Tag Archives: male nude

Female Gaze Friday: Dana Schutz

Representations of the male figure in art are far less common than works depicting women. A long history of straight men dominating the art world has led to many images of winsome women, but fewer of beautiful men (I’ve written on this subject before; if you’d like to read more about the lack of male figures in art check it out here).

Every Female Gaze Friday I will post a woman-created work of art depicting a man—one small act to reverse the male gaze! Not all images will be provocative, many will be nonsexual or even disturbing. Hopefully this will be a way of learning more about women artists (as well as looking at dudes)!

This week we’ll be looking at paintings by Dana Schutz:

Dana Schutz, Reclining Nude, 2002, oil on canvas, 48"x66"

Dana Schutz, Reclining Nude, 2002, oil on canvas, 48″x66″

Dana Schutz, Frank in the Desert, 2002, oil on canvas, 183x137cm

Dana Schutz, Frank in the Desert, 2002, oil on canvas, 183x137cm

Dana Schutz, Men's Retreat, oil on canvas, 96"x120"

Dana Schutz, Men’s Retreat, oil on canvas, 96″x120″

Dana Schutz, Face Eater, oil on canvas, 18"x23"

Dana Schutz, Face Eater, oil on canvas, 18″x23″

Dana Schutz is a highly influential contemporary figurative painter. She creates interesting characters and situations; for example, the first two images here (Reclining Nude and Frank in the Desert) depict an imaginary character named Frank. In this scenario, Schutz is the last painter in the world and Frank the last subject. He is trapped on a desert island and painted again and again. The Frank From Observation paintings are interesting, in that he is repeatedly reinvented as a wild man, a fantasy for women, or one of any number of unusual professions. Schutz and Frank react to one another. Even though he is imaginary he is full of personality and understands the situation. Frank may rebel and be sunburnt or even killed in retaliation. The artist doesn’t mourn him though; Frank always comes back to life.

Like the Frank series, Schutz’s Self-Eaters are cyclical. They die and are reborn and they constantly consume themselves. Schutz considered this series to have a looser narrative and these works spin off in a number of directions. Schutz’s work thrives with themes of destruction and dismemberment, especially through her use of bright colors and whimsical humor.

See more of Shutz’s work here and read a great interview with the artist here. Check back on Fridays for more images of men by women. And feel free to suggest works of art or artists in the comments!

Take a look at our previous Female Gaze Friday: Paintings by Holly Coulis.

Advertisements
Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Female Gaze Friday: Holly Coulis

Representations of the male figure in art are far less common than works depicting women. A long history of straight men dominating the art world has led to many images of winsome women, but fewer of beautiful men (I’ve written on this subject before; if you’d like to read more about the lack of male figures in art check it out here).

Every Female Gaze Friday I will post a woman-created work of art depicting a man—one small act to reverse the male gaze! Not all images will be provocative, many will be nonsexual or even disturbing. Hopefully this will be a way of learning more about women artists (as well as looking at dudes)!

This week we’ll take a look at the paintings of Holly Coulis:

Holly Coulis, Holidays, 2008, oil on canvas, 29"x26"

Holly Coulis, Holidays, 2008, oil on linen, 29″x26″

Holly Coulis, Grouse, 2008, oil on linen, 54"x48"

Holly Coulis, Grouse, 2008, oil on linen, 54″x48″

Holly Coulis, Carnation and Bird, 2013, oil on linen, 40"x32"

Holly Coulis, Carnation and Bird, 2013, oil on linen, 40″x32″

Holly Coulis, Blue Skies, 2008, oil on linen, 36"x30"

Holly Coulis, Blue Skies, 2008, oil on linen, 36″x30″

These paintings are part of Coulis’s Men series. Her images depict an invented cast of average albeit strange men living their lives. Men sit still while birds perch on their shoulders, relax, or enjoy the landscape (sometimes in the nude!) This causes us to create mythologies about who they are.

