Naked bodies and art have a long history together. From the ‘Venus of Willendorf’ to Lucian Freud, the visual arts is heaving with bare flesh – including your own, if you dare.
Looking at a painting without clothes on in the safety of your own home is a new digital work by Stuart Ringholt, commissioned by Melbourne gallery Buxton Contemporary. Ringholt is no stranger to letting it all hang out, having previously hosted naked museum tours (both he and his guests were completely nude). This new work takes that idea and makes it appropriate for the age of physical distancing.
Looking at a painting without clothes on in the safety of your own home is delightfully blunt and cheeky (in more ways than one). The event is limited to 500 participants, who will literally look at a painting at home, sans clothes. Each participant is sent a flat-packed painting and instructions on how to assemble the work and hang it in their house. They are then encouraged to strip and sit in front of the work while viewing it. The work cleverly reverses the relationship between a nude painting and the viewer, by turning the viewer into the nude.
Those taking part are also asked to take a photo of themselves with the painting, to be posted on social media. Participants may need to get inventive in this endeavour, given the pearl-clutching predilections of some social media sites.
Looking at a painting without clothes on in the safety of your own home is one of six works commissioned by Buxton Contemporary as part of its digital Light Source series. To take part in Looking at a painting without clothes on in the safety of your own home visit the gallery website. Participating is free too, just like your birthday suit.