This project examines the cultural phenomenon of the nude selfie. The nude selfie is viewed as something shameful and lurid and is quite often demonized in the media. Ultimately, the body in the photograph is no different than the bodies shown in classical nudes; the only difference is the context. An ad was placed on social media asking for participants to send nude selfies. Each photo that is received is drawn life-sized with only the hair and skin visible in the photograph showing. Unlike traditional figure drawing, the artist has no control over their composition or subject matter. Each piece becomes a collaboration between artist and model. By removing the body from the context of the photograph and making it life-sized as opposed to a 4″ screen, these lowbrow photos become a study of form rather than something pornographic. This project currently consists of 43 drawings. Most photographs are sent from anonymous sources. The photographs range from very tame to extremely raunchy. One of the more interesting aspects of the project is that so many random people are willing to send these nude photographs of themselves to a complete stranger without knowing what they will be used for.
When displayed, The Nude Selfie Project includes a nude selfie booth where gallery patrons are encouraged to take their own photos and send them on to be a part of the project. The booth is a cross between a traditional photo booth and a vintage department store fitting room. Inside the booth, the patron will find a hook for hanging their clothing, a stool, and a full-sized mirror. Also, posted inside and out are sample nude selfie photos and a phone number and email address where their photos can be sent. Rather than a door, the booth uses a curtain that stops shortly below the knee. This allows other gallery-goers to see when another patron is using the booth.
Each drawing is 84″ x 48″ and is colored ink on paper.
This detail shot shows the drawing style I employ while creating my work. Each drawing includes multiple colors of ink applied in a scribble pattern. The colors are layered almost like a CMYK color separation, although the colors used change from drawing to drawing. The pattern also creates movement within the piece, causing the viewer’s eye to dance around. The pattern almost resembles static on an old television set or pixels on a computer when viewed from a distance.