Nudity, Gender, Art and Politics

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Traipse through any art museum and, though it was controversial in its time, you will see lots of paintings like this Manet:

The men are clothed, the women are naked.   Activist group The Guerilla Girls trenchantly observed:

And it is not just museums. If you find yourself at Stockholm’s City Hall for the banquet associated with the Nobel Prizes (or, like me, just as a tourist), you will see mosaics in the Gold Room like this:

Men clothed, women naked. And via a friend, here is a nude painting of faux Sarah Palin:

The associated Chicago Tribune article reports:

Bruce Elliott, whose wife owns the Old Town Ale House, painted this nude portrait of Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin. He said his daughter, who does a good impression of the Alaska governor, served as model. (Kuni Takahashi, Chicago Tribune / September 29, 2008)

Bruce Elliott has painted a nude portrait of Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin and hung it above the Old Town Ale House, where it’s now a prime attraction among his display of more than 200 celebrity portraits and other racy art.

Elliott’s wife, Tobin Mitchen, owns the bar on Chicago’s North Side,

Palin became Elliott’s muse after he saw her on TV.

“I’ve been following her religiously,” he said Monday at the bar. “I had never heard of her before, like everyone else. I find her bizarrely fascinating, even though I pretty much despise everything she stands for.”

I’ve searched the Internets for similar nude tableaux of John McCain, Barack Obama and Joe Biden, but I haven’t seen any, no less art works rendered in the buff for which the artist’s son has posed. That the artist admits to despising Palin comes as no surprise, does it?   He is leveraging nudity to mock and disparage her.   Has that happened to any other high profile politician lately? Oh right, there was this:

And of course this:

Obama is depicted nude in the above magazine cover to feminize him, I’d say. And that is not meant as a compliment to him.

–Ann Bartow

ETA: See also.

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0 Responses to Nudity, Gender, Art and Politics

  1. annared says:

    Quite, and it looks as though Hustler ~ Larry Flynt, is also in on the misogyny circus. Quell surprise.