Blushing is ok. Especially if you’re British, because American painter Lisa Yuskavage’s work is sure to play havoc with your gentle sensibilities. It’s all massive swinging knockers, hairy bushes and soft-focus romping. Ooh, matron, etc.
Her whole vibe is a collision of gloopy over-exaggerated fantasy aesthetics and constant nods back to classical art. It’s like catching Caravaggio reading a Jilly Cooper novel, or a porno remake of Titian’s Venus of Urbino.
The paintings here are hyper-sexualised and ludicrously erotic. Yuskavage’s world is one of angelic, luminous, Technicolour women and grey, faceless, interchangeable men.
In almost every work, the woman is the shining object of worship. One blonde is surrounded by grey nude men – she is a work of art, they are necessary ghouls, faceless devotees of her beauty. Another work finds beige figures in a garden painting colour onto a nude woman, like pilgrims maintaining a shrine.
The only men who aren’t reduced to ashen nothingness are in the two couples paintings, but here, their dangly bits are oddly hidden. I don’t know, it’s complicated, but maybe that’s the point. Sexuality is a mess, relationships are chaotic tangled webs, sex is weird. This doesn’t reduce any of that down, it just celebrates all of it.
Sure, they’re silly, garish and maybe even a little bit awful, but Yuskavage’s paintings are feverish suburban fantasies, they’re escapes into sex and art. I can think of worse ways to spend a Saturday.
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