Bodies online, pencil on paper, 2015-
Bodies online is a series of drawings I have been making since 2015 focusing on female bodies, what women do with their bodies online, what are the discussions surrounding body, sex and body image and does fine art have a role. I do draw male bodies and body parts occasionally as many tend to photograph their penises and upper torsos in bathrooms and send the pictures: there is always someone at the receiving end wondering what does it mean this all. Do you examine yourselves or the reactions? I obviously am critiqued for putting openly pornographic images on my site in forms of drawings and paintings calling the other series In search of a porno monster. Fine art is not primarily for children and I don’t self censor nor think fine art should move to the direction of family friendly approach. I have something to say perhaps or it is an attempt to organise my thoughts around current obsessions and impacts of these desires people don’t prohibit themselves and assume all enjoy and want the same things. I am interested in what people think first, not what moves in their pants, but naked body is interesting to me too in many ways. Firstly, it is the number one topic in fine art or from where studying begins, studying of humans and human form. There are people who are allowed to process the issue of nakedness, body shapes and sex in their work, but I am not one of those for some reason. I traumatise people. Sorry, not putting labels on, I won’t do so. Filtering reality makes boring results and interesting question is how scared people are and of what things exactly. As the phenomenon of openly sexual content pushes itself to tv and advertising and the thought is to promote freedom, cashing in (this is how), openness, shamelessness, craving for scandals nevertheless as all are not as open, they are expected to get triggered, body positivity and what not, wanting to make as big bucks as possible, get a lot of viewers and becoming instantly famous, and this is a good message to invade our viewing time and things we watch, like it or not? Ok, good taste is lost as is good quality content undervalued. Who gets empowered? Not me. Then there is the question of success and what is success. Is it the same as fame? Do we measure success in money and visibility? Oh, yes, likes.
There are feminists who are for porn and sex work and think these are work just as anything else. You are selling your body in OnlyFans? Sure, they are work and internet is full of it, there is a market, which just keeps on expanding and is only to make a fortune as easily as possible, and so is plastic surgery, self-image and mental health problems get fixed by fixing the body? These fixes are perplexing and at the tip of fingers. That is help? Well, a doctor does it, so it must help. With this ease of things happening, we do create a lot of problems and we like looking healthy and fit the felt innerself, the person inside must come out and play, show herself. So, what are bodies online doing?
Promoting themselves, being happy doing activism and enjoying their bodies in public like normal healthy people do. Yes, it is work, enjoying one’s body, which I interpret as constant posing in flattering sexual manner, because otherwise it sounds weird to me, to enjoy one’s body. My body exists, do I enjoy it? It is a new thing, full-on pleasure seeking culture and feelings dictate it and the body. Photographing one’s toes, hands, hair, legs, head, ass, posing and selling something they call accepting, learning to be you, positivity, beauty, enjoyment, enjoyment shaped for camera, snapping pictures where cuteness and prettiness are a good thing filters making the person unreal and an imaginary being, beauty celebrated and commented, beautiful. Are they expressing themselves on apps or is it imitation repeating a lucrative model as many times as possible for how long? What is the innovation, what is the trick? Wondered what does an Insta profile tell of a person? Depending what there is, just one face, just one ass or many asses? Looking for attention, making some kind of a point of human existence today and it is to be seen as much as possible and need for enjoyment in life is this visual manifesting, proof of having existed and lived in a certain way, having chosen a lifestyle. Living the life is defined in a very specific way. Entertainment and fun are obviously a big part, why is it the artist who somehow can’t turn the focus on to this party and is suddenly phobic? Am I too critical? I thought feminism embraces women who say what they think. To let people be themselves? Yes, I thought that was the thing. Culture which celebrates flesh, surgery, fixing oneself to be the best you getting the Kylie-look putting on Bambi-ears? Contradictions keep getting bigger and lying is the make-everybody-happy-trick? Seeking pleasurable experiences and at the same time infantilising adults accepting this metamorphosis as love for self, the world and everybody to witness daily how much love there is in likes. Critics are haters, who must be banned. It is a kind of a fix for not wanting to hear opposing views. Many are making according to themselves an art work of themselves. Filters do help in imagining a different you. You are your image in a way. This is how you want to be seen, what do we see or are looking at? Objectifying a living human is the ongoing progress/process with surgery and enhancements, in hopes of finding a positive community who accepts you and your endeavour. It is to watch this as a play and think, when does the wall come where we crash? Who dies?
So, I do take a critical point of view, I don’t enjoy porn as an everyday entertainment or much ever, which is the new normal, pornofication, profession just as any and what it changes. Many trends today fall flat no matter how hyped they are, are short-lived and the fat-filled ass falls down more quickly than expected. Our genitals have been the source of shame, definitive, personal and all different and we play with them since childhood. Why do we have this urge to homogenise or feel inadequate if we don’t fit in the wanted model? It is contradicting the mantra be the best you and be yourself. If we are not able to be ourselves, who are we? Who can/must we be? There is pressure. Who is the one who is not accepted? It is the phobic one. So don’t be afraid, even though it is a horror show.
Drawing a naked body from a photograph found online which is porn, I guess, a study by me, I like to think. Nudity is not as accepted as it may seem. Is it shouting louder because it is art in a different way in the landscape of digital plenty and why have I chosen this photograph? Was the photograph art, a snapshot? Does it change into something or change anything by me focusing on this image particularly? Or should fine art be permanently a refuge from scum and ugliness where human body is depicted noble and always in the best light certain parts veiled? Is fine art for realism or to tell a pretty story? Push is for the latter, for politically correct, polite unhurtful bliss of visuals. Filtering photos on apps does the same. It eliminates the unwanted parts. You are/must be admired. Being openly perverted is to be who you are, letting it all hang, filtered nudity is not perverted, but admirable and desirable. Drawing is examining human figure in a different slow way. You really have to look and be happy with the result or disappointed. Failure is there and an option. Drawing is focus and today human figure takes this kind of poses fast forward. I guess we are experimenting with something we do not know what will happen. We look very profound indeed. Skin deep nowadays. Contrapposto is bygones, in a way. Link to fine art exists in forms of sexism, hypocrisy and denial, what can be looked at and not, scandalous contents do make art go round, like nothing else. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Contrapposto
This is what I have been wondering when looking for interesting faces and bodies to draw online, pictures that are not perfected, fixed in any way, but are natural and raw and put out there to inform. Just the amount of images is massive and the condition of human civilisation as well is growing? Why point one’s phone to the crotch? Why genitals? This is my ultimate question. Lack of topics out there? No one to talk to? Approaching the issue of ugliness: what is it, what is hidden and why, how filters work in making reality and what reality looks like without, what do we want to see and when we have seen what we wanted, what then? Faking is fixing oneself, faking is making it. It is a long time topic for young women to fix their genitals to look as small and even as possible, symmetrical and surgically fix oneself to match the new ideal whatever it may be, the doll-like object who is appalled by objectification but desires to be herself an object. Be herself and an object? This is progress and must be processed. Processed/progressed to feeling inadequate, when one does not fit the perfect image, have a perfect body and a perfect life. Maybe we will progress to not having feelings next, so the objectification is perfect, dissatisfaction will be gone. No unhappy feelings, the ultimate desire. But this is what many seem to think already what world should be like. There are people who have feelings and people who don’t and yet feelings are the ones that guide what is right and who is hurt the most, who shouts the loudest. See my feelings and you can’t hurt me.