Because Coulis is a woman, we view her work in the context of a history in which men typically painted women. According to the Cherry and Martin gallery, “As a female artist picturing men, Coulis’ paintings are not political per se; rather they present a shift in the focus from what has come to be an expected relationship.  Coulis uses this investigation to imagine her subject’s inner life, exploring the intersection of masculinity and vulnerability.  In doing so, she engages in a dialogue with such painters as David Hockney, Alice Neel and Sylvia Sleigh, all of whom used portraiture as a way of investigating intimacy, subjecthood and self-identity.”

Coulis’s paintings use bright, bold colors and simple geometric forms. Her work is similar to Alex Katz or David Hockney in depicting still figures and using flattened blocks of color.

See more of Coulis’s work here. Check back on Fridays for more images of men by women. And feel free to suggest works of art or artists in the comments!

Take a look at our previous Female Gaze Friday: Paintings by Nina Chanel Abney.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

Female Gaze Friday: Meghan Howland

Representations of the male figure in art are far less common than works depicting women. A long history of straight men dominating the art world has led to many images of winsome women, but fewer of beautiful men (I’ve written on this subject before; if you’d like to read more about the lack of male figures in art check it out here).

Every Female Gaze Friday I will post a woman-created work of art depicting a man—one small act to reverse the male gaze! Not all images will be provocative, many will be nonsexual or even disturbing. Hopefully this will be a way of learning more about women artists (as well as looking at dudes)!

This week we’ll take a look at the beautiful oil paintings of Meghan Howland:

Meghan Howland, Title Unknown, 2011, oil on canvas

Meghan Howland, Title Unknown, 2011, oil on canvas

Meghan Howland, Title Unknown, 2011, oil on canvas

Meghan Howland, Title Unknown, 2011, oil on canvas

Meghan Howland, Vapors, 2011, oil on canvas

Meghan Howland, Vapors, 2011, oil on canvas

Meghan Howland’s works are full of delicate figures covered in flowers, birds, and pearls. Her work embraces the decorative and the feminine yet casts an almost somber mood over beautiful people and objects. Both women and men are depicted, although so far only those who are young, thin, and white. These paintings are very dreamlike, and leave a lot to the viewer’s imagination.

I would highly recommend looking at the rest of her work here. They are very captivating paintings.

Check back on Fridays for more images of men by women. And feel free to suggest works of art or artists in the comments!

Take a look at our previous Female Gaze Friday: Collage by Anya Lsk.

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Female Gaze Friday: Anya Lsk

Representations of the male figure in art are far less common than works depicting women. A long history of straight men dominating the art world has led to many images of winsome women, but fewer of beautiful men (I’ve written on this subject before; if you’d like to read more about the lack of male figures in art check it out here).

Every Female Gaze Friday I will post a woman-created work of art depicting a man—one small act to reverse the male gaze! Not all images will be provocative, many will be nonsexual or even disturbing. Hopefully this will be a way of learning more about women artists (as well as looking at dudes)!

This week we’ll take a look at collage by Anya Lsk:

Anya Lsk, Untitled, 2013, collage

Anya Lsk, Untitled, 2013, collage

Anya Lsk, Untitled, 2012, collage

Anya Lsk, Untitled, 2012, collage

Russian artist Anya Lsk’s collages beautifully connect the nude male form with other images. Her first piece references Laocoön and His Sons, an ancient Roman marble sculpture that depicts the plight of Trojan priest Laocoön. Poseidon sent sea serpents to strangle the priest and his sons in order to prevent Laocoön from exposing the Trojan horse ruse. This sculpture is a very influential piece. Following its discovery in the Renaissance Italian sculptors artists as renowned as Michelangelo and Titian created works referencing the piece. You can read more about the history of Laocoön and His Sons here.

