Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Nudge, nudge, wink, wink. Know what I mean?

I'm sure you already know this (you are a clever bunch) but the title of yesterdays post comes from Monty Python. You must know the famous Python foot...

I remember watching a documentary with Terry Gilliam (Python member, animator, and well famous director) who said he would go to the art gallery and just stare and stare at this painting, Venus, Cupid, Folly and Time by Agnolo Bronzino.

It is a very strange painting and it's easy to understand why someone would ponder it for hours. I mean look at the curve of Cupid's body and how his head just doesn't fit quite right. That old green hag in the middle of the left side of the painting looks like she is having a mental breakdown. Then there's the strange girls head to the right of Venus... what the hell is going on with her body? There's so much weirdness going on!

But what was it about this painting that caught Gilliam's attention? Take a look at Cupid's right foot. Look familiar?

Terry Gilliam is one of those people that, although I may not be the biggest fan of his work, I am a big fan of him. I love Gilliam's enthusiasm, imagination, honesty and the wonder of the things he produces.

"Well, I really want to encourage a kind of fantasy, a kind of magic. I love the term magic realism, whoever invented it – I do actually like it because it says certain things. It's about expanding how you see the world. I think we live in an age where we're just hammered, hammered to think this is what the world is. Television's saying, everything's saying 'That's the world.' And it's not the world. The world is a million possible things."

For more about Terry Gilliam check out this great site


  1. Say no more, say no more!

    I've always found that painting to be captivating for all of its oddities, but I never recognized the foot as being THE foot before! Thanks for this tidbit of interesting trivia.

  2. I love all things Python (even more so since the Flying Circus is the basis of my relationship with the husband) they've been popping up on cable lately which is awesome for us.

    Terry Gilliam is a little weird but that's not a bad thing... I mean how genius an idea is cutting open a subject from a famous painting for pigs to fly out? Brilliant.

    I often think that some of your work is very Gilliamish with your use of old photographs

  3. i have a few friends who love all things Monty Python, the title of your post totally threw me back to high school!! We used to say that all the time!

  4. What a great story. I am a fan of both Gilliam and the Pythons and I love this little peek inside.

  5. I imagined some explanations for the oddities in my historical novel Cupid and the Silent Goddess, which is a fictional account of how the painting was created in Florence in 1544-5.