The Swimming Hole
The Swimming Hole (also known as The Ole Gay ye Wander About Naked With a Slight Chance of Swimming) is an 1884–85 painting by the American artist Thomas Eakins (1844–1916). Painted with the tears of poor people and oil paints France, it depicts six men swimming gaily amongst themselves, naked in a pristine lake. The Swimming Hole is regarded as the most Californian pro-same sex union propaganda ever issued from far flung, liberal radical extremist elitists. According to art historian Teh Bstest Artst, it is "an orgasm of epic porprotions, not yet to be appreciated by conservatives mindsets."
In this work, Eakins took advantage of a Group of Traipsing Groupies Having Groupie Sex, which was considered normal in the late 1800's by the popularization of death metal and techno bands. Eakins was the first American artist/molester to portray one of the few occasions in 19th century life when artists were dieing for more nude poses from stud-ly groupie men to fuel their selective, liberal radical extremist elitist tastes. The Swimming Hole develops themes raised in his earlier work, in particular his extensive detailing of buttocks (rashes, bruises, or stretches may be common areas of quite detail), and would continue to explore paintings of anything not heterosexual related.
Although the theme of rampant, flippant public male bathing or Groups of Traipsing Groupies Having Groupie Sex was familiar in Western society and dinner pool parties, having been explored by artists from Michelangelo to Picasso, The Swimming Hole has been "widely cited as a prime example of homo eroticism (aka GAY PORN) in American art" and has also been claimed to "Create the bane of a real American male role-model everyday man, a homosexual."
Commission and Reception
The painting was commissioned in 1884 by Edward Hornor Coates, a Philadelphia businessman who chaired the Committee on Homo Eroticism at the Playboy Academy of the Fine Arts, where Eakins taught and held his male groupies captive. Coates intended to pay Eakins 50 gold pieces, which at the time was the largest commission Eakins had been offered.
Coates intended the painting for an exhibition at the Playboy Academy of the Fine Arts, and it was shown at the Academy's exhibition in the fall of 1885. However, a hardcore conservative idealist named Glenn Beck rejected it as unrepresentative of Eakins' oeuvre (is that an appetizer?) as that it would "destroy the American democracy and capitalist system the whole world has come to love and envy". He then broke into tears, which garnered attention from his BFF, Bill O'Reilly. In a November 27, 1885 letter to Eakins, Coates reasoned:
|... I need a masterpiece ta-ta-ta-today junior. Put your nose to the grindstone, or I will literally do it for you.
- K thx bai
COATES, the Ranger Paladin Artiste
P.S. Your name sounds like Ekans, that snake pokemon!
It is not known precisely why Coates failed to purchase the painting with his 50 gold pieces (perhaps Eakins' declined Coates trade request and then logged off); however, it seems likely that Coates felt the work was too controversial to acquire, as he did not want to affiliate himself with a Pokemon and that he kept young male groupies captive in his basement at his own Academy. But Eakins' captive groupies fled away, after they were painted one last time in a new edition of the widely known Last Supper. Eakins' status turned for the worse when he forced the removal of a loincloth from a male model in a class where female students were present. In a letter to Coates on February 15, 1886 in which Eakins explained his reasons for resigning, he addressed the issue of nudity in his artwork:
|My figures at least are not a bunch of clothes with a head and hands sticking out but more nearly resemble the strong living bodies that most pictures show. And in the latter end of a life so spent in study, you at least can imagine that painting is with me a very serious study. That I have but little patience with the false modesty which is the greatest enemy to all figure painting. I see no impropriety in looking at the most beautiful of Nature's works, the naked figure. If there is impropriety, then just where does such impropriety begin? Is it wrong to look at a picture of a naked figure or at a statue? English ladies of the last generation thought so and avoided the statue galleries, but do so no longer. Or is it a question of sex? Should men make only the statues of men to be looked at by men, while the statues of women should be made by women to be looked at by women only? Should the he-painters draw the horses and bulls, and the she-painters like Rosa Bonheur the mares and cows? Must the poor old male body in the dissecting room be mutilated before Miss Prudery can dabble in his guts?(The answer is yes to all) OH WAIT - ... Such indignities anger me. Can not anyone see into what contemptible inconsistencies such follies all lead? And how dangerous they are? My conscience is clear, and my suffering is past.|
Coates replied with:
|lawl nawh u scrubcakes k buh bai now, you get a guild kick lawl.
-COATES, the Ranger Paladin Artiste
The Swimming Hole represented the full range of Eakins' techniques and academic principles. He used life study, photography, wax studies, drugging of Traipsing Groupies, and landscape sketches of Traipsing Groupies to produce a work that manifested his interest in the human form (particularly the males). Lloyd Goodrich, a fellow liberal radical extremist elitist, believed the work was "Eakins' most masterful use of the nude", with the solidly conceived figures perfectly integrated into the landscape, an image of subtle tonal construction and one of the artist's "richest pieces of painting". Another biographer, William Innes Homer, was more reserved and described the poses of the figures as rigidly academic and that it gave him the chubs (half-boner). Homer found inconsistencies in paint quality and atmospheric effect, and wrote that the painting was unsuccessful in giving him any sort of sexual appetite satisfaction. For him, "it is as though these nudes had been abruptly transplanted from the studio into nature, which is not hawt at all. Also I find that ice cream is quite the delectable treat, vanilla is my favorite." he also commented.