Rodin's Monumental Head in NOLA

One of my favorite places to visit is the Besthoff Sculpture Garden in New Orleans. I love art museums, but I love sculpture gardens the most.

Lucky for me, my little brother lives in NOLA, and we get to visit more than once a year. 

Maybe that explains why I don't feel obligated to create one post about this sculpture garden, but several...all on a different piece. I already posted about Bourgeois in NOLA on one of my Museum Mondays. 

I mean, I get to go all of the time. So, I can be inspired to post something different with each visit or with each whim. It's not like I'm not gonna get to go back, right? 

I don't actually have a lot of background knowledge on this Rodin. I'd like more. If you have it, flaunt it...I mean, share it.

For real, friends. Send the links.

I can describe it from viewing it, though. 

It isn't breathtaking. It is confrontational. It kinda makes you mad. You want very badly to say, "Bring it," when you first see it. I don't know anyone who has a mouth that hangs that way. It is a mean-looking mouth. He looks mad. 

Or, like he has no teeth, and his face just caved in that way.

When I was a little girl, my grandmother had a "friend" named Bud. Bud was not my grandmother's boyfriend. He was her "friend." Bud said that when we ate Jello it would stick in our bellies, and we would jiggle too. Bud was wrong. I never jiggled. Bud didn't always remember to "wear his teeth." (#Allthequotationmarks) Bud's mouth sank in just like Dude the Sculpture's.

Did I just rename this Rodin? Dude the Sculpture?

Maybe I did! LOL!

Moving on.

Rodin's work has that mean mouth, but very sincere eyes. The eyes are in caves. Those sockets are the deepest caves. Those eyes have seen something. They have the blank stare of a person who has seen something that changed them. Something they hope no other person will ever see. These eyes would rather carry that burden alone than have any other human being experience it. 

This stare is blank but all-knowing at the same time. I hate it and love it at the same time. I am at ease and uncomfortable with it at the same time.

All of what I just wrote was my speculation. I encountered this sculpture without any background knowledge, except that it was Rodin and the time period. This is how the expression on the face made me feel and what it made me think.

After writing this, I'm going to probably have to do some research and learn more. I just wanted to share the raw experience of seeing it first.

Hope you love it and are inspired to either teach about it or travel to see it. Both things are powerful and life-changing. 

Have any thoughts to share? How does viewing the photographs make you feel? Have you seen it? How does that feeling differ from real-life to photographs?

Share, share, share!