PostHeaderIcon Must SEE: The Body Beautiful at The Portland Museum


Ian Jenkins in front of Herakles at The Portland Art Museum

THE BODY BOOTY-FUL: Buffed-up naked bods. Hulking behemoths bearing fruit. Arse-sniffing antelopes.

Portland Art Museum's just-opening exhibit, "The Body Beautiful in Ancient Greece," is designed to educate, entertain and entice (with perhaps an emphasis on the latter).

On Thursday I was one of the first to preview "The Body Beautiful" in our fair city, as well as the United States. Portland is the first stop in America before the show moves on to Dallas, Texas, and eventually Switzerland.

The show—130 pieces from The British Museum's 8 million or so collection of objects—is where hot ass meets antiquities. There's no getting around that this particular collection is brimming with what we might call "hotness." Take the centerpiece, "Discobolus of Myron," better known as the "Discus Thrower." This delicious dude is a perfect sculpture/specimen of the human form. He's GORGEOUS. And that is definitely what this show celebrates, the human form in all its Grecian glory.

Ian Jenkins,  a Senior Curator at the British Museum, said at a Thursday luncheon and preview tour, that TBB is "what it is to be a human being." He says it's about "us." Well, we look pretty damn good if that is the case. After stating he "couldn't believe they let these objects leave the (British) museum," Jenkins shared his thoughts on a show he believes transcends the "flesh" (I think he wants to believe that even though it's a bit hard to believe). He touched on the fact most of the men in the show were nude but the women were clothed, that satyrs and centaurs were the "weirdos of the ancient world" and that the show has "sex—with something to please everyone." And it sure does. This is the most pan-sexual display of art I've ever seen inside the hallowed halls of PAM.

Congrats to The Portland Art Museum for being the first to land this blockbuster in the United States (it's not easy to beat Dallas at anything when it comes to art collections and one more reason Portland is so frigging cool). Not only is this million dollar show incredibly evocative, erotic and yes, enticing, it will likely have school teachers scratching their collective heads on how best to describe some of the works of art.

The shows opens Sat. Oct. 6 through Jan. 6. Tickets $15,

Last Updated (Friday, 05 October 2012 13:55)

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