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Head High, Mouth shut: Above it all

by Alma Lee

Artistic Nudes Art Gallery


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Let me just say up front this is probably the most self indulgent painting I have ever done. It is a self portrait of sorts, but more than that it is a tribute to Mom. She died 7 years ago she was more than 400 lbs. It was then and still now my belief that her fat phobia killed her. I say this bc she cont to go to the same doctor, even though he was not doing as he should by her, but the one thing that he did is never ask her put on a hospital gown for an exam, He went strictly by the numbers. She did not have to suffer the embarrassment of anyone seeing her naked fat. Problem was that she wasn't fat, she was filling up with lymphatic fluid. About 9 months before she died she was diagnosed with 4th stage lymphedimia the last stage. By then it is way to late for anything but hope. 

I painted this picture bc the last 2 years of her life I took her to all of her appointments and treatments. I lost count of the times she left the waiting room full of murmurs, snickers and whisperings. She may or may not of heard the wounding, careless and judgmental comments that made their way to my ears. Most of which I answered with a glare that wanted to knock them on their ass, but usually stunned them enough to shut them up. it is now almost a decade later and I am still enraged and wounded by their mocking of a woman who had commanded the respect of so many. One of the most generous human beings I have ever known. And in the end she know only embarrassment and shame. It almost crushes me to remember. So I painted this picture in the style of one of Degas 1. Because he was known never to feel that a painting was done and that became a problem when someone wanted to buy one. And I don't think my mother was quite finished either. And two bc it was the best representation of the lasting impression I have both about myself and my late Mother. I think that the painting will almost speak for itself but I do want to point out a few decsions I made and why I made them. First you notice of course the lady is fat, and naked she is literally forced to "let it all hand out" that makes her vulnerable to all sorts of attacks and abuse. That is what is like to go out in public anywhere when you are fat. Me personally I don't care, but most woman do. Second she has many balls she is expected to keep in the air despite emcumberments and abuse she has to go through. Thirdly unseen below her the crowd is focused solely on her and words like, oh my God she is fat, and how can anyone let themselves go like that? and on and on. She wants to run and hide but can't because her performance is expected to be perfect if she is to remain afloat. And lastly and most importantly I want you to notice despite all odds,she holds her head high in the midst of the abuse. She is only able to do this only because she keeps her mouth shut and does not retort, this puts her above it all. And her silence will in the end become the loudest voice in the room. I love you Mom and you will forever have my respect. RIP


Detail Images


Detail Image for art Head High, Mouth shut: Above it all

Circus Lady cup.jpg

Detail Image for art Head High, Mouth shut: Above it all

Circus Lady cup 1.jpg

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