Laocoön and His Sons, c. 25 BC, marble

Laocoön and His Sons, c. 25 BC, marble

The sculpture was considered a beautiful piece that masterfully portrayed the male figure. Lsk continues this tradition by incorporating Laocoön into a photograph of two partially nude men wrestling. The photograph and the sculpture both display the male form in tense, sensual poses.

You can see more of Anya Lsk’s collages (and photographs) here.

Check back on Fridays for more images of men by women. And feel free to suggest works of art or artists in the comments!

Take a look at our previous Female Gaze Friday: Jen Mann’s Cotton Candy and Sway.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

Female Gaze Friday: Jen Mann

Representations of the male figure in art are far less common than works depicting women. A long history of straight men dominating the art world has led to many images of winsome women, but fewer of beautiful men (I’ve written on this subject before; if you’d like to read more about the lack of male figures in art check it out here).

Every Female Gaze Friday I will post a woman-created work of art depicting a man—one small act to reverse the male gaze! Not all images will be provocative, many will be nonsexual or even disturbing. Hopefully this will be a way of learning more about women artists (as well as looking at dudes)!

This week’s works are Cotton Candy and Sway by Jen Mann:

Jen Mann, Cotton Candy, 2013, oil on canvas, 48"x46"

Jen Mann, Cotton Candy, 2013, oil on canvas, 48″x46″

Jen Mann, Sway, 2013, oil on canvas, 50"x50"

Jen Mann, Sway, 2013, oil on canvas, 50″x50″

I first saw Mann’s work on tumblr, where her brightly colored, bubblegum-like portraits are incredibly popular. Her paintings are beautiful, with an intriguing use of monotone figures against contrasting backgrounds. She limits herself to simply composed portraits with very clean, crisp lines and naturalistically rendered features. These portraits are from her Strange Beauties series and are inspired by the circus, the innocence of childhood, and dreams.

You can see more of Jen Mann’s work here or take a look at her somewhat different Fera series here.

Check back on Fridays for more images of men by women. And feel free to suggest works of art or artists in the comments!

Take a look at our previous Female Gaze Friday: Amy Sherald’s The Rabbit in the HatPony Boy, and High Yella Masterpiece: We Ain’t No Cotton Pickin’ Negroes.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

Female Gaze Friday: Sasha Panyuta’s “Bryan”

Representations of the male figure in art are far less common than works depicting women. A long history of straight men dominating the art world has led to many images of winsome women, but fewer of beautiful men (I’ve written on this subject before; if you’d like to read more about the lack of male figures in art check it out here).

Every Female Gaze Friday I will post a woman-created work of art depicting a man—one small act to reverse the male gaze! Not all images will be provocative, many will be nonsexual or even disturbing. Hopefully this will be a way of learning more about women artists (as well as looking at dudes)!

This week’s paintings are Brian and Steve by Sasha Panyuta:

Sasha Panyuta, Brian, 2009, acrylic on canvas, 48"x60"

Sasha Panyuta, Brian, 2009, acrylic on canvas, 48″x60″

Sasha Panyuta, Steve, 2009, acrylic on canvas, 48"x60"

Sasha Panyuta, Steve, 2009, acrylic on canvas, 48″x60″

Panyuta is a Russia-born artist who lives and works in New York City. She creates acrylic works that are full of bright, unblended colors with figures against simple backgrounds. Panyuta’s portrait of Brian is interesting, in that it is part of a group of works depicting multimedia artist Brian Kenny. Kenny has a collection of portraits of him from fellow artists (that you can see here).

I first saw Panyuta’s paintings at 100 Artists Book (100 artists of the male figure). You can see Panyuta’s work on her site, and an interview here

Check back on Fridays for more images of men by women. And feel free to suggest works of art or artists in the comments.

