Olympia Selfie After Manet
H35 W57 D29cm
This work could be seen as a parody of the original Old Master but there is a more serious undertone in the redirection of gazes.
Manet’s Olympia not only challenged the viewer with a confrontational gaze but also desecrated the idealized nude - Venus had become a prostitute! This attack of the traditional values of subject and technique caused a violent reaction at the 1865 Paris salon.
Today we are not so shocked by this style of nudity. Social networking is full of photographic selfie poses from all statures of life, trying to capture the attention of its viewer and in turn provoke a positive texted reaction. What happens when that worded reaction is negative?
This sculptural work asks the question, does the subject, who is in control of her own portrait, really know who is gazing at her? How do they perceive her intentions - sexually provocative vanity or vulnerable loneliness that yearns attention?