Theory Of The Nude In Art


My friends and family often ask me why so many artists paint (as they say) “naked people”. Some think that the nude is only pornography, while others just think that it’s out-dated in the art world. Most artists will tell you something along the lines of “we don’t see them as ‘naked’ we just see beauty”. Though this may be true, it doesn’t answer our question. As a classically trained artist myself I have a theory on why people make art using the nude. I think the first step in understanding the nude in art is to understand why people made them in the past, and why they continue to make them.

There are three basic categories of nudes, which are not necessarily mutually exclusive (sometimes they overlap):

The Ideal Nude: Originating with the Greeks, the ideal nude is just a concept really, the basis of which was most clearly explained by Plato. He stated that within all things there is a universal and divine “form” that defines it. For example: if you look at 100 trees, each individual tree will look different, yet they are all similar enough to categorize them as trees. What is the sameness or underlying quality of the tree which makes it a tree? This thing, this sameness, Plato called form. Greek artists took this idea and tried to find the ideal form of the human body. They used shapes in the human body, much like a musician would use musical notes to form a chord. The idea was to create a harmony through repetition and variation of certain visual elements of the body. Excellent examples of this are, of course, classical Greek and Roman sculpture, Leonardo da Vinci (who also could be mentioned in all of these categories for different works), Donatello, Rafael, and the Neo-classicists of the 19th century.

The Observed Nude: Originating in the Fayum portraits of ancient Greece in a technique of painting called Encaustic, which uses wax as a medium for pigment instead of oil or water. The main purpose of this originated in portraiture and was all about trying to capture the individual’s personality and particular appearance. Great examples of this can be found in the paintings of Rembrandt, John Singer Sargent, and ancient Roman portrait busts.

The Expressive Nude: This form is intended to do just what the name implies. The nude is used here as the main vehicle for the artist’s expression, usually with emotive, and in the case of the Renaissance, devotional purposes. Great examples would be the work of Michelangelo (who could be classified under ideal nude as well) and most of the artists of the modern period: Rodin, Picasso, Matisse, Kathe Kollwitz, Edvard Munch, and Paul Gauguin etc…

I would like to rephrase our original question in the interest of brevity and to be more specific. “Why is it that the most recurring subject in all of art history by far is the human face and body?” Modern scientific research also gives us a clue to the reasons behind our question. The human face and the human body are psychologically stimulating to the mind. Our brains are actually hard wired to recognize human form. Take, for example, a chimpanzee. If you look at three different chimps for 5 seconds, would you be able to tell them apart as individuals? Now if you look at three human faces for 5 seconds, I bet your success rate will be much greater. But a chimp can recognize and differentiate between other chimps much easier, just as you can recognize a human face much easier.

You might say, OK I understand why we look at faces, that makes sense, but why nude? Well there are multiple reasons. First (and least important to me) is tradition. There is a long tradition predating even the Egyptians of recreating the human body. So, as a method of teaching art, there are lots of people who have done it before and so there are a lot of excellent techniques and examples for artistic training that have been developed which apply to other forms of art as well. Second, it is a test of skill. If one can make a believable representation of something that we are so familiar with, then everything else is a piece of cake. If I paint a chimpanzee you would be less critical of whether it looks real or not than a human face, simply because most of us don’t see chimps every day for our entire lives. Some artists get caught up in this challenge for perfection and are never satisfied with their degree of skill, (I know I never am) and so continue to pursue impossible perfection even though most people might not see the minute faults of the work which the artist does. -The next passage includes much of my opinion on the subject and is not intended to force my views on anyone, but merely to share another point of view.

Third, (and most importantly to me) the nude, when I choose to paint it, is representative of something more than observation. My works are meant to evoke complex emotions or thoughts in the viewer, and are not meant to be decorative, though beauty is important to me. Since nudity is not often seen in normal everyday settings, it implies that there is something more to the interpretation. It makes the piece more intimate. For me, art is about conveying the complexity of life; its joy and its sorrow. If I paint a nude with a certain degree of sexuality implied, it is to communicate the dual nature of every human being. All of us, from the most pious, to the most base, from the greatest ideals of compassion and love, to fear and jealousy; we are all torn between what we are and what we wish to be. We all have some desire to do or see something greater than what is before us, and we all struggle with the desire for immediate pleasure. It is this tension between our animal and divine sides that I attempt to evoke; and in doing so, perhaps to help myself and others understand a little bit more about being human.

