Women Chatting.jpg

Figure 1: The Post Modern Art Historian Lino-cut by Ben Lau 2006
This million dollar job was at first entitled Women Chatting but now changed to The Post Modern Art Historian.
The lady on the right was modeled after JB, the art
historian,– a professor teaching at a university.
Because of the nature of our current discussion, I must emphasize
that my following perception of JB remains true and faithful, informed by
a grounded understanding of the lady after spending more than a full
semester at the U of M with her!

Professor JB could not possibly tell a
Cezanne apart from a Picasso!

“What kind of art historian is that?” You may wonder.

Unfortunately, my friend, I am equally without a clue, even today!

JB, a woman in her early forties, can be considered well-endowed.
That is correct!–“well endowed” was not an attribute about her that is
to be doubted. Unfortunately, everything else in her physicality seemed to have come to a full stop. There was a certain freakishness defining her facial features, directly responding to her skin tone–one of ghastly white–serving to indicate that she had never,
–for the life of her, exposed herself to the radiation of a sun.
One may even detect a slight undergrowth above and below the lips area of our lady–the last thing I want to see a nude model of mine to be in possession of!
As a graduate student from the MCAD program I worked very hard in her class, but one must confess one was not prepared for the inventiveness of her course. I admit to
mediocre performance in her class, normally but otherwise alien to my nature… .
To get to the root of this failing, it would be fair to say
my attention span for her lectures always registered
a zero– no matter how hard I focused!

But more importantly, JB had turned art history upside down! YAY! That looks more like it to be the root cause of my trouble then! I believe I have found out now, eventually, after many fruitless nights of soul searching!
The following example should amply demonstrate the liberty JB had taken in her interpretation of art history. JB had, by a sleigh of the hand, picked up what was normally a topic on the mapping of the human genome only to spin it around into becoming her course’s main topic! Such extreme liberalism in her interpretation of art history was so abrupt and so without warning that one could very well expect to feel a complete exasperation and wonderment. Namely, I found myself like an unsuspecting fool suddenly holding a pile of stuff after having answered to a higher authority, obligingly cupping his own hands, then getting to the immediate behind of a merrily defecating dog in like manner!
I was still waiting, 6 weeks into the course, for a happy chapter on Titian or Picasso to enlighten or uplift my spirit! After all, she had called her course an art history course, hadn’t she?

I kept waiting and waiting but the enlightenment never came!
Not only that but my energy would drain like the great Niagara Fall
after a typical JB session; and I would sleep like a
dead fish at night afterward.

That was the true story of my adventure through a post modern graduate
program some years ago–yes, at the U of M!
I regret I had not taken things seriously enough before signing up for JB’s course.
Even on our very first encounter a weird note of discord was already registered. I was somewhat late for her opening,–indeed I was to blame, but that made her wonder out aloud if I had entered the wrong classroom.
With a remarkably thrill voice, our good lady proclaimed,
” My course is designed for the PhD program. Please check your notification slip
before getting into a classroom!”

And all of a sudden, I know I have found it! I have found beauty in the contemplation of a nightmare!


This million dollar job, THE POST MODERN ART HISTORIAN, is far from being a typical Ben Lau. Ugly female subjects in my oeuvres are rare, to be honest with you.
Most of my subjects are beautiful women!
The composition of this work is based on
the head of a bear (BEARded lady!)
How to discover this bear is pretty tricky for an

(Hint:If you pretend the hoop of the other lady’s hand holding the
fan to be the right eye, where would be the left eye of the beast?

If the bearded lady’s buttock were to become the bear’s nostrils,
where would be its mouth and lips?

The answers to those puzzles would be immediately apparent to a kid
–except you can’t show no kid a professor in the nude!
It is against the law!