Objectify This: Female Anatomy Dissected and Displayed
Recently I was able to ask curator Vanessa Ruiz of the blog Street Anatomy about her art show Objectify This. The show starts today at Design Cloud Gallery. Artists participating in the show include: Fernando Vicente, Jason Levesque, Cake, Michael Reedy, Danny Quirk, Emily Evans, Pole Ka, Tristan des Limbes, Amylin Loglisci.
How did you come up with the concept for the show?
The idea was an amalgamation of different influences from Street Anatomy and my personal life. I’ve been following the female anatomical art of Spanish painter and illustrator Fernando Vicente over the past couple of years. His recent series of paintings, titled VENUS
, show these strong and somewhat edgy women in various states of anatomical undress. The response when I posted his work on Street Anatomy was massive and I knew that his work had a special attraction both objectively and subjectively.
At the same time I began exploring the thriving burlesque scene in Chicago. I enjoy burlesque for the fact that it can be so sensual and yet empowering for women at the same time. And so, I began envisioning a gallery show that could center around female anatomy and combine it with burlesque to create an overall experience of the female form.
What is the show about?
Historically, female anatomical illustration has evoked a multitude of feelings beyond simple academic representation. It’s one of the reasons why the male form has always been the exemplum of the human body, with the female illustrated only as the variation in terms of reproductive organs and surface anatomy. This exhibition seeks to portray female anatomy only in relation to other females. The artists in the exhibition portray female anatomy in a variety of ways and there’s even quite a distinction between how male artists visualize it vs female artists. The male artists show the underlying anatomy of these very seductive and sensual women, whereas the female artists almost deconstruct the anatomy and show more emotion through it.
What are your goals for the show?
It will compel viewers to question the objectivity surrounding ‘female anatomy’ and define—or re-define—their own perceptions through the art, perspectives, literature, and live burlesque performances during the opening. The main question I keep asking throughout preparing for this exhibition has bee, how can I get people to think past their initial reaction to ‘female anatomy’ and think of it for what it is—human gross anatomy?
For more of Vanessa Ruiz and Street Anatomy, click here.
- Lee Jones