Saturday, October 8, 2011

Amanda Palmer took off her clothes at the MFA, but nobody got to see anything except her husband!

From Neil Gaiman's blog.
Now if you were Amanda Palmer, and you went to the Edgar Degas exhibit at the MFA, ask yourself -

What would you be inspired to do?

Well. obviously, you'd strip.  Which is what Amanda did yesterday.  (She was once a life model herself, btw, and does the narration for the audio tour; I guess our major publicity-seeking art institutions - the ART, the BSO, and now the MFA - are trading her around like a mass-market charm.) The funny thing is, though, that Amanda did it while nobody was there but her husband, Neil Gaiman (who sketched her, like some hipper, goth-ier Degas, while someone unknown took the photo at left).  The couple was on a private tour of the exhibit when Palmer was suddenly (uh-huh) inspired to disrobe.  They even put little styrofoam cups over the security cameras, that's how wild and crazy the scene got!

We always thought Amanda was needier than that, BUT we do appreciate her own appreciation of how her career parallels and turns the tables - sort of - on the position of Degas' muses.  Now the naked lady calls the shots - that's Amanda's whole idea, and it's an idea that sells (the naked lady cashes the check, too).  So she's a smart cookie.  Obviously.  The only problem with her publicity gambit is, let's face it, Gaiman.  I mean - is he really another Degas?  (And are husbands really dirty?)  Gaiman's a famous graphic artist, sure, but will he really come up with a modern equivalent of the French master's cold, calm analysis of his own fetishes?  (Which is kind of the opposite of the self-dramatizing ethos of goth, when you think about it.) Oh well, we'll find out eventually, I suppose!

But in the meantime, I have a different suggestion.  At right is another Degas nude in the exhibit.  If anyone who looks like that feels the urge to strip down at the show, call me, I'll meet you in the gallery, and we can play  at "Degas and the nude," too.


  1. Gaiman's a famous graphic artist

    Actually, he isn't. He's a writer who often collaborates with visual artists, but he's not himself known as an illustrator.

  2. See, this is why it is good to have one of the Young Peoples around! Didn't he do the first Sandman or something, though?

  3. Gaiman made his name and fame writing a celebrated run on a comic entitled Sandman but to be a stickler for details, a.) He didn't illustrate it (it was illustrated by a number of artists over the years), and b.) It was actually the fourth character published by DC Comics known as "Sandman."

  4. Ah! Good to know - thanks, Ian. I look forward, then to a graphic novel about a nice French lady washing in a tub, with word balloons that read "I have been IMPRISONED in this tub for a HUMAN LIFETIME . . . I am, and have always been, the QUEEN of the REALM OF DREAM AND NIGHTMARE . . ."

  5. That's actually why Gaiman isn't one of my favorite writers of graphic novels-- because he really is that easy to parody.

  6. I'm actually already playing around with JPEGs of Degas pastels and some totally awesome word balloons. Look for "The Tub of Darkness - Selected Pages from Neil Gaiman's Sketchbook" later this week on the Hub Review . . .