Innocent, In a Way
December 8, 2011 11:09 PM   Subscribe

Innocent, in a way Spanish artist Alberto Mielgo paints a portrait of porn star Michelle Anne Sinclair "Belladonna." Single link Vimeo with nudity.
posted by letitrain (35 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

 
Whoa. Who's hotter between the two of them?
posted by rainperimeter at 11:19 PM on December 8, 2011


Lovely. Not innocent, in a way. Pure innocence. The naked body is wonderful. And Alberto knows it. Beautiful.

And nice to see some pubic hair. Bravo!
posted by Splunge at 11:25 PM on December 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


That was nice, funny too because there is this whole assumption about painters' subjects and that is at on e explicitly there, and at the same time made clear that is not the whole point.

The thing I find frustrating though is I kept wondering if the guy can really paint? It's something that never translates through digital media but there's a grammar to paint that painters understand and when they do the paint itself, through color texture brush-stroke, imparts a whole 'mother level of information that can be as compelling or even more so, than the image itself. For example Yuskavage, Picasso's portrait of Gertrude Stein, Curran, Basquiat. The images are often impressive but the way they are put across is every bit as compelling.
posted by From Bklyn at 11:28 PM on December 8, 2011


Ladies, I'm gonna paint you, you know nuthin dirty, just spread yer legs a little. Naw, naw, it's totally innocent. You know, my shirt's chafing me a little, mind if I take it off?

This guy was probably the inspiration for Javier Bardem's character in Vicky Cristina Barcelona
posted by Hoopo at 11:31 PM on December 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


I kept wondering if the guy can really paint?

Could you explain? There were a lot of close ups and shots of him at work on the canvas in the last third of the film, where you can see his process, his brushwork, etc. What else do you need to make a judgment?
posted by Meatbomb at 11:45 PM on December 8, 2011


What else do you need to make a judgment?.

To see it live, which is all I mean. If you look at pictures or video of Lucian Freud's paintings you might think, "Wow, gloppy paint of some bodies" but if you see the same painting live there a whole other layer of information that simply does not translate. That's all I mean: the guy talks like painters I've known, but the proof is on what gets hung up.

Regardless, it's a good video. Some French guy made a movie about the same subject, except she wasn't a porn star and he was a sculptor... It's a cultural trope is my point, this is a funny/good twist on it.
posted by From Bklyn at 12:10 AM on December 9, 2011


Hahaha the line after the credits. I can't be the only one that thought "Wait is that him? How realistic is that?" when it showed the painting in the beginning.
posted by palidor at 12:32 AM on December 9, 2011


[Dumb "hit it" comment removed; this is not the kiddy pool. Over 12 only, please.]
posted by taz at 12:33 AM on December 9, 2011 [4 favorites]


OK. What'd everyone think of the final painting? Does it matter?
posted by ReeMonster at 12:39 AM on December 9, 2011


Does it matter?

Well, yes and no. Yes, because the painting is a work of art and, thus, its fair to judge it and no because I would argue that the painting isn't really what the documentary is about.

What I found fascinating about the documentary was that it addressed the thought that Mielgo puts into his work and the different ways that people perceive the human body. Yes, Belladonna is a porn star and yes she's naked, but her nudity here doesn't seem pornographic to me - indeed, Mielgo doesn't say so in so many words, but she seems to be his muse (or at least one of his muses).

What I found compelling about the painting was that it reads as sweetly domestic to me - like lovers hanging out at home enjoying each other's company. Indeed, there is something very innocent about the painting.
posted by Joey Michaels at 12:49 AM on December 9, 2011


Hahaha the line after the credits. I can't be the only one that thought "Wait is that him? How realistic is that?" when it showed the painting in the beginning.

That last line was priceless!

Were their multiple paintings? Because there were multiple poses/sessions before the final painting we saw, or is that just part of the process?

And was that a wig? Or did she shave it off once they were done?
posted by xqwzts at 1:21 AM on December 9, 2011


Great post, thx; always nice to get cool stuff to pass 'round to my friends.

xqwzts: "And was that a wig? Or did she shave it off once they were done?"
My guess is that it was her hair and she is back looking at everything after the vid is shot.
posted by dancestoblue at 3:19 AM on December 9, 2011


The Inspired Life. He doesn't only paint nudes and he seems to like bikes as seen in the foreground and also the video. He also makes videos.
His relationship with Belladonna seems to be that she is his muse and it is obviously something she enjoys.
posted by adamvasco at 4:30 AM on December 9, 2011


OK. What'd everyone think of the final painting? Does it matter?

IMO the final painting was ok. The first painting, the close up of them kissing was quite nice. The guy has talent.

PS - Just cause he likes to paint with his shirt off doesn't make him a creep. Actually when I saw him put on his painting jeans and then it cut to his bare feet I thought "oh I'd totally paint barefoot and shirtless if I were a painter."
posted by nathancaswell at 4:44 AM on December 9, 2011


Well, there's certainly nothing new about painting naked people, but I guess "Innocent, In a Way" is the perfect title for this film, since both protagonists seem to think something new and vital is happening. In that sense, yeah, there's a sweetness to both of them that comes across. That being said, I just could not help myself-- every time he spoke, I thought of this.
posted by gwint at 5:34 AM on December 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


I was torn about this. On the one hand, I thought it was sweet and good. On the other I felt like the guy was pretty interested in showing his body, which made me like him less, and which, frankly, made me question his motives more. I'm not claiming that this is a rational reaction.
posted by OmieWise at 5:58 AM on December 9, 2011


PS - Just cause he likes to paint with his shirt off doesn't make him a creep. Actually when I saw him put on his painting jeans and then it cut to his bare feet I thought "oh I'd totally paint barefoot and shirtless if I were a painter."

