Home > Uncategorized > Edward Gorey in ancient Egypt

Edward Gorey in ancient Egypt

A smattering of less famous moments from Gorey’s‡ career, courtesy of the Louvre:

Unmistakable style.*
Response to a critic on Project Runway who complained a design was “too literal.”**
He’s my big bear daddy and you can’t have him (a rare moment of autobiographical reflection from the famously reticent artist)

What is the term for artworks that show the protagonist and antagonist of a story as a single figure? I’m guessing the Ancient Greeks were all over this conceit, so there must be a name. I adore this image that reuses the Minotaur’s horns as Theseus’ ship. This Little Red Riding Hood/wolf seems too, um, obvious.*** Both spotted in the Louvre children’s bookshop, where Red offers one of the very few breaks from Greek myth. Not sure if this is a Louvre thing or a basic aspect of childhood in France.****
I’m wondering how I’d do Moby Dick, of course.

Most arresting moment at the Louvre: noticing for the first time how the great god Bes just seems to be in a totally different style/genre from everything else in Ancient Egyptian religious art. Weird. Even if you contend that it’s an import, the Egyptians were great at making things fit into their scheme: this is like a single panel of manga in a Pre-Raphaelite gallery.***

* Mummy of a ram, titled “Osiris, ram of Khnoum,” from a necropolis for rams (possibly) dedicated to the corn god Khnoum, on the island of Elephantine.
** The actual title of this work is “Joan of Arc hearing her voices” (Francois Rude). Despite spending about 5 minutes giggling at this statue, I have to commend the artist’s cartoonist chops in making the figure instantly recognizable.
*** OTOH, Freudian! Thanks Dore. OTOOH, O hai, wants see my behedin’ gardin?
**** Next door, this is the sort of shop I missed all the time I lived in the US.
***** so glad I wasn’t the only one to think this.
‡ Who? Oh good grief. How to make a gorey tale even weirder and more deadpan (not recommended enthusiastically).

Unaccountably, despite having been to Paris several times and lived next to it for the past 5 months, and, y’know, being an artist, I’d never been to the Louvre. Fixed. Though out of deference to my own prior lunacy I still haven’t seen the most famous works.
I note with some uncategorisable emotion that eye-watering myspace pages are still with us!
Also, apparently Dolly still got it: a rejected Pokémon design, based off of the first cloned sheep, …was deemed to be “too controversial.”

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