Title

The Masculine Nude: An Exhibition

Format

Event

Abstract/Artist Statement

Through a survey of art history, it is clear that the nude is prominent in presenting various gendered interpretations of the body. Contemporary artists now call into question the various masculinities performed through the representation of the aging and homoerotic male nude. Along with these two categories of the male nude, the employment of the female gaze produces yet another type of masculinity. As a censored and taboo subject, the male nude is emerging as a prominent subject in photography as well as in discussions of gender roles. In this exhibition, three artists' male nudes are portrayed, representing a damaged masculinity through the aged body, a male body as a sexual object, and the male body seen from the female gaze. Robert Mapplethorpe is considered a pioneer of the homoerotic male nude, especially in his titillating photographs of homosexual desire. While the male nude can function as an image of erotic desire, John Coplans' self portraits of the aging male nude suggest a completely divergent masculinity in which shame and lacking are linked. In contrast, Nan Goldin's photographs of the often post-coital male nude, depict a masculinity in which a man's own sexuality shows his vulnerability, thereby emasculating him. From these differing gender identities emerge the title, “The Masculine Nude,” an exhibition I have curated which presents the varying virilities inherent in the photography of the male nude.

Location

Reynolds Gallery

Start Date

30-4-2010 6:00 PM

End Date

30-4-2010 9:00 PM

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Apr 30th, 6:00 PM Apr 30th, 9:00 PM

The Masculine Nude: An Exhibition

Reynolds Gallery

Through a survey of art history, it is clear that the nude is prominent in presenting various gendered interpretations of the body. Contemporary artists now call into question the various masculinities performed through the representation of the aging and homoerotic male nude. Along with these two categories of the male nude, the employment of the female gaze produces yet another type of masculinity. As a censored and taboo subject, the male nude is emerging as a prominent subject in photography as well as in discussions of gender roles. In this exhibition, three artists' male nudes are portrayed, representing a damaged masculinity through the aged body, a male body as a sexual object, and the male body seen from the female gaze. Robert Mapplethorpe is considered a pioneer of the homoerotic male nude, especially in his titillating photographs of homosexual desire. While the male nude can function as an image of erotic desire, John Coplans' self portraits of the aging male nude suggest a completely divergent masculinity in which shame and lacking are linked. In contrast, Nan Goldin's photographs of the often post-coital male nude, depict a masculinity in which a man's own sexuality shows his vulnerability, thereby emasculating him. From these differing gender identities emerge the title, “The Masculine Nude,” an exhibition I have curated which presents the varying virilities inherent in the photography of the male nude.