The day after my birthday celebration we decided to take it easy. We decided to see a Hokusai art exhibit in the morning, then catch up on work the rest of the day. Although many consider our journey a “long vacation,” Paul and I still work so we can pay bills and keep travelling the world.
Paul is an extremely talented designer, so that’s how he pays the bills. I pay the bills by writing copy for small businesses. Most of the projects I write for are collaborations with Paul. Typically he will design and I will write. I’m also writing a book, but no one is paying me for that yet! God willing, when I’m done I can share it with the world. In the meantime gotta pay the bills while we travel the world.
As part of his Christmas gift, I bought tickets for us to see a Hokusai exhibit in Rome. Hokusai just happens to be one of Paul’s favorite artists, so it was the perfect gift for him. I knew little about the master painter, except for his ultra-famous painting entitled, “The Great Wave.” I feel like most people have seen this famous painting somewhere – whether on Pinterest, printed on cheap canvas and sold at home good stores, or on a freshman dorm room wall – this image is popular with the masses.
We waited in a really long line and finally entered the exhibit. The exhibit consisted of Hokusai’s famous works, but also his lesser known ones. He experimented with lots of mediums – paintings, illustrated books, and woodblock prints. Some of his paintings were on silk and I found those very beautiful. The subject matters included a wide range: nature, geishas, royal concubines, fishermen and their daily lives. Perhaps the most surprising to me were the illustrations in books of women having sex with octopuses. Early tentacle porn. This section had a “parental guidance” notice and also included all sorts of porn – men with women, women with women, orgies, etc.
Hokusai’s approach to his art was almost that of a poet’s mindset. This quote resonated with me and I had to take a picture of it.
I left the exhibit inspired. I also left wanting to see more of the Japanese countryside. When we go to Japan, I definitely want to spend some time in the less populated, scenic regions.
You weren’t allowed to take photos but I did. I hope you enjoy these prohibited pictures 😉