I was sent a link to Fullerton-Batten’s photos of fat nudes. As someone who does portraits with the goal of capturing some essential sense of the model in their natural body language, I found both the work and the artist’s description of it thought provoking.
I have transposed the old masters’ inspirational works into a modern context. Larger-than-life models of both sexes unashamedly shed their clothes and posed for me in the nude. I placed them individually in a scene with appropriate props and asked them to pose in ways that would show off their shape naturally and enhance their beauty. I simulated soft candle- and moon-light to recreate that seen in the old-masters’ paintings.
My models accept that their bodies are as nature intended them to be. They show honesty, both to others and themselves in a world all too often dominated by manipulated beauty.
I appreciate the politics of her explanation of her work, but I do not find the people in the photographs unmanipulated or individual.
Her photographs are highly manipulated images of beautiful fat people (as far as I can tell, mostly women) using historical imagery and simulated old-masters light. Her choices of the masters’ imagery are taken from work that shows idealized themes, that include beauty, arcadian nature, and the abundantly fleshy body. In these works they were painting embodied ideas, but ideas none-the-less. (They are not portraits, although obviously portraits were part of old masters’ work.)
She is indeed making fat positive photos, but the model is subsumed into the greater image. They are indeed beautiful, but as part of the larger photo, not as themselves.
Thanks to Alan Bostick for the link.