Thursday, March 24, 2011

Garden Statuary Redux: Naked Women?

So its been a year since I decided that I wanted a statue for my garden, and even left a place for it to stand, unplanted.   I have hemmed and hawed, and looked at lots of cement but for some reason I have not been able to just bite the bullet and get one!  There is something about 'stuff' in the garden, to me it either seems to work or REALLY not work, and the exact formula for why this is isn't apparent.  Haven't you seen those yards that look like Zeus came and threw up on them?  I can't help but think 'wannabe NJ mafia' every time I see them! (and if you are in the NJ mafia please I mean no offense, its just our styles are different you see).  I've also seen garden gnomes gone awry, and country kitschy which veered into "I've also got my VEE-HICKLE up on blocks on around the side o the shed."  But I have seen all of this done well too, and while I jest, it isn't just an overabundance that makes or breaks it.  Its something else, or lots of something else's.

Anyhow, so here I still am with no statue.  I have narrowed the choices down, and I vacillate between non-naked ancient females, and more modern female forms more in the art deco vein.   Cutesy is out, as are Buddhas, St. Francis's and Mary's on the half shell.  Animals are out, and while I like really like the ideas of gargoyles and fairies I don't think either really fit my personality, and frankly, gargoyles just don't hang out near white picket fences.  Its against their very nature.  There is nothing gothic about my home, unfortunately.



Now on the naked, how do you feel about that?  I consider myself the opposite of prudish, and believe many of the 'naked' works of art in this world are just wonderful, however I wonder if I got one of these goddesses with boobs showing if I would ever stop saying to myself, "hmmm, that boob is out."  Something about having a life sized boob hanging out in the garden day in and day out just doesn't say "restful" to me.  And heaven forbid there was ever a sub 35 year old male that had to be back there for any length of time while keeping up a normal conversation that didn't mention the fact that there were boobs loose in the garden.

I have also thought briefly about some other ornamental item, i.e. a fountain, or a large urn or a combination fountain/large urn, but these just don't seem to be doing it for me either.  What I want is a statue.

Here's the latest in the slew of considerations. Any of these strike you as tasteful and workable?  I am scared to death I am going to bring home some totally gaudy 100 pound albatross.  Because once the deed is done I don't think you can take it back! And it won't be easy to hide either....

Assume my version would be fully covered!

20 comments:

  1. Yes, statuary can be difficult. I considered boobs for my garden before, but decided it would solicit too many questions from the grandchildren, and I didn't want to go there. I think it all has to be in keeping with your garden style overall. And I agree - there's no substitute for a beautiful statue. Good luck in your search/decision.

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  2. I like the first and the fourth one - really don't like the third! I think you are very brave to get a statue ... I would love one, but the closing of one would be daunting :)

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  3. I like the one who's pouring water (the second one). Or may be you could look out for pairs like Cupid and Psyche, Apollo and Daphne and like such...

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  4. Hi Jess, Though those pix are all nice, I think maybe you haven't found the perfect one for you yet. When you see the perfect one, I think it will speak to you immediately, and naked or not won't even be an issue.Good luck in your decision!

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  5. Go for the draped figure for sure. Very classic and artsy in the old master kind of way. There is a lot of movement in these pieces too. You know, the eye moving and all. Not to say the eye does not move over a naked female form, you pointed that out so accurately with the 35 year old guys. My favorite statue at one of my clients is a copper-green antiqued draped woman fountain, similar to the one with the water jug above. This client also had commissioned 25 feet high modern pieces that I abhor, yet that I had to work with. The naked ladies got positioned in amongst trees. I wonder how the artist felt about that one, lol. The client trusted me completely since I too am an artist, so I did not have the heart to tell him what I thought of his abstract naked ladies. They cost a small fortune too and I wanted to keep my job.

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  6. What?? You still haven't picked a statue?! Now I thought that was a done deal a long time ago :)

    I do like the more stylised no 3...but I thing gardeningasylum has hit the nail on the head...you will know her when you see her. But hopefully not too many years will pass between now and then!

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  7. 'Boobs loose in the garden'. There's a phrase you don't hear often enough. I like all your picks well enough but what I really like is the colour and texture of the first and last statues. It bothers me when statues are faked to look like they're old. A nice classy stone will age well on its own.

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  8. "Boobs loose in the garden"? Now that sounds like a party! This whole post had me in stitches, especially the NJ mafia part (I know exactly what you're talking about, blech!)

    I like the first statue. But, I think a nice art deco piece could be a good choice, too. You'll know the piece when you see it... keep looking!

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  9. We've been having a similar headache choosing a small fountain. So many are so much more ornate than we'd like, or too cutesy. Sometimes I just wish I could make my own, but I'm far from talented enough. I think if I had to pick one of the statues from the bottom set of photos, I'd lean toward the one on the bottom left, but honestly I tend to find myself drawn more toward somewhat more abstract pieces these days, instead of classical forms, so I'm probably not much help ;) Good luck! I do hope you find one you like soon. Can't wait to see what you decide on!

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  10. I am really really no expert, but let the style of your garden make the decision for you. I think the classical statues would be more at home in a grand formal garden with hedges and lawns, not in a cottage garden with a picket fence. But ultimately, get something that YOU like looking at, that's all.

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  11. Masha - You've hit the nail on the head... part of the problem that I'm dealing with is that my house is rather more formal, with columns etc out front. The back has this tall white picket fence which is totally informal, and hence the big issue. The fence/house was not my doing, but it all sort of works as long as you have selective memory about the front of the house, (and unless you invite someone in, nobody can see back there) but it is definitely a balance even before you start in with the statue.

    CVF - I did so many years in nyc where I was all modernist style wise... I am moving in reverse fashion!! Also the house dictates it somewhat, my Manhattan furniture looked ridiculous in this old house.

    GWGT - I think that would be very hard, having to work around 'problem areas' that clients create by bad taste!

    And everyone - thanks for your votes and I definitely will keep looking. I am looking for the aged thing too, real aged not the resin fake stuff... maybe one of these days I'll find an OLD one already to go.

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  12. Nudey women, every time. A garden can never have enough nudey women. Ones with big norks wrestling bears always look good ... or is that just in my mind?

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  13. I can sympathize with your dilemma. I had the same problem when it came to choosing a fountain. It seemed to be a choice between cute, religious, japanese, gothic or nothing at all. In the ned I gave up and designed/created my own fountain.

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  14. I think I'd like to photoshop the example into a greener background! What looks extremely formal in studio lighting and backdrop, I think would look very different (with a lot more grace and whimsy) in a real garden.

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  15. As long as it isn't a little boy peeing, I bet it will be tastefully artful.

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  16. Hungry neck antique mall in Mt. Pleasant, across the bridge has a whole bunch of statuary out front. Cement, not resin. Skip ugly resin, as it looks worse with age. I would also vote for fountain, as they sound great, looks good, birds love them, and you can have a statue fountain. They are more work than just a statue. good luck !

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  17. i agree with gardeningasylum, I don't think you've found the right one yet. Jess - I love your blog! I enjoy reading this one about your boob dilemma, and I love the post below about fiction for garden-holics. cheers, catmint

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  18. Among the four, I like the second one, top on the right. But I would vote for a fountain, large urn, or magnificent birdbath. But it's your garden, and ultimately you should pick what you love, regardless of other's opinions. If none of these sing to your heart above the rest, I say keep looking!

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  19. Hi Jess~~ Of the ones you've got pictured I like the top-right one the best. I think when you find the right statue you'll know it. Buyer's remorse is a bitch. I think it's wise that you're waiting for it to unearth itself. I have faith that it will. I look forward to seeing it when it does.

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