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Nudity, an Art or Exploitation?


“The naked human figure exudes artistic expressions in the most intimate and insinuating poses. Through extreme lighting techniques and shadow strokes across the body, the appearance of nudity frees what is seemingly trapped in an artist’s imagination.

The aesthetic value of nude art is artistic freedom. Whether an art seems controversial or obscene, the real worth lies on the artist’s justification of his work. For every nude painter, the bareness of a body liberates his deepest pleasures and profound emotions. Famous nude photographer Günter Rinnhofer defined nude photography as “A nude photo is then good when the Model shows it around at the coffee table at her grandmother’s birthday party and receives positive feedback.” Furthermore, artistic nudity is no longer a taboo yet various implications are cast on the moral view and societal norms.

Conventionally, nude models were painted to highlight some artistic elements of innocence as to imaginary Greek paganism. Traditional nude art challenges and differs from the norm, opens room for new opinions and alternate individual interpretations. This is particularly evidential to the portraits of Greek gods and goddesses, whose figures were used as depiction of beauty and power. In the time of Renaissance, painters like Michaelangelo worked on nude art photo as a portrayal of social issues and culture. The painting, The Birth of Venus, showed Venus in the nude without any sexual implication.

Nowadays, the general perception towards artistic nudity has changed and had even led to the debate as to whether or not contemporary nude photography complies with the artistic standards. Modern nude photos are said to be deviant in nature which greatly affect the people’s understanding of sexuality.

Modern media have blatantly come up with the most sexually provocative advertising called “sex sells.” Clothing brands and liquors won’t earn the public’s interest without a nude poster on its starry billboard in Times Square. After all, advertising has always been for its exploitative use of sexy men and women, which worked for Calvin Klein, Benetton and Abercrombie and Fitch. In fact, Paris Hilton could have flunked if she hadn’t showed some flesh in nude posters for the socialites.

In modern art, a nude photo showcases in entirety a woman’s naked body exposing even her private parts to draw more attention to eroticism. An example of this is Samuel de Cubber’s full frontal nudity for M7 Fragrance ads.

The question of whether a nude photo is an ‘art’ often gets into a debate since nudity has a long history. Arguments contain the premise seeing people clothed is more natural than seeing them naked.

How an artist portrays a nude photo depends solely on his or her intention of drawing it. As an artist, one has to set the standards and lay the groundwork. The image has to project a confident and sensible body not an exploitation of the flesh. “

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An Exercise in Freestyle the Art of Rhyming


If you want to be a freestyle rapper, it is important for you to learn freestyle the art of rhyming. Without your rhymes, you will not be a good freestyle rapper. So the more rhymes that you have, the better freestyler you will become. So you must spend some time learning your rhymes so that they will become second nature to you. In this article, we will talk about a great exercise that you can incorporate into your practice schedule.

For this exercise, pick 5 words that aren’t related and don’t rhyme. My 5 words are going to be hat, book, beat, low, ride. Now you want to find four words that rhyme with each of your words. You can use a rhyming dictionary, or you can come up with them on your own. I personally like to come up with them on my own first to test my own rhyming ability. If I get stuck, then I will use my rhyming dictionary. You can do whatever is easiest for you. So here are my rhyming words:

Hat: bat, rat, sat, and mat

Book: look, took, cook, and rook

Beat: heat, treat, eat, and meat

Low: mow, tow, bow, and row

Ride: hide, tide, guide, and fried

Now you want to take these words and freestyle for one minute. Use each of these rhymes. What you are doing as you are practicing is memorizing these rhyming words. The more you practice using these words, the more they will become part of your repertoire. You will fine that you don’t have to think about them. They will naturally become part of your rhyming vocabulary.

It is a good idea to practice this exercise several times a day. Each time that you practice you want to add 5 new words. At the end of each day, if you practice 5 or 6 times a day, you are adding a lot of rhyming words to your vocabulary.

Just remember that as you are adding these words, they are words that you know, and all that you are doing is adding them to your rhyming vocabulary. This is just an exercise that will help you develop the art of rhyming within your own rhyming arsenal, helping you to become a professional freestyle rapper.

