Friday, May 02, 2014

Foundry Art Centre: Friday, 1 August 2014

space Ameristar Gallery Emerging Artist Series Featured Artist

Melissa Wilkinson
May 2 - August 1, 2014

Closing Reception: August 1, 2014 | 6-8 pm

"Men act and women appear. Men look at women. Women watch themselves being looked at. This determines not only most relations between men and women but all the relation of women to themselves. The surveyor of women in herself is male: the surveyed female... thus she turns herself into an object - and most particularly an object of vision: a sight." Ways of Seeing, by John Berger

Conventional wisdom is such that the female body has been the primary object of desire. These paintings serve to provide a context in which the male form elicits complex pleasure. Historically, representations of the male body have been associated with heroicism and power. I seek to confront similar paradigms regarding the male form. The conceptual framework for my work is to strip this objectivity that has been appointed to the female figure since oil painting's inception. Through this work I seek to question notions of the body politic and investigate representations of a "re-gendered" gaze. This series of paintings relates to an interest in dichotomies - the viewer and the viewed, attraction and repulsion, good and evil, the past and the present. These paintings incorporate appropriated imagery from art history, such as edible still life objects, drapery and foliage in conjunction with the male nude to create for the viewer a pastiche that both hides and reveals the potential eroticism of the male body. This juxtaposition positions the male body in a contemporary context as both spectacle and feminine, abstract and realist.

Foundry Art Centre
520 North Main Center
St. Charles, MO 63301


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