THE BARE TRUTH

THE BARE TRUTH

Nude performance art uses the female body to make radical statements

by KOD Staff

The naked female body is a well-established trope in art history, from Titan to Picasso we have all become accustomed to seeing romanticised images of breasts when entering a gallery. However since the radical 1960’s the female form has been used for more dramatic means. Naked women have appeared in the flesh both inside and outside the gallery walls making a political statement with their nudity.

Marina Abramović, Yoko Ono and Yayoi Kusama used their body to define an artistic generation marked out by bodily freedom against a repressive society. Their iconic works creating a genre of performance art that has grown and gained in popularity over the last 50 years. In the past few weeks this medium has again entered the public eye, with artists Milo Moiré and Deborah de Robertis shocking the art establishment with their nude demonstrations at Art Basel and Paris’ Musée D’Orsay.

Critics may call these performances “stunts” and “attention seeking”, but the power to shock and to titillate is a powerful weapon for a contemporary female artist. Especially when it is as easy as removing your clothes. 

Marina Abramović, 'Lips of Thomas' from 'Seven Easy Pieces', 2005

Marina Abramović, 'Lips of Thomas' from 'Seven Easy Pieces', 2005

Yves Klein, 'Anthropometry', 1960

Yves Klein, 'Anthropometry', 1960

Vanessa Beecroft, September 20th at Museum Abteiberg, 1997

Vanessa Beecroft, September 20th at Museum Abteiberg, 1997

Deborah de Robertis at Musée D’Orsay, 2014 (Image courtesy of ArtFido)

Deborah de Robertis at Musée D’Orsay, 2014 (Image courtesy of ArtFido)

Yoko Ono, 'Cut Piece', 1965

Yoko Ono, 'Cut Piece', 1965

Milo Moiré get turns away from Art Basel, 2014

Milo Moiré get turns away from Art Basel, 2014

Carolee Schneemann, 'Interior Scroll', 1975

Carolee Schneemann, 'Interior Scroll', 1975

Yayoi Kusama, Posters for 'Kusama Presents an Orgy', 1969

Yayoi Kusama, Posters for 'Kusama Presents an Orgy', 1969

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