To Your Freestyle Rap Success,

Mike Min

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The Use of X-ray as Art


THE USE OF X-RAY AS ART

In my younger years I was Professor of Surgery at the Louisiana State University School of Medicine with a research interest in  wound healing.  I was also a serious photographer and had studied with local photographer Eugene Delcroix; it was thrilling to attend one of the last workshops that Ansel Adams,  the American master, actually taught.

My medical research attempted to speed the helaing of wounds. When an incision is made thousands of blood vessels are cut; fortunately only the larger ones usually bleed,  and they have to be closed off by ligation with thread or fulguration  with an electrosurgical machine. Part the healing process is regrowth of  arteries, veins, and capillaries into the wound. I decided to study this phenomenum, hoping to find a way to accelerate the process.

This  type of  research is now a large field called angiogenesis.  In the 1960’s  it had no name and I called it Vascularization of wounds. I  decided to use an X-ray technique (micoaangiography) to visualize the very small blood vessels ( arteries and veins  down to 100 microns in diameter); capillaries are too small to be seen by this technique.

My early work1  showed that new vessels appear in as early as 3 days, and can completely bridge  the wound in as little as 7 days, possibly adding some strength to the wound. My images were striking, and reminded some of Jackson Pollock’s abstract art.

I then began to make X-rays of  flowers and shells, thinking I was the first person in the world to do that.

There is an old saying in academic surgery “If you think you have discovered a new procedure (operation, way to tie a knot, etc.), all it means is that you have not read the German literature”. That was true in the 1920s and 30s as at that time Germany was the undisputed leader in the evolving field of  operative surgery, now unquestionably held by the USA.

For X-ray art  the originators were French and American,2,3. In 1913 2 an article was published in the French literature about the use of X-ray in biology. In the article there is an image which appears to be an X-ray of a leaf; the image is not labeled, and  there is no description of the equipment or technique used to make the image.

In 1914 Edwards3 published X-rays of flowers as art, but I was not aware of that work until I began researching the literature for a book I was writing on X-ray Art4

           My early images of shells and other “hard” objects were good, but I realized that to image “soft” objects like flowers or textiles ,I I would need “soft X-rays” , obtainable only from special machines designed for operation at low kilovoltage and with a beryllium window to let the radiation out. Such units are used in modern hospitals mainly  for the study of  breasts , both of the intact breast (mammography) and specimen radiography, mainly of breast biopsies taken at surgery.

I Since I needed the “soft” Xrays to obtain the best microangiograms of  healing wounds, I applied for and received  an NIH grant to purchase a Faxitron, a precision X-ray machine made for specimen radiography. I used it mainly for the microangiograms of wounds, but also was able to use it on flowers and other objects.

Although modern X-ray machines are digital, all of my images have been made on film and developed in trays. In my early work I had problems with uneven backgrounds—streaks of lighter densities. This was solved by using rotating drums for development. Using conventional trays, the problem can be ameliorated, but not eliminated, by presoaking the film in plain water before development.

All X-ray images, whether recorded on film, paper, or digitally are negative, meaning that the background is black, and the object white. In my early work I placed the X-ray films in an enlarger and made positive images on photographic paper. Such images have white backgrounds and black images.

Most physicians were trained to read the original X-ray film negatives and to many of them only negative images look right.  As art either positive or negative images can be used, and I generally prefer positive ones. I find that when physicians purchase my prints to decorate their offices or homes, they generally want negative images. This however is changing; with digital radiography, it is easy to produce positive images, and many radiologists are finding it easier to interpret such images.

  1.   Myers, M.B. and Cherry, G. Blood supply of healing wounds:  functional and  angiographic  Archives of Surgery 62:49-52 1971

2.. Goby  la microradiographie  et ses applicatios a l’anatomie vegetale Bull Soc. Franc Photogr 4:310-312 1913

3.J. Hall-Edwards The Radiography of Flowers  Arch. Of Roentgen Ray 19:30-31 1914

4. Myers, Bert The Inner Beauty of Nature X-ray Photography Applejack Art 2007

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Music and Art of the Philippines


Filipino music and art have both been influenced by the cultures that have migrated to this nation. The first type of music that developed in the Philippines was indigenous music brought here by native tribes that migrated from Taiwan. There are three basic groups of indigenous music styles: southern styles, northern styles and other styles. The southern style of music usually involves five different instruments including the kulintang, the agung, the gangdinagan, the dabakan and the babedil. The northern styles of indigenous music reflect Asian gong music. Their music usually features the unbossed gong called the Gangsa. In addition to the instruments used by southern and northern music styles, other instruments used in the Philippines include log drums, flutes, bamboo zithers and the Kudyapi.

