Tag Archives: fat nudes

Fat Nudes As Old Masters

Laurie says:

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.

Fat nude wearing pearls, looking at her reflection in a mirror.

She says:
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.

Fat nude holding an apple..

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.

Photos at the National Museum of Art in Japan

Laurie says:

In January, I was very excited to hear from Akiko Kasuya who curated my solo exhibition at the National Museum of Art in Osaka in 2001. She told me that I had three photographs (nudes from Women En Large: Images of Fat Nudes and Familiar Men: A Book of Nudes) on exhibit there now. The exhibition “Collection” (January 7 to April 8, 2012) introduces a group of works from their collection, centering on recent acquisitions. The exhibition is curated by Yuka Uematsu. Akiko Kasuya and Yuka Uematsu were very helpful and supportive about including appropriate text with the images, which is how I prefer to have my work exhibited.

These are the photos and texts from the exhibition.

To look in the mirror and see yourself, all of yourself, and to be pleased and satisfied.  Should it be an impossible dream?  Or is it something we all, each and every one of us, deserve?
– Debbie Notkin

There is an extraordinary power in the naked male form. But it is a queer kind of power for it stands in opposition to the naked revelation of the real nude body. Indeed, the power and presence of a man’s body appears to depend on its concealment; witness the elaborate protocols that generally govern the disclosure of a male nude—where it can be shown, to whom, what body parts can be visible, etc. Female nudity can be ubiquitous, but to present the male body threatens to give lie to the rich meanings we associate with it. All of which may explain why it’s so rare to see naked or near-naked men in art, advertising, popular media, or that host of other venues in which the female body is now coin of the realm.
– Jonathan D. Katz