Paint Box

Sunday, 13 March 2011

The Female Gaze: Women Look at Women

'This exhibition attempts to debunk the notion of the male gaze by providing a group of works in which the artist and subject do not relate as "voyeur" and "object," but as woman and woman.' - accessed 13/03/11

Found this when researching the female gaze; the curator linking together a diverse range of female artists depicting the female form. This a really a note to self, to further investigate how women have turned their gaze inwards; which looking position does the viewer adopt, voyeuristic or fetishistic?

Shirin Neshat
PARI 2008
Type C Print and ink
72 x 49 1/2 inches
182.9 x 125.7 centimeters
Edition 3/5
Alice Neel (1900 - 1984)
Oil on canvas
54 x 34 inches
137.2 x 86.4 centimeters
I have selected these two images initially because they both have context, through background and clothings. I like the way the subjects are seated but posed, and that their expressions seem guarded and slightly suspicious. The overall appearance of both images is fairly light which makes them feel less predatory; however their watchful expressions and direct eye contact make the figures seem powerful, not submissive. As a viewer I want to continue looking as they confront my gaze. The bride seems more resigned, as though she had planned to be photographed whereas Olivia looks almost fed up. This may reflect the time period used for creating the piece - a photograph is instantaneous, a painting completed during multiple sittings over a longer period. More of this later. 

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