I almost, but not, always write about women artists in these little posts. After trolling through online art galleries for ages, I am excessively bored by the standard art fare normally offered: naked reclining woman, naked woman's back, naked reclining woman, and so on.
It's not even so much that I choose to write only about women as a feminist who wants to promote the artwork of other women, though that is part of it. But before I can even get to the analysis of a piece,or even to scrolling down to see if the name of the artist if familiar, it has to interest me. And the art of most (but not all) men is trite to me, before I even know the gender of the artist. It's been done, it's not a new or unique point of view.
So when I stumbled onto these pieces by Amedeo Palazzi, I was gape-mouthed. I don't know anything about the artist. He could be a raging dickhead. But with just a few paintings he turns the male gaze backwards on itself.
Here's a very thin man, making the hunched shoulder broken doll pose that has become so popular in fashion magazines. He's sleepy eyed, with the slightly opened mouth that is ubiquitous to female models. He's posed with a 3/4 view of his face, not with a dead on stare. The painting is undeniably sexual because he has been posed in a very traditional pose for women who are meant to be looked. There isn't really a male equivalent of a sexy pose (which is why playgirl always seems so much like an underwear catalogue that forgot it's product).
This is a classic use of female sexy pose. The head is even cut off, in the middle of the over the shoulder pose. If this had been a painting of a girl or woman I would have breezed on by, just another in a hundred thousand views of teh sexxay is teh art. But it's a guy, and guys aren't supposed to be the vulnerable ones in our view.
Perhaps none of this is the artist's intention. But intention, as we well know from feminism 101, doesn't matter. This is what women are posed like all the time, on billboards and beer ads and all sorts of shit. But because it's so universal, we don't even notice it. Switch the genders though, and a semi-clad guy in a painting shows all those little subjugations as bright as neon.