Life on Venus II | The Human, Timed Auction12 JAN 2021 12:00 AM - 28 JAN 2021 7:04 PM
17. Cecilia Ulfsdotter Klementsson
21 x 15 cm.
Graphite on paper
Created in 2020
£50 - 300View shipping estimates
Cecilia Ulfsdotter Klementsson paints fleshy bodies reinterpreting nudes from fashion advertising by switching genders and extracting colours in the skin. Keeping John Berger’s Ways of seeing in mind, Klementsson takes the nude to naked in painted appropriations, from incorporeal to corporeal. Poses in the archives of 1990s and early 2000s fashion advertising feed Klementsson’s work, an era when big fashion brands particularly pushed the boundaries of the nude, with Kate Moss in the forefront.
While Klementsson takes inspiration from the suggestive poses, she also twists them by having men pose like women and women pose like men. When we are confronted with opposites, differences in male and female poses become allmore apparent - women seductive but passive, men seductive but active. The second aspect challenged in Klementsson’s work is the monochromatic skin tones used in advertising, letting the nude seem more sculptural and less morbid - perhaps a strategy for big fashion brands to get away with nudity.
Klementsson limits herself to four colours only, layered on top of each other like a manual silk screen printing process. There is a paradox in the colours because they are beautiful yet uncanny while they reveal the fragility of the flesh. It is the mortality which advertising avoids. The viewer sees something is odd while men pose like women in a transparent iridescent skin, daring the viewer to be drawn to them despite their colourful flaws.