This is going to be rambling; not so much due to the piece itself but in paranoid response to possible reactions to it. “Cassandra” is another drawing loosely based on Greek mythology. Like its sisters, I thought only I would ever see it. Otherwise, the pieces would certainly have turned out differently. For instance, on a purely mechanical level, I would have used a much darker lead. These pieces are, by and large, ghostly pale and I’m always delightfully amazed how Wheeler Hall can take my wan, weak children and, through electrical magic, give them contrast and weight.
Now, about the nudity in this and a few other images. Again, my defense is I never anticipated anyone save me ever seeing them. Also, perhaps a genius in his studies can comprehend anatomy through the clothed figure, but I’m no genius. I certainly don’t deem these exercises as titillation. Indeed, these pieces, though done in jest, do have some meaning, at least to me; and if the meaning isn’t particularly noble, at least it isn’t intended to be vulgar. Besides, if the critic holds the match, a world of art, of all caliber, would be lost. For example, if I remember correctly, Ruskin destroyed studies not a few by Turner, seeking to preserve the artist’s reputation. But who can say? What Ruskin considered obscene in his time other generations might have judged sublime. Strategically painted fig leaves come and go, as the mores of each passing generation dictates, and that is all relatively harmless. But countless works are forever gone if anyone save the artist holds the insatiable match.
Of course, I don’t believe “Cassandra” merits any of the above. I just felt like pontificating. As with her sisters, “Cassandra” is merely a fun piece, the atrocious pun being that the naked truth, no matter how loudly it’s proclaimed in this world, will never be heard by the deliberately deaf. Originally the figure also lacked hands, to show how the naked truth can also seem defenseless. However, although I admire the likes of Goya, the Surrealists and Odd Nerdrum, and without a qualm made Cassandra a mere giant mouth, I’m uncomfortable with even the hint of mutilation and deliberate deformity. Unfortunately, having decided as an afterthought to include them, I couldn’t figure out what they represented or even how to represent them. And that’s the naked truth.