Hispanic cultures from Spain and Mexico have greatly influenced the development of Filipino music. These cultures have introduced musical forms like the Harana the Kundiman and Rondalla. Most of these music forms developed as a result of the fusion between tribal music styles and traditional Spanish and Mexican music. Today the influence of Spain and Mexico is still present in modern Filipino music. Modern popular music in the Philippines still has a Hispanic flavor.

Filipino Art has its roots in indigenous traditions and colonial imports. Like most cultures, the Philippines have their own style of plastic arts like sculpture and painting. However, they also have their own style of movement arts like dancing. Some of the most notable artists from the Philippines include Fernando Amorsolo, David Cortes Medalla, Nunelucio Alvardao, Juan Luna, Felix Hidalgo and Rey Paz Contreras.

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A Brief History of Sculpture


The art form of sculpting has existed since the prehistoric age, with the earliest artists making use of materials such as ivory and clay. However, for many people, they think of the Egyptians or the Greeks as the initial creators of sculpture. It is widely known that the ancient Egyptians created a number of sculptures developed for both purely aesthetic reasons, as well as to observe rituals. The early Egyptians created sculptures of Sphinxes and Pharaohs, some of which are still in existence today. In fact, sculpture has often been used in religious practices or to honor those who were highly regarded in religious or political roles. The Greeks are also recognized for having created beautiful and lasting pieces that demonstrate the values of their time. Many of these pieces have proven their capability to survive and are able to observe even today.

Many of the most famous pieces of ancient sculpture have been attributed to the Greeks. Most often the pieces created were of people, especially those in positions of power. While the Greeks generally favored painting as the chosen art form, the sculptures were the pieces that survived to be observed and studied. These pieces were generally made of stone (often marble) and hand carved using metal tools or they were made from bronze. Bronze was considered to be of a higher stature than the stone sculptures, but not as many pieces lasted because the bronze was often melted down and reused for other purposes.

During the Middle Ages and Medieval periods, European artists utilized sculpture to represent the Gothic and Roman periods symbolized by religious architecture. The cathedrals and churches displayed intricate works of art and in some cases, provided a platform for sculptors to gain notoriety and influence. In the latter part of the Medieval period, many famous Renaissance sculptors emerged. In 16th and 17th century Italy and France, the baroque art style emerged and became the widely accepted norm.

Neoclassicism emerged in the 18th century and was characterized by a return to simplicity and restraint, a direct contrast to the extravagant baroque style that had been popular previously. This style of sculpture retained its popularity well into the 19th century as well.  

The modern sculpture of the 20th century provided a break from the realism and traditional Greek style of creating sculptures. Artists were influenced by work from many different parts of the world, including Aztec and African art. The modern sculpture movement also made use of nontraditional materials to create pieces that were not designed to last indefinitely (as it often had been in the past) but only to use the best materials to represent that piece of art for the time being. Modern sculptures also began to use everyday items to create pieces of art, known as the “pop art” style.

The current, contemporary style of sculpture is not easily defined. Artists use a variety of materials and methods for creating sculptures. Many traditional rules have been lifted and the artist is no longer limited by the popular, accepted style as they have been historically.

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Contemporary Ghanaian Verbal Arts


In contemporary Ghanaian societies, various forms of verbal arts are practiced. The indigenous verbal art forms are practiced together with the contemporary ones though with little modification in their presentations and functions. Some of these verbal art forms include Storytelling, Oath swearing, Poetry recitals, Appellations etc.

Oath Swearing

In contemporary Ghanaian societies, oaths are taken by those who take up leadership positions in the communities and the nation as a whole. Presidents, members of parliament, assembly men and women take oaths concerning how diligent, true and efficient they would be in discharging their duties without embezzling state funds and be law abiding in all their dealings with the general public. In the traditional settings too, newly appointed kings and queen mothers also take up oaths that binds them with their newly assigned responsibilities.

In the law courts, accused persons and petitioners swear and take oaths that they would speak only the truth with respect to the cases for which they have been summoned. Usually, the oaths are taken with the individual concerned holding items like the Holy Bible or Quran, ceremonial swords, leadership staffs etc.

