“Untitled”

Ana del Prete | Media Contributor

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Artist Statement:  In high school, my art depicting nudity was often censored by my art teacher. I never really understand why the bare bodies I depicted were condemned, not just by my teacher but by my peers. There were even points where my floral illustrations were looked down on because of their vaginal resemblance. I was embarrassed, for in my senior year art show I was only allowed to display about three quarters of my pieces. I felt like some kind of pervert, that my pieces mainly focused on naked people. It wasn’t until college that I was exposed to peers who had similar interests in art and actually appreciated mine.

Traditionally, flowers have been seen as inherently feminine, considering their shape, color and texture. Georgia O’Keeffe and Frida Khalo are famous for vaginal imagery in their work, and have always been inspirations to me. Nudity and the shapes of the body intrigue me as an artist. Drawings from my childhood often depicted nudity and nature, though I kept them hidden. How strange it is, that with age we become more unnerved and ashamed by the human form – that this shame is not inherent, but learned. I have turned my view on nudity a full 360 degrees. But I still can’t, and never could, seem to understand what’s so dirty about flowers.