By Artspace Editors. Historically made to embody strength, power, and virility, the male nude can also evoke beauty, vulnerability, and sexual intrigue. As we discussed with the photography critic Philip Gefter , these images of the body have the potential to challenge taboos around male eroticism and identity , paving the way for future explorations of what it means to be male. This list, excerpted from Phaidon 's new book Body of Art , includes examples from monumental 17th century chalk drawings and Enlightenment-era scientific models to contemporary hyperrealistic sculptures—all proudly owning their nakedness.
Male and female and nude art
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This piece contains explicit imagery. Please consider it NSFW. A dude walks into a feminist art show— bada-bum. Yes, that is a fully contained joke. Behind the desk, there's an image of a beach hunk in a smiley-face T-shirt, followed by a Diane Arbus photograph of a "male primitive" with tattoos all over his face. The worst is a yellow carcass by Louise Bourgeois that looks like a cross between a melting penis and, as one critic put it, a " smooshed-up kebab " on a carving post.
These Gay Figure Artists Are Reimagining the Male Gaze
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The year-old MacConnell — boyish, equally fit — wore black jeans and a white T-shirt as he sketched on a letter-size sheet of paper with his blue ballpoint pen. The male nude is, of course, one of the oldest artistic fixations: The Riace bronzes, Greek sculptures cast around B. But while some old masters fetishized the male body in barely coded ways, the idea of an openly queer artist expressing his desires from a queer perspective was only born in the last century. And yet the burgeoning community that has gathered around these illustrators suggests that the distinction no longer has as much meaning as it once did. Like more established queer artists and their muses — Francis Bacon and George Dyer, Peter Hujar and David Wojnarowicz , Mickalene Thomas and Racquel Chevremont — these figure artists tend to sketch people they find attractive, often sharing the same models.