Stuck in Yucca Valley

Yucca Valley, California. Not a three star destination. Probably not even one star. There’s not much to the town except for strip malls on either side of the highway for several miles. I’m stuck here again this year for a couple of months and trying to make the best of it.

I think they have every known fast food restaurant and a few that no one has ever heard of too. And a Home Dept and a Walmart. Nirvana! Just kidding.

Actually there are three good restaurants in town, if you take a fairly liberal definition of in town. Hey, it’s the desert, driving 10 miles on a dirt road to get to a restaurant is no big deal. La Copine, north of town a few miles in Flamingo Heights, serves modern, interesting food. Joshua Tree Saloon in Joshua Tree is pretty much what you’d expect with that name–burgers, fries, onion rings, and beer, lots of beer. And the Hookah Lounge, a classic middle eastern felalel and gyro place, is one of the three best restaurants in town.

There are also about a million thrift shops. Well, maybe really only a dozen. Last year I bought a great old oak, arm chair for only $9.95. Dale thought it was absurd, but I brought it home packed in the car. Had to throw away some other stuff to make it fit. But the chair is great; it’s reglued, refinished and living in the living room. Maybe I can arrange a photo of it some time. This year I bought an oak, extendable coffee table. Not really sure that I want a coffee table, but the grain on the top was well worth the price.

The one redeeming feature of Yucca Valley are the rocks. big, rounded boulders that would be at home on a Flintstones set. These are the same rock formations that are the main attraction in Joshua Tree National Park which is right next door. Which brings me to today’s photo, a shot of the characteristic and beautiful Joshua Tree National Park scenery. With a nude woman of course. Since everything is better with a little nudity.

Part of my upcoming series on the National Parks.

On the other hand

Nudity is a big part of my work–breasts, butts, and genitals abound. On the other hand, maybe you like nude images, but for whatever reason, don’t want those parts visible. Cracks and Crevices is for you. There’s nothing in these images that you wouldn’t see in public in daily life.

Where are the vulvas?

The nude marble sculptures from Ancient Greece and the Renaissance are widely admired. Carved from white marble and accurately proportioned they emphasize shape and form through the lack of color. Many credit the Greeks with excellent taste for developing this classical style.

But we now know that the origin of this style in ancient Greece is a modern myth: the Greeks painted and decorated their marble buildings and sculptures with bright colors. The colors have been removed through centuries of neglect, pollution, and misguided cleanings.

And in all of these sculptures, there’s something missing, something not quite accurate. No vulvas. It’s as if women don’t have genitals. Men on the other hand clearly do; penises are frequently front and center, hanging out for all to see.

For the most part, modern artists, just as their ancient counterparts, still shy away from depicting female nudes accurately. For some reason, the vulva is usually obscured or hidden, sometimes by draping or a strategically placed arm or leg.

I don’t know why this is. Some artists say that they want to emphasize beauty and form over sexuality. Some fear being associated with pornography. Some critics claim that it represents a suppression of female sexuality; that male artists fear the sexuality of women.

Marble is a modern photographic take on these smooth, flowing, colorless, sculptures.
The brilliant white, texture free skin is inherited, as if these are images of those ancient marble sculptures. The poses, however, are modern, sometimes whimsical instead of heroic, separating these images from the ancient sculptures.

And these are accurate images of complete, fully formed women. The images are not coyly posed nor are shadows strategically placed. Female sexuality is not hidden. Unlike most ancient sculptures and most modern art, the women in these images have vulvas.