Saturday, 21 July 2007

Sex in public

A few years ago on a visit to Argentina I went to see a tango show. Alright, I thought, a dance show, it'll be ok, quite interesting I suppose and wasn't at all prepared for the raw sexual buzz of the dancers. I sat there in the dark utterly mesmerised by the dance. Anyone who has seen tango will understand what I'm talking about and I will attempt to describe it here, but I know I'll fail dismally to describe it adequately. It was the sexy way the women are dressed, the gorgeous clingy dresses, slashed to the waist, full of sparkle and glamorous attire. Their fishnet tights, high heeled strappy sandals, their gleaming dark hair pulled back in a severe ponytail or bun, their Latin features inscrutable, dark flashing eyes, faces in concentration, scarlet lipstick, scarlet fingernails, scarlet dresses. And the men, all brooding and darkly handsome with immaculate haircuts, in black suits, shining patent leather shoes, and maybe a fedora pulled low over their eyes. So before they've even started to move they're dressed sexily. And then, the music starts, and they start to dance, and their limbs, torsos and feet in perfect harmony flash across the stage. All so effortlessly, and yet it goes almost at the speed of light, and you can't believe how fast they're moving, with their legs intermingled and yet they don't get tangled up, and the man holds the woman as she dips and leans backwards over his leg, her open legs showing a glimpse of the top of the thigh, a flash of cleavage, as her head is thrown back in perfect harmony with the rest of her body. Then on to the next part and back again. One male dancer in particular fascinated me - he was a lot older than most of the dancers - maybe in his forties, and he danced with a girl half his age. He had a wolfish look about him, his greased black hair swept back, a wicked smile played around his lips and his eyes twinkled in knowing fun. The way he held the girl before the dance fascinated me, whereas most of the male dancers put their hands lightly on the girls backs, this guy had only one finger to guide her. Just one. So sexy, and dominating, and powerful. And as they danced, he twirled and spun her all over the place, always in control, always with just one finger on her back. And at the end of the dance she laughed into his eyes, accepting his dominance, knowing that she'd never dance with anyone else liked she danced with him, and acknowledging that she had kept up with him, even though he'd pushed her to the limits. It was like watching pure sex, on that red lit stage, and it fired me up for a desire to see more tango and to paint what I had seen.

I've just finished another tango painting. Its the third I've painted, but won't be the last because I adore doing them. They're so erotically charged, and I love to capture the moments when a couple are in harmony, such trust and empathy between them, as the woman arches her back over the man's arm, her body held weightlessly, as he watches her face, and she flings her head back in ecstasy. I've painted this picture "It takes two to tango" with a lot of scarlet and purples in the fluid background, lots of splatter emulating the movements, showing where they've danced from, the movements of their heads, arms and legs. Just a moment in time, and yet, the time it has taken to get there has to be shown within the painting otherwise it will look stilted and static. I love the scarlet of her dress, against the black of his trousers and tee shirt. His hat pulled down making him mysterious, her hair full of red lights, the dynamic diagonal of their bodies making the composition powerful and sexy, underlining the dance being about as much fun as you can have with your clothes on...

Since doing this painting, its given me a hunger to do another, and I know it won't be long before I'll be going again to see tango performed in the flesh, to sit in a darkened auditorium and watch spellbound as the dancers take the stage....

10 comments:

Vi vi vi vooom!!!!!!!! said...

STUNNING painting! I love it!

Indigo said...

Absolutely gorgeous Jackie, very sensual ... I love it!

Jackie Adshead said...

Vi - Wow - that's a wonderful response, thankyou!

Jackie Adshead said...

Indigo - Yes I think tango paintings are very sensual too - thankyou for your lovely comments.

Cherrie said...

I have never been to Argentina, but I agree that the rhythmic music and flowing motion of the dancers is very suggestive and sexy, even though the dancers are fully dressed.

And yes, you have captured all of it well in this work.

Jackie Adshead said...

Cherrie - thankyou, I just love doing tango paintings, in fact I'm working on another at the moment....

Sage said...

I once took a dance class and danced the tango, but it pales in comparison to what you described here. What you captured in this painting is breathtaking!

Jackie Adshead said...

Sage - Aw thankyou! Its inspiring me to do some more tango paintings after all this positive feedback.

ronjazz said...

I WANT one, Jackie. It encapsules my whole attitude on sex and intimacy. I admire you greatly.

Talk to me soon.

Jackie Adshead said...

Ronjazz - Wow, thankyou - what a brilliant response for an erotic artist, especially as you're so creative yourself!