I think all Southern European male painters are required by law to work topless.
posted by Summer at 6:42 AM on December 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


On the other I felt like the guy was pretty interested in showing his body

I wonder if you would have felt this if he hadn't been ripped?

For a second I started to craft an argument that maybe he was trying to make his semi-nude subject more comfortable ala Verhoeven in Starship Troopers and Croenenberg in History of Violence, then I remembered that his subject was Belladonna, and abandoned it... I've uh, heard she is quite comfortable naked.
posted by nathancaswell at 6:46 AM on December 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


Ladies, I'm gonna paint you, you know nuthin dirty, just spread yer legs a little. Naw, naw, it's totally innocent. You know, my shirt's chafing me a little, mind if I take it off?

I do have to say, the idea of someone lecherously offering to paint and then seductively taking his shirt in front of the star of such films as Butthole Whores 2, Cock Pigs, Belladonna: Manhandled 2, Belladonna Fetish Fanatic 5, Anal Trainer 4, She-Male Domination Nation and Up Your Ass 19 is kind of amusing.
posted by nathancaswell at 6:55 AM on December 9, 2011 [5 favorites]


The only thing that freaked me out was his applying gesso the canvas as it was lying on that hardwood floor. Otherwise, really lovely. His style isn't for me but it's really good in its use of colour and brushwork. And he knows what he wants to paint. Thanks.
posted by seanmpuckett at 6:57 AM on December 9, 2011


Hey, thanks for this, I thought it was really interesting.

I wanted to link to Belladonna posing for a very different sort of portrait, but it seems to have disappeared down the Internet memory hole:

http://fleshbot.com/256432/belladonna-gets-moldy
posted by word_virus at 7:43 AM on December 9, 2011


Porn is weird.
posted by bardic at 7:54 AM on December 9, 2011


People who paint...help me understand...what is the masking tape for?
posted by spicynuts at 8:04 AM on December 9, 2011


I wonder if you would have felt this if he hadn't been ripped?

No, I wouldn't have. His body is part of why it felt like exhibition.

People who paint...help me understand...what is the masking tape for?

On the floor and the chair it was to make sure he could pose her again in the same position. On the painting I think it was just masking, like you would use it when painting your living room. I'm not a painter, but I spent a lot of time hanging around painters for a while and I never saw anyone do anything like that in portraiture.
posted by OmieWise at 9:01 AM on December 9, 2011


> The only thing that freaked me out was his applying gesso the canvas as it was lying on that hardwood floor.

Same here. Put some plastic down, man. Otherwise, kind of shrug.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:01 AM on December 9, 2011


The masking tape on the canvas is pretty much no different than how you'd use it painting a wall; it lets you paint a straight/sharp edge. Although I'd never seen this done before for painting nudes. The tape on the floor is probably some sort of reference marker for where things were located, but they seem kinda haphazardly thrown around. Whatever though, people use what works for them and it doesn't always make sense. Myself, I appear to be unable to paint with anything other than a fine brush even on a large canvas, which is the source of much frustration.

I do have to say, the idea of someone lecherously offering to paint and then seductively taking his shirt in front of the star of such films

Haha, yeah I know, but I'm assuming his first attempts weren't with American porn stars, and my guess is that he's probably really good at getting subjects, too.
posted by Hoopo at 9:17 AM on December 9, 2011


OK Omiewise what's the big idea
posted by Hoopo at 9:18 AM on December 9, 2011


The end result is not bad. Nothing to write home about, but I was pleasantly surprise.

I prefer Belladonna's more... erm... explicit work though.
posted by falameufilho at 9:41 AM on December 9, 2011


surpriseD
posted by falameufilho at 9:42 AM on December 9, 2011


gwint: "every time he spoke, I thought of this ."

As a Brazilian, I'm taking offense on the suggestion that the Brazilian Portuguese and Spanish accents are the same. Shame on you, sir. Shame on you.
posted by falameufilho at 9:48 AM on December 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


It's funny. I can imagine a very similar discussion to this one in which we're all clicking our tongues at the male artist being fully clothed in front of the naked female model. Sex--I guess we live in a world which is so utterly fucked in the head about the subject that there's no way anything we do or say about it can be "innocent."

Oh, and thanks for the post, letitrain--much more interesting than I thought it would be.
posted by yoink at 10:17 AM on December 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


... such films as Butthole Whores 2, Cock Pigs, Belladonna: Manhandled 2, Belladonna Fetish Fanatic 5, Anal Trainer 4, She-Male Domination Nation and Up Your Ass 19 is kind of amusing.

If you didn't know that off the top of your head, please don't ruin the image I have of you now.
posted by Amanojaku at 3:17 PM on December 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


Here is another guy who took his shirt off to paint portraits of naked ladies. I don't think it matters one iota what his model / muse does in her other life. The fact that they are confortable with one another enables the painter to produce some crafted work.
posted by adamvasco at 2:02 AM on December 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


Yeah, skeevy alright. Here's another one of those creepy shirtless painters. I imagine his models were always worried he'd hit on them.
posted by IAmBroom at 7:04 PM on January 5, 2012


I imagine his models expected him to hit on them.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:06 PM on January 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


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