Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Intercourse with a Vampire: bloodsucking monsters, feminism, and the arts.

Is it just me or does everyone and their mom want to sleep with a vampire now? And by everyone, I mean adolescent girls. Seriously, I am not sure if I am pleased, puzzled, or disturbed by the number of renderings I have seen floating out there, generated by these young ladies, of men with emo hair, unbuttoned, ruffly shirts, and blood dripping out of their cherry mouths and a 5 o'clock shadow. Though the Twilight phenomenon is only very recent, there idea of the male vampire is (in the grand scheme of art history) a relatively new idea in art, and did not even exist before John Polidori's 1819 story The Vampyre. Up until the about 1900, you are hard pressed to find a representation of a vampire in art that is not female as vampire-like attributes historically came from ancient female demons. No, it is not a modern concept that women suck the life out of men (the jerk-faces had it coming.....), but it is one propogated by Freud and others of his ilk who offered up the theory that vampires represent sexual desires. So female vampires in art can be pegged as the fantasies of all those dirty-old-man-artists-- and that's an explanation I am willing to buy. I mean who hasn't had to defend the sexual proclivities of this nature--"I just couldn't help it....I was all out of garlic and crosses..... and he was hottttttt."

Anyway, the fabulous above plate is The Vampire by Philip Burne-Jones. I could post you a more contemporary piece--a lovely little sketch from one of those 13 year olds--but that would be cruel to both them and to art.

THIS JUST IN:;_ylt=A0WTcY_2FPJJAJYAFgaKxQt.;_ylv=3?qid=20090424095736AAGBoYy (and check out answer number 9.... I believe that is attempted murder)

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