Tuesday, August 09, 2005

The Big Reveal

I mentioned a while back that I really dig the artist Mark Ryden. His works are intricate and disturbing, which I find endlessly fascinating. He repeats images, like a hidden puzzle, like finding Waldo.

With Chagall, you expect floating figures and bright colors.
With Georgia O'Keeffe, you expect cow skulls and flowers.
With Mark Ryden, you expect children. Meat.

And bees.

When I was about 10 years old, I stepped on a bee while walking outside, barefoot. It scared me more than it hurt me, but I still made a big deal out of it and cried to my mom, who calmly got the stinger out and applied a compress of baking soda and water, and dosed me with yummy orange children's aspirin. I cursed the stupid insects, and wished them all dead. My mom, in her 'even-steven' way, reminded me that bees are the only way we get honey, and the best way for the flowers to become pollinated and grow so beautifully.

Point taken.

There are few things that startle a bright summer afternoon more than seeing a bee near you, in your food, locked in your car. They wield tremendous power, without meaning to. We're afraid of them. Yet, without them, we would miss so much sweetness, so much beauty.

Ah, the dilemma.

When I saw the bee in this Ryden painting, I felt I had to have it. The stance. Innocently waiting to see what will happen. Will it fly away? Will it fly at me? What's the story?

I took a copy of this painting to my tattoo artist.

He did a great job.

This is it from a distance:

And this is a close-up, without my hair in the way. (Damn, I have a lot of freckles back there.)

I like it. A lot. Of course it's a bit itchy and still technically healing, and it freaked out the boy-child when he first saw it. And my boss couldn't wait to see it today. It didn't hurt so much. It was actually a pretty pleasant experience.


I'm gonna get more.

As long as I have obsessions, and as long as I don't run out of hidden places to put them.


At 12:14 AM, Blogger Serra said...

Ooooh, gorgeous work!

At 1:11 AM, Blogger bitchphd said...

That's a nice bee.

At 1:13 AM, Blogger Ms. Sheila Whotiger said...

ohhs and awws. I really like it, but liked it even more when I looked at the painting. They are very addictive, those tatoos. I joined the below the sleeve club a few years ago.
My biggest bee fear is to drink one in a soda pop.

At 8:21 AM, Blogger jo(e) said...

I wonder if people will start coming up to you at the beach and trying to flick it off?

At 8:58 AM, Blogger pinky pinkerson said...

I love Mark Ryden. Childlike and disturbing at the same time, which is perfect.

When I had first heard of him, I thought many of his little girls looked like Christina Ricci. Then I saw his portrait of Christina Ricci. Yeah - he likes her.

At 9:47 AM, Blogger annush said...

that's a nice bee...it almost looks like it's smiling...

At 10:22 AM, Blogger Maine said...

You had a good tattoo artist. That's pretty clean.

At 12:13 PM, Blogger midwest_hick said...

lol...I remember once seeing a bird chasing a bee....funny the things ya remember.

At 12:56 PM, Anonymous Rob said...

Oh wow, Mona! You got a bee tattoo AND "pollinated" all in the same night! Sweet honey ensued... ;-)

At 1:35 PM, Blogger Marcheline said...

Hey - nice tat! I've got one, too - but am currently too poor to get my second one...

Are you gonna add something under the bee later? Say, a flower or a comb dripping with honey?

- M

At 4:23 PM, Blogger Beltane said...

Hahah Mona!!! I'm warning you right now, that spot has to be the gentlest spot to get a tat. It truly does NOT hurt there. Get one on the small of your back. HAHAHAH! Tell me it doesn't hurt there and I'll call you a liar :)

Anyway, that is one beautiful Bee, and you had an /excellent/ artist indeed. It's very well done and I really like your reasoning behind the image!

At 8:08 PM, Blogger Pisser said...

"With Mark Ryden, you expect children. Meat. And bees."

And Abe Lincoln, for some reason.

Also saw a bee in the Ricci one. G*d, Christina freaks me right the f--- out. She looks like one of those bulbous-headed children = disturbing. It's a nice bee, though.

Now, walking down the street, do you hear, "HEY LADY! NICE BEE!"...?

At 9:44 PM, Blogger Mona Buonanotte said...

Serra: Thanks! He's a colorful little cuss!

BPhD: Gracias! You should get one...or another one.

Ms. Whotiger: Bees like to hide in my car and then fly at my face when I'm executing a tricky driving maneuver. Sneaky devils....

jo(e): I sort of hope someone does so I can use one of my son's taekwondo 'hand-breaking' moves....

Pinky: I put Ryden in the same category as Bruegel, so much to see and then...hey!...it's a horror show! Ryden does love the little haunted girls!

Annush: It's plotting revenge 'cause I swatted at it. ;-)

Maine: Yeah, he was highly recommended by the staff. And he wasn't drunk or nuthin'! (But damn, why do they have to play thrash metal at ear-splitting levels in those places? Crickey....)

Midwest: Never piss off a bird. Didn't that bee see that Hitchcock film??

Rob: Oh yes, there was pollen exchanged! Handfuls of honey, my god!

Marcheline: I really like your dripping honey comb idea. Have you shown your tat on your blog?

Beltane: A friend of mine has one on her ankle and said it hurt like a mutha. So of course I want to feel THAT pain someday. Really!

Pisser: Yeah, what is it about Honest Abe? And Ricci...Sergei and I rented some non-scary scary movie with her last week, and she freaked me out with those eyes. So far the bee has remained under clothing. Except I'm flashing folks at work with it, which is very enjoyable.

At 1:20 AM, Blogger Lisa said...

AAAAHHH!!! I love it!! I'm so excited for you, so proud of you, etc!!

At 9:54 AM, Blogger your fiend, mr. jones said...

re: tatoo...

You are a better man than Gunga Din.

Except you are not a man. I think. ;>

At 10:56 PM, Blogger Mona Buonanotte said...

Lisa: Thanks! It's not as good as a Braless Tuesday picture, but a Backless Tuesday isn't half bad!

Mr. Jones: You are correct! I'm not a man! I just play one on teevee.

At 11:37 PM, Anonymous Francis said...

I am not the sort to ever get a tattoo (can't think of an image I can be sure I'd never get tired of; worry about it fading or blurring over the years), but I can say that is one swank tattoo you have there. Somewhat enigmatic, graphically appealing. Well-chosen.


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