There are also some professions in Ghana today where newly appointed persons to the job are mandated to swear oaths of allegiance to serve the people. An example is the Hippocratic Oath sworn by new doctors, pharmacists and those who work in the medical field.

Oath wearing is supposed to bind the person who engages in it to be true, loyal and efficient to whatever course for which he or she swore.

Storytelling

Stories with contemporary themes or subjects are told to members of the general public during church programs, school activities, funeral and wedding ceremonies. They are usually narrative and descriptive in nature. They include stories about the birth of Christ, the journeys of Mohammed and other religious themes which are told at the churches and mosques. Stories of the bravery and courage displayed by our forefathers are narrated to the general public so that the members of the society can pick moral lessons on how to mimic their sterling examples. This usually takes place during visits to historic sites and museums, schools and at other social gatherings.

Stories that reflect the Ghanaian belief in life after death is usually narrated during funeral and mortuary services of deceased persons in the Ghanaian community. Moreover, stories of successful and unsuccessful marriages of some known figures in families and communities are narrated to newlyweds as a form of advice on how to play their roles effectively as husbands and wives in the marital union by parents and other well meaning people in the communities.

Appellations

During state functions and other social gatherings in contemporary Ghana, appellations are said to welcome dignitaries and other important persons. Sometimes, the achievements, bravery, academic prowess and applaudable behavioural traits are narrated by a good orator who may be a grown up or usually young girls.

Also, appellations of historic figures who have passed on are sounded at occasions where their contributions are recalled and reckoned as basis for societal growth during talks, seminars and programs held for societal development in specific areas where their contribution is indispensable.

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Contemporary Art Concepts


The term ‘contemporary art’ denotes art that are current or produced in recent times. Art from the post World War II is often considered contemporary art. However, as an artwork stands through the test of time, it does not remain contemporary any more. It is then known as historical art. Generally, works of art are considered contemporary if they are produced from 20th Century onwards. However, it should not ideally always be the case. How would piece of art, which was produced well after the 20th Century, be considered an instance of contemporary art if it has an ancient theme and originated via orthodox methods? Well, it would be hardly considered a piece of contemporary art.

In order to consider an art as contemporary, a few factors have to be kept in mind. The first one of them is of course the idea or theme of the art. The idea of art needs to be contemporary in order to get it recognized as contemporary. A study of the evolution and history of art would reveal much about how the idea of contemporary art came about. The technology, techniques, concepts and media adopted for producing art largely defines if an art is contemporary or not.

Contemporary techniques like single brush strokes, that is, producing a form of art with the help of a single brush stroke, help to complete the artwork in a much lesser time. Speed is the prime factor that helped this contemporary artwork technique to become popular. Newer technologies are often used to create 2D and 3D models which are more defined than the traditional ones. Acrylic paints, which are water-based, non-toxic and fast drying, are the contemporary choice of paint medium for many artists in the present times.

All these examples prove only one thing. The three main factors that contribute towards coining art as contemporary are simplicity, speed and convenience. However, when it comes to concepts, the contemporary sense becomes a little confusing. “Contemporary concepts” is a relative term. What seems to be contemporary to some might not be the same for others. In order to remove this confusion, the date and age of the artwork are taken into consideration. This provides the line that distinguishes contemporary artworks from the traditional.

So we can see, it’s not only the timeline that is considered while coining a work of art as contemporary, rather contemporary art is a combination of modern techniques, choice of medium, simplicity, speed and convenience.

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The Art Of Love: Sun Tzu’s The Art Of War In Romantic Endeavour


Military historians have often speculated that Napoleon Bonaparte may have utilized Sun Tzu’s timeless treatise The Art of War in his victorious campaigns, losing only when he failed to follow its rules. Certainly, his often stunning mobility would indicate that perhaps he did. One thing is certain; The Art of Warwritten over two and a half centuries ago, had been translated into French in 1782 by the Jesuit, Father Amiot and was available to the Emperor. But if he did read and apply it, he wisely kept it to himself. Mao Tse-tung however made no secret that Sun Tzu formed the source of his copious works on military strategy, tactics and guerilla warfare and his writings follow the master almost word for word. And, clearly, the fingerprints of Sun Tzu are indelible when one examines the military defeat of France at Dien Bien Phu ending their role in Indo China, and, in what may be his shining hour, the defeat of the United States of America in Vietnam. The Art of War is probably the finest treatise on the conduct of warfare ever written. But what about its application in other fields, other endeavours?

