My “Very C*nty” drawings began with the idea of the contrasts and similarities between fashion photography and pornography. The way the woman is represented in each situation; her stance, gaze, and physique. I am of the opinion that there are more similarities between these types of representations; it’s as if in both instances each represents a blank canvas or a vessel in which you, the viewer, is to transfer your thoughts and fantasies.
In fashion photography the women are angular, stern, thin and blank. Draped upon and around them is opulence, luxury and beauty with an air of haughty nonchalance. When a woman looks at the images in a magazine or advertising the object of the photograph is to instill desire; the want of the possessions, the pull of being that person, the need to be the image incarnate. Thus the lucrative nature of the fashion industry perpetuates the image of a certain type of woman that other women are supposed to strive to be. All this is done through the representation of women in the photographs.
In pornography the women are mostly shown in a form of submission, doe eyed and languid to illustrate the contortions of their flesh. Projected onto these blank faces could be anyone, the face seems to be of little importance in the photographs but the body is another matter. When the viewer looks at these images either in a magazine or moving on a screen it seems they are to objectify the woman entirely, they are flesh to be pounded, holes to be filled or some soft bulk to be grabbed at and caressed. Sex is also very lucrative commodity and pornography peddles the flesh of women to men, alternatively Flesh = Money.
In both instances gender plays an interesting role, in the viewer and the viewed. If a man were to look at fashion photography they may discard it as pointless or frivolous, images of skinny women wearing ugly clothes. Sexless and grotesque and surrounded by so many companies touting their wares, deplorable, and look how much paper they use! If a woman were to look at pornography maybe they would see it as disgusting. The objectification and degradation of women for the delight of men and for them to enjoy solely, no woman would wile away her hours looking at porn, surely? But both are the same, any way you look at it both are intrinsically linked. They are each Very C*nty.
With all this in mind I began to explore my ideas surrounding this theme illustratively. I began making collages that, for me, conjure up the perception of not only being a woman but their representation in these types of media. Then as a parallel included collages that embody my personal experiences of being a woman, experiences that I wouldn’t have had if I were male. I also decided to create a big illustration that would represent my thoughts about the fashion/porn idea and also to depict vaginas in general that being the obvious choice to represent something that was intrinsically Woman. I was striving to be coy and knowing and the result was a little convoluted and confused but as an idea goes, I felt, was entirely successful. I was also overcome by the compulsion to draw incredibly and infinitesimally detailed mandalas. To me these are experiments in completely personifying Very C*nty in an illustrative way. As it is an ongoing project I will keep updating the images shown here as I draw them.