Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Giving No Head

I've been drawing and photographing a lot of women without their heads. I've never done it before, maybe because I've been sensitive to the feminist notion that it objectifies sexuality more by eliminating identity.
I've begun to question this. In my recent drawings of a young woman masturbating, not drawing the face gives the act some kind of privacy.
I've tried versions with heads but they feel wrong to me. Because of the ubiquity of porn' and porn-influenced advertising and entertainment, we're used to seeing sexual images with every possible facial expression. Even in many of my own paintings, the heads turned the women into stereotypes (often, deliberately) performing for someone else. Obscured heads, faces and expressions make my pictures more voyeuristic – as if glimpsed through a key-hole – but also more intimate and meaningful.


Jennie Rosenbaum said...

Interesting... a lot of my pieces are faceless or headless for similar reasons, sometimes they just don't feel right to add. I think that there is a certain empathy with a lack of face. a person can imagine themselves in the painting, it could be them, or their friend, or sister or mother. it seems more meaningful somehow.

Danielle said...

Your new philosophy is obviously working for you, the drawings are great. One thing though- if your objective is to avoid objectifying the women, I dont know that your achieving that with the poses. All of it seems some what staged as a teens wet dream. The knickers around her thighs- standing up, it makes her look kinda nutty. That said, the execution is beautiful.

Anonymous said...

In response to previous comments, I, myself like it (masterbating) standing up, slightly leaning forward and from behind.
I think the act of cumming is so much more focused in/on the body. I love these new pieces. K