In recent years we’ve seen a spate of books applying Sun Tzu’s rules of war to business strategy which includes most notably Mark McNeilly’s Sun Tzu and the Art of BusinessDavid H. Li’s Art of Leadership by SunTzu and The Art of War for Executives by Donald G. Krause. And by all accounts they work very effectively. But this should be no surprise. By any measure, The Art of War can be applied and lead to victory in many battlefronts, international relations, politics, business and in our personal struggle for survival in the socio-economic conflicts we daily face. But what about love? What about the sexual battleground?

My father was a British professional soldier. He caught the tail end of the Second World War serving in the Burma campaign at Imphal and Kohema. He returned to South East Asia in 1948 for the Malayan EmergencyBritain’s victorious 12 year battle to defeat communist insurgency in what is now Malaysia. And it was there that my father came into contact with Sun Tzu’s The Art of Waran encounter that altered the course of his life.

The final years of my father’s military career were spent in what he called the “backwater” of NATO, a military organism he learned to despise as an expensive tax free social club for well connected civilian and military elites. He referred to it as “America’s Foreign Legion. His experiences there led him to firmly believe that in a confrontation with the armies of the Warsaw Pact, NATO would have been swept aside like a flimsy cobweb.

Throughout his career, my father made no secret of his belief that Sun Tzu should be on the curriculums of all military colleges and even schools and universities and that military promotion should be contingent on a high passing grade in knowledge of Sun Tzu. Unfortunately, as Sun Tzu was obligatory in the political and military organisms in the Soviet Union and of course China, it was considered part of the philosophy of the Warsaw Pact, I believe my father’s open advocacy of him cost him dearly in terms of promotion.

When he retired with the rank of Colonel, he moved back to England and took up his love of fly fishing. But military history was his real passion. And he enjoyed re-visiting historic battles and applying Sun Tzu’s rules of engagement to the great battles of the past.

Visiting dad was, for me, always a pleasure in itself. But it was especially enhanced by the many delightful and lovely ladies who shared his life. My mother died when I was young, a schoolboy, and my father never re-married. Yet he had an endless coterie of lovely girlfriends. I was always puzzled since my father, while a charming and intelligent man, was no film star. Nor was he, strictly speaking, a ladies man. But he was a very successful lover. And his greatest conquest was Tam.

Tam was Eurasian, born in Saigon to a Vietnamese schoolteacher mother and a Danish diplomat father. A lawyer, Tam specialized in international law and worked in SHAPE, the headquarters of NATO’s Allied Command Operations in the Belgian town of Mons. She was employed in the civilian section of NATO and it was there that my father, working in military intelligence, met her. A woman of great beauty, very well educated and of independent means, she was also a linguist in fluent command of Danish, Vietnamese, French, German and English. When I first met her in Brussels she was working on Flemish (Dutch). At 35, she was closer to my age than my father’s and for a while I was jealous. I wondered how he was able to woo such a lovely, young woman, a speculation that was only answered after his death.

After he passed away, as his only offspring, I took on the responsibility of winding up his estate. I had known since childhood that he kept daily journals, but only after his death did I come to know how copious a diarist he had been. Fascinated, I steeped myself in the volumes of neat handwritten records that filled his library shelves. And it became clear that, for my father The Art of War was more than just a military text. For him it was about an overall life strategy for overcoming obstacles, a tool to attain specific goals. Consequently he applied it to most aspects of his life. And this included matters of the heart.

In his diaries my father wrote frankly on the methods used to win the ladies who attracted him. He was not always successful as sometimes the ladies were simply not interested, and not even Sun Tzu could overcome that. But in the cases where he had a glimmer of a chance, but where the conditions were difficult or unfavorable, the application of the Sun Tzu’s Rules won the day. This was especially true in the case of Tam.

As they moved in very different circles and worked in different areas, he saw her rarely and then usually in dry, stuffy meetings in the company of others. She had a luxurious home in Brussels in the exclusive suburb of Uccle, while dad rented a simple Mons flat. But whenever he encountered her alone as he occasionally did, such as in the office cafeteria, she offered a ready smile and he made a point of joining her. Sensing he had a chance, he moved quickly. Above all else, he needed to know everything about her. And so he used spies.

