Risque is the title of a new oil, in fact a new series. I felt this one was urgent and below I explain why. The lovely means by making my visual point is the depiction of model Julia Gómez Avilés. It was wonderful to work with her again and my last work of her was a pastel just before the pandemic began. Unfortunately live model sketching came to a standstill since then, even though I hired my regular model occasionally.
A lot came to pass in between. We all formed our opinions about the events, that’s for sure. Personally I think the virus has made a lot of us tremendously afraid. Perhaps this felt the same for every group of people facing a major event like the plague and surely wars. I felt there also was another undercurrent, something growing stronger already much longer. That is the wordwide tendency of prudity, especially on social media. Evidentially Corona only facilitates this by forcing us to stay indoors. It made many to stay put like scared rabbits and have them binge-watch. In this big Ego era we have become suspicious, unwilling to accept authority, unable to judge what is true and what is not. Perhaps hiding under a duvet in front of a screen is not a great way to see one’s own bodily beauty, let alone someone’s else’s.
In art this is expressed by a growing disappreciation for the nude as a pinnacle of aesthetics. My live model sessions held at Brugman Art aren less visited throughout the years. Some reactions that I want to quote are: “Disgusting”, “Should I draw that thing dangling between his legs?” and “I have nothing with nudity, only landscapes”. Let me be concise in my statement. I have become aware of a lot of profoud grossness. The most striking one is a grizzly fascination for violence on t.v., the internet and in games. This is not sanctioned by people controlling these media at all. Why is it that the most abhorrent images are generally accepted and a simple fact like a nude body isn’t? Instead we are faced with ‘no frontal nudity’ and ‘no nipple policies’ nowadays. Surely that is something Jean Fouquet never anticipated painting Madonna’s nipple.
For quite some time these things kept my mind busy. They frustrated me after the umpteenth ban on facebook or non-acceptance of my work on my google business page. These days are over. I have decided to paint my frustrations away by starting a new series, called ‘risque’. They will honor nude women and lo and behold, not backing away from possible explicite nudity anymore. It is art, not porn! I had a lot of fun doing the actual painting. This is the first non-cubist nude since a decade or so, I believe. The painting turned out to become a bit expressionistic. The complementary red-green mix was perfect to depict the risky nature of this nude. I felt I had to capture her self-confident attitude. The eventual goal was to do some expliciteness but her prying eyes cath the beholder like a thief.
Oil on canvas (80 x 120 x 1 cm)
Artist: Corné Akkers