Laura Ashley Colors and Gumball Nipples:
Consumption and Desire in the Work of Lisa Yuskavage
Click here to download Thesis Excerpt
How an artist depicts the human body says a lot about his or her sense of identity and cultural outlook. When that body is nude and female, the stakes can get higher. After centuries of portraits of nude women as objects of male desire, many contemporary female artists have tried to wrest control over the way women’s bodies are pictured. The paintings of Lisa Yuskavage and Jenny Saville fall within this feminist critique. Attentive to artistic and scientific as well as popular imagery, Yuskavage and Saville turn the tables on the nude gaze, staring back at us through the provocative colors, shapes, and surfaces by which they paint themselves unclothed.
The following excerpt looks at Lisa Yuskavage’s tasty yet tricky series of nudes.