He hired an expensive, high quality and very discreet private detective agency and set them to task. And they were more than thorough. Apart from their normal surveillance they penetrated Tam’s citadel by replacing her cleaning lady for a single visit and that was enough. They handed my father everything he needed. He now knew her tastes in music, literature and art as well as her favorite foods and sports: she was an accomplished and keen sailor and sea kayaker. An accomplished pianist herself, she loved classical music and was an especially fond of Elgar as well as being a jazz buff and a Stan Getz fan. He knew where she shopped for clothes and even the brand name of her underwear. She had been married once to a Danish business man, was now divorced, and had a teenage son in school in Denmark. With photocopies of her diary in his hands, dad had her social itinerary for several months ahead. He also now knew something about the men in her life: his adversaries and how formidable they were. She had many men friends and, it appeared, four serious suitors: an American Major-General in NATO, a senior French Diplomat with the French Embassy in Brussels, a successful Belgian artist, a painter of impressive quality, some of whose works hung in her apartment. The fourth was a rich Swiss socialite. My father’s next step was to know more about them, specifically about their foibles, weak points and vulnerable areas. He was well aware of his own, particularly with reference to the ground where the contest would unfold. Sun Tzu said: “If you know the enemy and know yourselfyou need not fear the result of a hundred battles.” My father would often quote the Polish writer Witold Gombrowicz who said: “Do you want to know who you are? Don’t ask. Act. Action will delineate and define you.” As Sun Tzu said: “All warfare is based on deception.” And so it was with father’s winning of Tam. He began laying plans.

He steeped himself and became erudite in her interests. He developed a taste for jazz and the Big Bands of the ‘forties; he learned to appreciate Miles Davis and enjoy Stan Getz. He attended a sea kayaking symposium in England and took courses in the sport. And having knowledge of Tam’s social itinerary, he was able to surprise her and appear when he was not expected; such as at music concerts. Often he would bring another lady, but just as often he would appear alone

It was at one such “surprise” encounter, a Mozart event, that he hit her for a date and she accepted for dinner and an evening of jazz in a Brussels club the following week. His foot was in the door. He was in her network. He had joined her club.

My father was entirely objective and quite pitiless in the handling of his adversaries. The French Diplomat was a handsome, charming, smooth tongued roguish character. My father found him, very likable. He was also a roué with a secret vice: a penchant for occasional sex with low class underage hookers in a rough Brussels immigrant quarter whorehouse. A police raid found him with two of them one well under age. Faced with arrest he tried bribery: it failed forcing him to use diplomatic immunity. This worked, but resulted in publicity, embarrassment and his fast recall to Paris. And, of course, the news did not pass Tam by and he was out of her life.

Shortly after the demise of the Frenchman, Tam celebrated her thirty sixth birthday. Dad gifted her a boxed set of CD’s, Stan Getz: The Bosa Nova Years – and a nice bound copy of Sun Tzu. She threw a party in the garden behind her home. According to my father it was an impressive event which included an excellent jazz trio, a great buffet prepared by Tam and superb wines. And, according to dad’s diary entry, it was there he began his campaign to dismantle and discredit the American General in Tam’s eyes. Dad engaged him on the American’s hobby horse – Vietnam. Influenced by drink the General became unpleasant and offensive to dad. Tam diplomatically suggested he apologize which he did, and he then left the party early.

My father learned that despite his high tax free salary, the General had a gambling problem and considerable debts, in consequence of which he had engaged in serious black market dealings with a Belgian group based in Liege. A Financial Police raid on a warehouse revealed the General’s connection. To save face, not to mention his pension, and because of his profile, he was allowed to resign his NATO post ahead of his time and quietly moved back to America.

It turned out the Belgian painter was no threat at all, dad discovered; he was never more than a good friend of Tam’s. My father met him, liked him and bought a small painting from him. But the Swiss playboy was another matter.

Tam and he were old lovers and dad could see why. In his early forties, Hans had everything: a friendly outgoing personality and an infectious smile, good looks, a great athletic physique – and money to burn. He’d never worked or had employment of any kind. He played fine tennis and often coached Tam with her game. But his big passion was motor racing and he drove well and with panache, winning many races. He’d wanted to be a world class professional, but lacked the required discipline and commitment. And it was at a race meeting at Spa Franco-Champs that my father met him. Tam took my father to watch Hans race a Porsche in a sports car event. Unfortunately he crashed out of the race at the complex and infamous Eau Rouge corner while in contention for the lead and ended up in hospital with broken bones and concussion.

