FROM FLAWLESS TO THE FLAWED
A new kind of modern nudity
by Ellie Howard
The classical nude has been shoved off her perch. No longer do we look to the womanly hips of gleaming marble as the epitome of feminine beauty – instead, gallery walls are adorned with saggy bits, wonky tits and pubic hairs. The nude has undergone extensive surgery, transforming the flawless into the flawed.
Trends in art have come and gone, but the nude has always remained – artists have projected the contradictions and issues of their era onto the human body. The history of the nude is a colourful one; that has traced how we define, represent and view ourselves. From the youthful naivety of Ryan McGinley’s playful, ungainly bodies; the tender, introspective self portraits of Shen Wei; the hyper sexualised, pixelated pornography of Thomas Ruff to the provocative empowered ‘8 Women’ of Collier Schorr’s photography, the nude has been revealed, reinterpreted and recreated in numerable shapes.
We take a look, in images, at the expanding waistlines and increasingly provocative behaviour of modern day nudity:
|Lisa Yuskavage: Pie Face, 2008|
|Ryan McGinley: Ann (Windy Truck), 2007|
|Thomas Ruff: Detail of Nudes dr02, 2011|
|John Currin: Three Friends,1998|
|Aneta Bartos: Detail of Feed, 2010|
|Aleah Chapin: Detail of It was the sound of their feet, 2014|