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Monday, July 16, 2007

And Now for a Little Safe-for-Work Art History on Slog

posted by on July 16 at 17:39 PM

This was going to be a post about the worst vacation I’ve ever had in New York City; the hazards of falling for people electronically; the power of great art to lift you out of yourself, especially when you’re feeling unbelievably shitty for traveling clear out to New York City to see someone you haven’t spent much in-person time with; and men’s calves. But most of that is none of your business.


So let’s just focus on the calves. I mean, look at them. Has there ever been a better depiction of men’s calves in the history of art? (Anything come to mind, Jen?) This guy stopped me cold on a sad night at MoMA. (MoMA stays open until 9 pm on Thursdays all summer.) He is The Bather, brought into this world by CÚzanne in 1885-1887.

I just showed this guy to Jen Graves and asked her to free associate. “This is a painting about paint.” And also: “The thing that CÚzanne’s known for is the heaviness of the objects. An apple weighs a hundred pounds. A person weighs a ton.” Wikipedia will tell you all about CÚzanne as the bridge from Impressionism to Cubism. None of these things really occurred to me as I was standing there, looking at it, next to some strangers. My thoughts were more like: Calves! What a shape they are!


I was starving, and MoMA lets you re-enter as much as you want, so I went outside to buy a hot dog from a hot dog stand, only it was late enough that I had to walk a ways to find a hot dog stand that still had hot dogs. On the way, I walked behind these three Eastern European guys with six excellent calves.


Ate, got rained on, went back in side, saw the Richard Serra show—unbelievably great, especially the huge, slightly oxidized metal ribbons that you walk along as they turn in and out, presenting a constantly unfurling vertical horizon (nice to be so far from home and be confronted with a piece literally about perspective)—and as I was leaving MoMA, passed a bank of brochures. One of them was a membership brochure. Lo and behold:


Then, two days ago—clearly still obsessed—I took a long walk to Lake Washington, and for a couple blocks walking through the Central District ended up behind a guy listening to his iPod and carrying a bike helmet. I snapped this shot.


I call it The Biker.

RSS icon Comments


Central District Biker's calves are so-so. His shoulders and ass are much better.

Posted by Original Andrew | July 16, 2007 5:47 PM

Christopher, have you standards become so low that its just the calves of a man that can snare your wanton lust?

Posted by penelope | July 16, 2007 6:32 PM

Just don't go snappin' any pictures of calves inside the Broadway QFC...

Posted by pablocjr | July 16, 2007 6:59 PM

I got calves like a couple of cantaloupes. I got calves like Nancy Reagan. The world will someday belong to us men with calves. The Meek can suck it.

Posted by Boomer in NYC | July 16, 2007 7:11 PM

While it's unlikely to happen to me, I'd hate it if some random dude took a picture of me from behind without asking first. I presume, from the way you tell the story Christopher, that you didn't ask permission, right?

Posted by Matt from Denver | July 16, 2007 7:14 PM

Not sure what is says about me that I've slept with both the author and the Biker.


Posted by Little chicken legs | July 16, 2007 7:25 PM

I side with Christopher: Men's calves are hot! Too bad the rest of you don't get it. More for us! Good post.

Posted by Prospero | July 16, 2007 7:29 PM

Women's calves are hot, too! Calves are definitely one of my favorite body parts.

Posted by no one in particular | July 16, 2007 7:38 PM

Thanks for the laugh, Little chicken legs...

Posted by Dianna | July 16, 2007 8:03 PM

My calves are fucking HOT!!! So are my legs!!! I have had guys grab my legs just to feel them!

Posted by Cato the Younger Younger | July 16, 2007 8:14 PM

Sorry Little Chicken Legs but who hasn't that biker slept with...

Posted by Blanton | July 16, 2007 8:41 PM

I, for one, hated the Serra retrospective. While the slopping metal arches were fun, in a childhood playground way, and good for sneaking around and possibly making out in, everything else was boring, stupid and occasionally fascist. Calves (the none-bovine kind) are nice, though.

Posted by johnnie | July 16, 2007 8:55 PM

I hear that calves lead to the Devil's handiwork.

Posted by Will in Seattle | July 16, 2007 9:11 PM

aw, must have been a rough weekend: phonecam calf stalking and sufjan image searching?

Posted by josh | July 16, 2007 11:48 PM

I have a calf fetish. I don't want to have sex with calves, just admire them. Not all boy-calves are worthy of admiration, but the good ones . . . Wow. I think what I love about them is that they are all too rarely hidden and that they are a sure sign of health and athleticism (or lack thereof). I like them hard and chiseled, with just a hint of vein showing through.


Posted by Sides of Beef | July 17, 2007 4:14 AM

I recently did my own walking art tour of Seattle:

Posted by TJ Norris | July 17, 2007 8:14 AM

CD biker is my friend, and even though we'd never fuck, he's still hot.

Posted by terri | July 17, 2007 10:30 AM

There are definitley better biker calves out and about this guy is ok but if you do a little more research you will find a lot of nicer calves

Posted by Emon | July 17, 2007 2:45 PM

I think that Christopher cruised my sexy calves at the gym today. He did not have a camera though, thank god

Posted by Cato the Younger Younger | July 17, 2007 6:31 PM

That's pretty creepy of you.

Posted by Shelb | July 18, 2007 6:58 PM

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