My father had no wish to share his women and Tam was no exception. He liked Hans and wished him no ill but he needed to move him from all proximity to Tam’s bed. He was working on that when fate took a hand. Hans suddenly announced from Zurich that he was going to be married for the first time. The lady was a lovely young French fashion model of 21 years. He sent out invites to all his friends including Tam and my father. Tam declined. Instead, she sent him a card signed by her and dad.

Tam remained with my father for many years. I last saw her after his death when she came over to England for his wake. No longer young, but still impressively beautiful, she had retired to live in Denmark. She invited me to visit, but I never took the offer up. She remains to this day one of the most beautiful women I have ever known. I was given my first copy of the Art of War on my sixteenth birthday, a gift from my father. I didn’t read it then and it lay neglected on my bookshelf. Dad would often quote Sun Tzu, reminding me of such wisdom as: “If you know the enemy and know yourself you will not fear the result of a hundred battles.” He would also often quote the Polish writer Witold Gombrowicz who said: “Do you want to know who you are? Don’t ask. Act. Action will delineate and define you.” Father would ask me questions could not answer. This disappointed him, so to keep the peace I got down to it and studied Sun Tzu. And I’m glad I did; what a wonderful it is. It certainly helped me in life.

Did The Art of War work for me in romantic endeavor? Well, yes it did. Following my father’s lead, and being already well aware of its potency in overcoming conflict and achieving victory, using The Art of War as a tool in developing romantic relationships came natural to me. Using the 13 Rules of Engagement to win on the sexual battlefront was remarkably easy. I have also come to believe it has been used this way by many other people. And not just by men. I believe that the great divaPamela Harriman, probably the 20th century’s most prominent courtesan used Sun Tzu in her many conquests. I once read an article on her and the writer mentioned seeing The Art of War on her book shelf. And reading of her exploits suggests she applied deception in her strategic and tactical drive to get the men she wanted. But if she did use him, like most people who utilize SunTzu, she took the secret to her grave.

There is no question that the Art of War provides us with powerful tools that can be applied to deal with conflict and difficulties in business or personal objectives. In sexual relationships, for men and women both, it excels no less.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg


Der Immoblienmakler für Heidelberg Mannheim und Karlsruhe
Wir verkaufen für Verkäufer zu 100% kostenfrei
Schnell, zuverlässig und zum Höchstpreis

Source by Michael J. Villiers

Marigold – Art Galleries Selling European Art In India


Marigold is one of the finest art gallery in Delhi, Introducing the Art lover to the Contemporary European art work in India, We have assembled literally thousands of famous works of art from the classics like Leonardo Da Vinci and Claude Monet, to more contemporary European Art work in a convenient and shopping service.

Our Fine Art Gallery have the Vast Collection of  Modern european art, Pop Art, Fine art oil Painting, and abstract oil paintings. Our delicate artists hand-paint everything from famous oil paintings to custom oil painting. All our oil paintings are made in the traditional way, Our artists hand paint each oil painting painstakingly and beautifully. You have pick our all artists names from mfa website.

Marigold Gallery hopes to bring to you the best in contemporary art of Indian & European period. We have an extensive collection of art works from around the World; Our aim is to give people round the globe easy access to good Indian & European Contemporary Art. The positive response is equally spread among art collectors, art lovers, those who are simply eager to see such unique and new art in their country and art students.

The Gallery aspires towards meaningful showings of European art work and discerning fresh artistic ideas with a view to making connections with the wider audience

The Marigold Group is continuing their expansion plan in bringing Luxury art to the Indian Retail segment with the introduction of the Marigold Fine Art Gallery. Paintings, sculptures and lithographs by these artists are available at their gallery at The Claridges Hotel, New Delhi.

Our professional Art Team will be happy to assist you with advice and offer information on the Artists, their works and make your visit an unforgettable experience.

Our Gallery Timing is : 12 pm to 8 pm – All Days a week.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg


Der Immoblienmakler für Heidelberg Mannheim und Karlsruhe
Wir verkaufen für Verkäufer zu 100% kostenfrei
Schnell, zuverlässig und zum Höchstpreis

Source by Myquest