My practice aims to critique the sexualisation of women’s bodies perpetuated by the media, more specifically pornographic imagery, which are hypersexualised and passive. The heterosexual male gaze is most intense in pornography, created for men and for their gratification by objectification.
Sourcing images from an online porn website (eroticbeauties.net), accessible to anyone I use images created through the gaze for my own agenda. Inherently these images have ‘sex appeal’ or allure which entices viewers who are desensitised to the sexualisation of female bodies in mainstream media and art.
The work takes different forms of collage, paint and 3D work, using collage as a way to inform future paintings, becoming integral to the process of a painting. Choosing to work with a garish colour palette emphasises the artificial nature of the source imagery, taking the bodies somewhat out of reality. Recently using these painted models to create cardboard cut-outs, small and life-size further emphasises the fakery or performance in the works. Using these to create site specific installation work in the exhibition allows the viewer to move around an outdoor space and view the figures fully, revealing the 2D flatness of the figures echoing their one-dimensional representation.
The female nude in nature is a common trop throughout art history often presented very naturalistically in bathing. Contrastingly in my work, nature is used to show contrast with a unnaturalistic figure, cropping the figure into a landscape creating contradictive compositions.
The audience may find it difficult to be presented with these images of women due to their explicit nature and seemly sexist approach. Perhaps mistaking the work to perpetuate these representations of women leaving them to question, are these works feminist?
Although their true intention is to challenge the audience, I look to assess whether they are unsettled by viewing these hypersexualised depictions of women that seemly go unchecked in mainstream media.
(Warning – Contains nudity and themes of a sexual nature)