye”. 🙂
    HUGS!!! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Very striking and deeply questioning poem Roland. You draw both on the big artists of long ago and the modern fashion of ‘underfed’ models.
    Why indeed are they so elongated and underfed. Who created this model as the way to be
    beautiful. And why did El Greco and gang create those abnormal beings?
    Leaving you with question marks

    Liked by 1 person

    • As much as art reflects life so life feeds off art. Thus fashion is created. The connections are many but so complicated. I don’t have any answers., but I do find the subject fascinating. Thank you for commenting, Miriam.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I have always loved El Greco. The National Museum of Wales, in Cardiff, had a painting of his (probably a workshop copy) El Espolio, and I used to visit it regularly when I was home from school. A visit to Toledo provided so many things of interest. I also took the circular bus that goes out round the city walls and passes several of the spots from which the painter must have done sketches for his backgrounds. I always think of him as providing sensations of movement and emotion in a two dimensional space that was mainly used for narrative at the time he was painting. I visited his house in Toledo when I was last there. There’s something about seeing the working space of an artist, especially a long-dead (but still living in his paintings) one. Nice presentation. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

      • I am not well travelled, in the sense of many places, Roland, but I have done my best to ‘travel deep’ and to return to the places that I love, Spain (and all things Spanish) being one of them. I have been in and out of Spain for most of my life: work and play.

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