Sunday, 10 February 2013

Jilted Hulk SMASH (NSFW)


Dear readers, this week I thought we would take a look at ukiyo-e, Japanese woodblock prints especially popular in the 18th and 19th centuries.  I knew that there were lots of them featuring portraits of actors or geisha of the period, scenes from books or plays, and famous landscapes and seasonal images.  What I forgot when I fired up the WikiPaintings search was that hardcore sex and vengeance were also pretty popular.  Here at SARFT, we feel that if it’s pre-20th century, it must be worthwhile art.  However, because this is a classy blog, I decided to go with one that does not depict explicit carnal embrace. 

Utagawa Kunisada, Tokaido 53 Stations, #C

Instead, we have the saddest, most awkward version of the Hulk ever, preparing to throw a shelf full of baskets and fans at a couple that I must assume is asleep.  How they are remaining asleep with a rage-shrieking nude man with mutant hip joints (among other things) stomping around, and another lady screaming at the intrusion of their cozy ménage à trois, I am not sure.  They must have gotten really tired.  Which, given some of the activities depicted in this artist’s other prints, would not surprise me actually.  Also the way the wall is depicted in the background, it kind of looks like there are bees swarming around the shelf, which would really make the scene that much more exciting.

18 comments:

  1. That naked man looks like an oppressed coolie to me, carrying the guests luggage (and pet bandicoot?) to the reception. It is fitting, in a strange way, that his genitals resemble Groucho Marx.

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    1. I always bring my pet bandicoot when I travel, although I try not to oppress any coolies in its care.

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  2. I wonder if perhaps the lady in the foreground is reaching up to pull some clunky red-painted "Emergency Stop" handle in the room, the alarm that summons the chucker-outers?

    The dissatisfied (pre-satisfied?) gentleman's genitalia appears to be hiding under a novelty Marx Brothers** moustache. Possibly his hip problem stems from having always had to walk with a wide-footed swinging gait since puberty kicked in - the waxed bushy mirkin may be the most compact item in his usual wardrobe.

    ** The stage and general entertainment act Marxs, not Karl, Karl and Karl the political novelists.

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    1. Of course! The standard Emergency Stop handle. I need to get some chucker-outers installed in my abode for those awkward house guests.

      Karl Marx branded genital disguises are an awesome idea, by the way.

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  3. Replies
    1. If you're really curious, the link to the artist's other prints lets it all hang out. Or gives a penetrating view of his mindset, if you will.

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  4. Although it is clear that the Sex-Hulk is some distance away from the woman in the foreground, I couldn't help but think that "poor woman is going to get her eye poked - and not in the good way!"

    I feel bad for the naked man. Obviously, his wife (spooning with the other man) was invited over to the neighbors house for some hanky-panky. The neighbor's wife was probably on her way to the kitchen for a snack or some chicken grease and will probably be the only survivor of Sex-Hulk's onslaught.

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    1. Is there a good way to get one's eye poked? Wait, don't answer that.

      Your story sounds quite plausible. I guess this image was the 19th-cenutry equivalent of the Jerry Springer show.

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  5. I'm surprised the dude is circumcised. His pubes are very well manicured, though, if he can part them like that.

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    1. It was an important part of the grooming process. Instead of mustache wax, it was all about the pubes.

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  6. Wow, he kind of looks like he has elephantitis of the...nevermind.

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  7. I wish I had something witty to say but all I can think is: weirddickweirddickweirddick

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    1. It is possible that that is why he is raging. "Why won't anyone appreciate me for me? Why is it always about my abnormal extremities??"

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  8. I would assume that the naked man is throwing that shelf at the couple because the woman is his wife and he has caught her in bed with another man, but then why is the shelf throwing man naked? You think it would be the other way around. Why does art have to be so complicated?

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    1. Perhaps the nude man represents the soul laid bare, stirred into a frenzy at the realization of its hopeless state. The sleeping couple are the soul's insecurities, in bed together to destroy its last vestiges of hope and self-respect. The wailing woman is the world, full of woe at the destruction of innocence and the resulting personal destruction.

      Or it's a naked man who wants to throw things, and the artist had some issues.

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    1. It would be a pretty terrifying way to wake up, though...

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