“In this society, there’s so much pressure for women to be thin,” writes the photographer Lee Price of her motivation for her recent series of hyper-realistic oil paintings of women consuming desserts, “we’re not supposed to have appetites—and not just for food, but for a lot of things.” 

 

 

Her goal in these vivid works is to present an alternate view of women, food, body image, and sexuality. Her subjects are often nude or in bed, absorbed the the pleasures of the body. Price’s work, though far more realistically rendered, evokes the work of early modernists and even the impressionists, who used the bath and the toilette as a backdrop for an irreverent sort of female sensuality; like the tactile brushstrokes of someone like Mary Cassatt, Price’s vivid colors celebrate the female form, reminding viewers that fleshly pleasures aren’t crude or wrong but beautiful and vital. 

 

 

Despite the work’s body positive and sex positive impulse, the vantage point feels uncomfortable. Rather than engaging with subjects face-to-face, the viewer is asked to examine them from above, creating a dynamic of power that feels both voyeuristic and illicit. Perhaps this is the critical strength of the work; on one hand, we celebrate female appetite, but on the other, we are upset by the fact that this indulgence must be so private, so dangerous. That’s one heck of a condemnation of the way our culture treats women’s bodies and physical needs. One would only hope that as the project evolves, the artist might consider featuring a more diverse group of subjects. What do you think?

 

 

Thanks to iGNANT and Beautiful/Decay

Images via Beautiful/Decay

Tagged in: sex positivity, painting, mary cassatt, lee price, body positivity, body image   

The opinions expressed on the BUST blog are those of the authors themselves and do not necessarily reflect the position of BUST Magazine or its staff.




blog comments powered by Disqus
Facebook_websiteTwitter_websitePinterest_websiteRSS_websiteTumblr_websiteIG_website

Upcoming Events

AFROPUNK 2014
August 23, 2014 (All Day)
Jessica Delfino with Duckie
August 23, 2014 (9:00 pm - 9:05 pm)
The All Grrrl Grill (NYC)
August 24, 2014 (2:00 pm - 3:00 pm)
View Full Calendar

Shop The BUSTShop