Art, the Male Gaze and Body Image: Ft. Yves Klein

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Photo and Styling courtesy of Shayla Hickerson
Models from left to right: John Forget – Fantasia LaPremiere, Allison Drechsler, Amelia Eirynn, Jacqueline Heinrich, Saskia Pateman
Makeup by Jenna Scali and Jessica Frappa

Reclaiming the Feminine Image (Part 2)

In the beginning of the Volume geared towards ‘Exploring Art and the Male Gaze as Influential of Body Image’, members of the community studied the effects of art in the past and how it is still relevant today. Visual representations often become reflective of the current social events, value and life. Pablo Picasso used the topics of prostitution and objectification of the female nude to create his work, Les Demoiselles d’Avignon (1907).

Fast forward half a century, and objectification remains a notable topic depicted through artistic means. Similar to Picasso, Yves Klein produced art under the male gaze. In his piece, L’Anthropométrie de l’époque bleue (1960), Klein is glorified for his ingenious technical approach. Klein is observed to have listened to classical music, while orchestrating nude, female models covered in Klein blue paint to imprint their bodies onto canvas.

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Fast forward another half a century and we end up with similar objectification regarding the current female identity.

I want to examine the continuation of objectification in art. To recreate a historical piece created by the male gaze and present it through a modern, feminine directed experience. I want to create an image, where the creative process within Klein’s work is reversed and the models are shown in a still-shot, pre-imprint.

The imprint of the female nude is depicted on the models to redirect the focus of the human subject. In the original work by Klein, you see an image created by using the female body as a tool, as a stamp, as an object. Her identity and humanity is removed, but through redirecting the focus on the models, they regain their identities. The imprints are recreated, and painted onto female and male models to re-humanize their form. These models exist not for the male gaze, but rather by owning their own image.


To view and read more on the original art work by Yves Klein visit this link.

 

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