To New York, where offence-seekers and defenders of sound morals are demanding the Metropolitan Museum of Art remove Balthasar Klossowski’s (1908-2001) painting, Thérèse Dreaming. Mia Merrill was “shocked” to see the painting. “It is disturbing that the Met would proudly display such an image,” Merrill told Care2, the self-styled “social network for good”. “They are a renowned institution and one of the largest, most respected art museums in the United States. The artist of this painting, Balthus, had a noted infatuation with pubescent girls and this painting is undeniably romanticizing the sexualization of a child.”
In 2013, when the Met created the 2014 exhibition “Balthus: Cats and Girls—Paintings and Provocations” the show came with a warning that read: “Some of the paintings in this exhibition may be disturbing to some visitors.” It stopped short of saying that the best art is unsettling and much of the other stuff is ‘meh’ – and failed to say why only “some visitors” would be disturbed. Why not all? That show also featured Thérèse Dreaming, one of 10 portraits of Thérèse Blanchard (1925-1950), Balthus’ young neighbour in his native Paris.
“If The Met had the wherewithal to reference the disturbing nature of Balthus in the 2013 exhibit, they understand the implications of displaying his art today,” Merrill laments. “Given the current climate around sexual assault and allegations that become more public each day, in showcasing this work for the masses, The Met is romanticizing voyeurism and the objectification of children.”
When asked about the poses of preadolescent girls in his work, Balthus said, “It is how they sit.” When asked why they did it, no child abuser cited Balthus.
But in the minds of the ‘good’ and caring, to see is to do. They have judged the art and found it wrong. It must be banned. One look at the intense painting of a glowing and self-possessed Thérèse Blanchard, who was about twelve or thirteen at the time this picture was made, will turn the mentally negligible masses into child abusers. It must be censored by those who know best. Down the memory hole with this paintings, the statues, the art, the gender, the books, free expression and the birth names. The world’s being changed into a safe space. We’re all in therapy now.the