When you stand in the mirror and stare at your body how do you feel? Proud? Unsavory? Motivated?
Unfortunately, many today look at their bodies with shame. We wear that feeling as if it’s embedded within our skin.
A study performed in the UK showed that body image brought 20% of adults shame. Among teenagers, 31% felt ashamed of their body image.
When was the last time you felt shameless about your body? It seems that so much negativity, so much picking and pointing surrounds body image today. People are constantly deeming their beautiful bodies unworthy to classify as beautiful, graceful, or loved.
New Art Exhibit
Consequently, a Chelsea gallery is starting to change the conversation with Field Projects newest exhibition, Shameless Weekend—liberating the body from condemnation and expressing bodily freedom in all forms.
Moreover, the exhibit is put on by artists Genevieve Goffman, Tisch Mikhail Lewis, Deja Patterson, Audrey Ryan and Sal Salandra. Exhibiting paintings, thread on canvas, works of resin, acrylic, glass and other mixed media, the gallery creates a space of provocative reflection on cultural concepts surrounding sexual expression. The artists portray “bodily freedom through relationships forged in the kink and queer community,” said the gallery’s website.
“Shameless Weekend turns the body into an instrument of liberation—sexual or political. Bodies are sites of action and resistance. The body is also a site for vibrant celebration.” Too frequently we tear down our bodies. It’s as if societal standards or personal insecurities were an itch and the only way we know to scratch is with shame. We grow embarrassed of our bodies, rather than celebrate their magnitude of greatness.
The exhibition reminds viewers of the significance in liberating one’s body from the shame we shackle to them.
Undoubtedly, a main feature of the exhibit is a piece titled “Bangin Body” from artist Deja Patterson. The website declared Patterson’s effort in “reclaim[ing] the Black female nude from their historical position as symbols of service and objectification and rejects the standards of thin White beauty with her paintings of powerful, thick bodies.”
Each of Patterson’s works in Shameless Weekend challenge size, shape and what is deemed as the admirable body type. However, the artist’s intentions are deeper rooted in her representation of the Black female and the history of what the Black female nude represents. Her work disassembles prior objectification and stands against the status quo by reincarnating the idea that a “bangin body” can be so far beyond a flat stomach, tiny hips, and a thin waist.
Among the artworks includes astonishing pieces by painter, Audrey Ryan, with her work inspired by “years of classical ballet training and a personal history of disorder and recovery” alongside “punk, hardcore, and BDSM communities.
Her work in the exhibit explores the representation of freedom in an honest display of the uncomfortable and beautiful human form. Her work can be rather jarring with brute colors and visible strokes. It’s hard not to admire that talent behind the canvas.
Furthermore, a must-see in the exhibition is the incredible thread work done by Sal Salandra. His notorious medium defies canvas as his personal style is deeply sensual. Therefore, with great attention to detail, color, and needle work, Salandra’s “Hand Me The Whip” is a show stopper. From the detailed abdominals to the room framing and facial hair, Salandra is a master of thread.
Swapping Shame for Sincerity
Altogether, Shameless Weekend is making room for an unapologetic, claim to power. “These artists are sincere. Their work might flirt with comedy and cynicism but ultimately they probe social mechanisms of shame and power openly and vulnerably.” Though small in size, the exhibition is loud in impact.
In short, the artists “make alternative ways of being shamelessly visible. There are loving, playful, awkward and sexy works, all unabashedly claiming space and breaking the narrative of homogeneous ideal bodies and sexualities.”
To explore artworks from Shameless Weekend click here. All works listed are available for purchase.
Featured image of Audrey Ryan “Jesse + Meg”
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