“Beauty is only interesting when it is not perfect,” writes the painter Megan Van Groll in her artist’s statement. Gifted with tremendous drawing ability, Van Groll grew out of the expectation that she draw “pretty” pictures, especially of women. In her works, the artist explores the tensions between the performative aspects of gender construction and the complexities of our internal lives. 

Although she admits that her images are evocative of “a canonized version of western female beauty,” she hopes to complicate representations of female nudity and personhood. Revealing rounded breasts alongside tan lines, she constructs images that are simultaneously engaged with and in conflict with perfected and unrealistic cultural beauty aesthetics. Seen as both a consumer and a product consumed, the female subjects suffer from painfully fractured identities. 

 

 

What emerges is the female, equally naked in public and in private, revealing the most intimate portions of her body and psyche whether she chooses to or not. The viewer in turn is forced to face the complexities of the female experience and navigate an uncomfortably voyeuristic landscape. Take a look. 

 

 

Thanks to Beautiful/Decay

Images via Beautiful/Decay

Tagged in: sexualization, sexism, painting, objectification of women, nudity, megan van groll, feminism, art   

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