You haven’t been? It sounds boring? Hell, no! Next time your wife is nagging on that you never take her anywhere, get some tickets for the Lady Louvre and get ready for nudity like you have never seen it before. Luba and the Louvre. They go together like…rum and coke, strawberries and cream, like the patterns of light and shadow creeping through the skylight.
She had never been before, so I deliberately planned a route through the mediaeval fortress that would give us The Mona Lisa as the grand finale. It takes five hours minimum if you really want to take it all in, and then you leave gasping for more. So, do yourself a favour, and get those tickets, and when you do, check out some of my absolute favourites – I made a mini-collection with my digital camera and you can see them reproduced in the right column; it’s legal, by the way, as long as you don’t use a flash.
For me, as a photographer, so many of these compositions leave me breathless; they are scenes you can only dream of: orgies, crucifixions, naked angels, sensual portraits, muscular men with cashew nut penises (Luba's words); it’s like being inside a fantasy, you feel as if you are actually walking in an erotic palace with the walls still vibrating from ecstatic times past. The Louvre is like extended foreplay and I loved every second of it...till we drew closer to the jewel in the crown: The Mona Lisa.
The crowd was getting bigger, the security guards were shouting, some guys were so anxious they were acting like it was a football match. Over the last fifty metres, before we even got a glimpse of the painting, we were funnelled like cattle between ropes, screamed at by more security men and, finally, she was there, dimly lit behind triple-thick glass, the poor girl hanging around like her date hadn’t turned up. I don’t know about that famous enigmatic smile, but the Mona Lisa to me just looks uncomfortable and has, dare I say it, not so much a smile but a silly grin. Talk about an anticlimax! What has made her a world icon I have no clue. Clever PR, if you ask me. So, my advice is: you drop the chick with the grin and go for the hot naked women instead.
Bye for now. Petter, Luba and The Louvre