Take a look at our previous Female Gaze Friday: Elise Graham’s Untitled.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

Gender Portrayals in Classical Greek Statuary

I’m writing a series of papers for my Western Survey of Art and Architecture course focusing on representations of gender in different eras of art (Doing it for the honors credits; damn you RIT for trying to make me a more educated person!). For my first quarter paper I decided to focus on Classical Greek gender ideals as seen in Praxiteles’s Knidian Aphrodite and Polykleitos’s Doryphoros (Coming at the end of this quarter: Portrayals of Adam, Eve, and the often feminized serpent in Renaissance artwork). I don’t want to explain it when I can just let you read the paper, so here it is. It was actually pretty fun to learn more about this subject, I hope you guys enjoy!

Classical Greek artwork is generally recognized as a depiction of the real and the ideal; an attempt at mimesis that also reflects the qualities found most desirable during the time period. While one might imagine that this would lead to work focused entirely on aesthetic appeal, the artwork is also heavily conceptual. Classical Greek statuary not only reflected the rigid gender roles seen in Ancient Greek culture, it contributed to the culture’s development and enforcement. By viewing works embodying the perceived otherness and shy sensuality of women, such as Praxiteles’s Knidian Aphrodite, and the presented powerful norm of men, as seen in Polykleitos’s Doryphoros, Greek audiences internalized and then performed kyriarchal gender roles. Analysis of the subject and style of these two statues will enable understanding of the gender divide in Greek culture and how that divide manifests itself in Classical artwork.

Left: Praxiteles's Knidian Aphrodite Right: Polykleitos's Doryphoros

While the subject of Doryphoros followed the traditional Classical model, the Knidian Aphrodite revolutionized Greek statuary. Previous sculptures showed women clothed without exception, and while a number of artists used wet drapery to display women’s bodies in an acceptable manner none had made the leap to establishing a female nude the equivalent of the common Greek male nude. Praxiteles’s method of bridging the gap and depicting an unclothed woman—without causing too much of an outrage—is considered inspired. By choosing Aphrodite, the goddess of love and sexuality, as his subject, he had found a way to justify female nudity. By toeing the line between sensual and modest, dignified yet welcoming, Praxiteles depicted the nude in a way considered inoffensive to his audience.

The need to justify female nudity while male nudity was considered commonplace already reflects Greek ideas about gender. For a man to appear naked conferred his power, his strong body and equally strong mind, while for a woman to appear naked would be indecent and confer immodesty. It is important to remember that the ancient Greeks viewed man and woman as dichotomies. One was defined as being the opposite of the other. As men were considered the dominant members of society women were the ones being defined as opposite; yet, interestingly enough, still defined as the “other”. In the words of Nanette Salomon, “the culturally constructed terms of femininity and masculinity in the ancient world were mutually dependent and reflexive fabrications whose definition depended upon their socially assigned differences, one from the other”.[1] Salomon’s statement offers an explanation for why activities deemed as masculine were off limits for women. As the opposite of men, women were viewed as incapable of participating in the male sphere. Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Naked Women: Sexy! Naked Men: Eh.

I have been incredibly busy (and some could say lazy) lately. Classes, clubs, reading the entire internet, all of a sudden it’s two weeks later and nary a post in sight.

But fear not! For as an apology, I present to you a post with plenty of nudity…

"Male Nude Known as Patroclus" by Jacques-Louis David

(Couldn't find the title) Robert Mapplethorpe

"Male Nudes" by George Lynes

"Young Nude Man" by Hippolyte Flandrin

And plenty of discussion on the implications of nudity in regards to men and women in art (you thought you would get to just enjoy some attractive naked men and women? Sorry!). First point of discussion: you would not believe how long it took me to find these few good examples of the male nude.

Well, that’s not entirely what I was searching for. I can immediately think of a number of examples of naked men as subject (particularly including contemporary work). For instance, a lot of paintings and statues by Michelangelo, ancient Roman and Greek nudes, work by artists such as Lucian Freud, Robert Mapplethorpe, the list goes on. So let me rephrase.

You would not believe how long it took me to find good examples of the sensual male nude.

More after the jump!

Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,