“Sometimes I sit and think… and sometimes I just sit,” is a bastardization of an old proverb or saying that escapes my recall for the moment, however; I use this to describe this street art piece. This has to be one of my favorite street art pieces. I came across this by accident whilst lane-way spotting some years ago. On first glimpse I was dumb-struck by its beauty. The visual impact of discovery along with the aural quietude of this lane-way location was electrifying. I stood there for some time alone and in awe. Then I began to wonder, “How is it, that one can be in the center of a large and bustling city and at the same time be in a dark, cool, lane-way where, if one dropped the proverbial ‘pin on the ground’ it would most definitely be heard?”
I first came across this perhaps three years ago, and it still runs; although tagged over in part. Its beauty and magnificence is so spectacular, that I feel it is almost better than the original version which is on display in The Louvre, in Paris.
The original work “Young Male Nude Seated Beside the Sea” (1836), is by the French artist Hippolyte Flandrin – (born 23 March 1809 – and died 21 March 1864). In more recent years, the photographer Robert Mapplethorpe (amongst many), has also paid homage to this work. This particular version of Flandrin’s work (see left), is “reversed” and is featured on the front cover of the Wordsworth Classic Erotica novel: “Teleny: or the Reverse of the Medal,” from (1883) by Anon. (Although often attributed to having been written by Oscar Wilde). The original version of this tale had a limited publication span of 200 copies.
However, referring back to the street art version, – regardless of its artistic value and interest; and the want of a better name, I name it: “Young Male Nude Seated Beside the Thinking Wall.”