heARTbeat: Anna Utopia Giordano Brings Contemporary Body Images to Classic Nudes

ColumnWhat would Botticelli say?

Do you believe what media tells us is beautiful? By modern standards, Italian artist Anna Utopia Giordano is considered an attractive model and actress, but while retouching some photographs for a friend’s book, she connected to the ease with which images can be manipulated digitally. The resulting series has us doing a double take: it shaves inches, pounds and centuries of recognition off of classic nude Venuses.

Giordano says:

I was playing with the skin tones and using corrective brush strokes, I was reflecting on society, social networks and the need to be accepted.

Anna Utopia Giordano

She continues:

Art is always in search of the perfect physical form – it has evolved through history, from the classical proportions of ancient Greece, to the prosperous beauty of the Renaissance, to the spindly look of models like Twiggy and the athletic look of our own time.

That “look” hovers somewhere between a size 0 and 4 these days, and appears positively anorexic next to the masters’ classic women, who actually reflect, well, women.

It’s easy to forget that just as easily as those images we, too, can be manipulated to forget that a pre-pubescent hip size is usually attached to a C-cup in a surgeon’s office or via Adobe’s Creative Suite. Rarely does it come from nature.

The Venus Series is in the exhibition, Why Goddesses Are So Beautiful: Love & Beauty in Antiquity at the Museum Het Valkhof in the Netherlands through August 12, 2012.

Inspired by a post on designcollector.net where you can see animated gifs of the series.

Eco, trends, art, creativity and how they tumble through social media to shape culture fascinate EcoSalon columnist Dominique Pacheco. Her trends blog, mixingreality, speaks to these topics daily, and here at EcoSalon, she takes a weekly look at the intersection of eco and art. We call it heARTbeat.

Dominique Pacheco

Dominique Pacheco is the author of EcoSalon's weekly heARTbeat column.