These pieces are inspired by the sculptural work in the Accademia Gallery (home of Michelangelo’s David) in Florence, Italy. When I entered the gallery, the first work I saw was Jean de Boulogne’s Rape of the Sabines, which depicts the struggles of a woman being assaulted by a man. As I walked through the Accademia, I found that the only representations of women were focused on their sexuality or gender. While we all marvelled at the perfection of David in the heart of the Gallery, it struck me how imbalanced the representations of women were to men in these classical sculptures, and how little has really changed today.
In an age of mass accessibility to data, explicit material is instantaneously accessible through our fingertips; yet what does this mean for artistic expression and visualisations of the nude form in the online realm? As the variety of pictorial representations of the nude changes, at what point does photography stop being art and start becoming self-documentation? Is there a place for photographic nudity in contemporary society that isn’t within the pornographic or sexting scope? Or will our dutiful modesty simply adorn fig leaves to genitalia in the hopes of attaining perceivably innocuous art?
By Ella-Maude Wilson
This piece was originally published in Edition 31.