Warning for male nudity, NSFW. Serious discussion of rude bits will follow.
Oh god, Mikel Marton is awesome. This article [not work-safe!] made me happy. I'm so glad his work is getting more gallery exposure, especially after all of his cameras and computers were stolen a year or so ago. It’s funny, after about 4 years of browsing the site DeviantArt, there were only a handful of people whose work made me think something else other than ‘that’s cool’ [but maybe I’m just a bit shit at appreciating art sometimes], especially in the photography section; which is mostly just macro pictures of flowers and underage tits. In Sixth Form, me and a friend of mine became pretty obsessed with Sarah Lucas’ work, in that period when I was only beginning to understand what fine art was, to realise that the things she makes are all about bawdy sex and vulgarity, and those things are cool. Or rather, challenging the idea of a woman [‘Eating a Banana’, 1990] and gender roles really got me into reading about feminism and a lot of the ideas struck a chord with me and made me really passionate [I won’t go into detail, some guys are following this blog and I wouldn’t want to bore them to tears].
While keeping this contemporary art journal for foundation course, I realised I actually liked photography quite a bit. I’ll have to dig out the journals to remember the names I was into [the sheer amount you had to talk about was intimidating, so you become forgetful], but I do remember feeling vaguely uncomfortable about the overwhelming number of female subjects in nude portraits/erotica. At first I put it down to immature, prudish heterosexualness, but I don’t think I’m all that prudish. It’s mainly the fact that pretty much all of this genre is pictures of tied-up women, and I don't see the irony to these kind of photos. Women are physically vulnerable compared to men, and have been/are oppressed, and I don't see any reason to celebrate those terrible things. This kind of imagery is never morally questioned and I was quite frustrated about that as I could never think of anything to say that didn’t sound like I had double standards, as you can easily reply with ‘you’re no better just because you’d rather look at cocks’.
But I so completely agree with what Mikel is saying. Male art is taboo because we are still scared of showing the strong white man as a sexual object, because that is something completely associated with femininity or homosexuality, and of course, neither of those are any good for what we demand a man to be.
I’ll be very happy to see change, really, so I was extremely happy to find Mikel's work as the photographs are beautiful and the ideas behind it I think are important things.
In before 'lol, that guy has a huge penis'
On the topic of naked people, life drawing yesterday was great fun! It was my first time doing it properly, as I’d only drawn clothed models before...Not entirely happy with what I produced, I was trying to get the drawings as accurate to the three dimensional person as possible, and I didn’t really put any boldness into it. I think it’s a matter of confidence. I now know I can draw the human body reasonably accurately, so that gives me more room to experiment technically. Sometimes I think my stuff has zero visual impact, so I’ll try harder.
Also on the subject of female bodies, I’ll link to one of my favourite painters, Jenny Saville. I love her work.
So that the next entry isn’t entirely worthless, I’ll post the drawings we did with Chris for the laugh.