Suzie Canham – Contemporary Artist – London
Exploring a unique approach to nudity in full colour.
Religion, race, and gender are all important roles which affect the lens we choose to view the naked form, these lenses impact the way we react to nude paintings in art. When I paint even when the bodies are not doing anything necessarily sexual, sometimes my artwork can make people feel uncomfortable. I believe this is because the narrative we’re given by society is that our nude bodies are essentially bad or taboo.
In psychology of art, the relationship between art and emotion has been the subject of extensive research, art has a power beyond the feeling of momentary pleasure, so that’s why, to me it’s a crazy concept to reduce nude artwork to just being sexual, this does a disservice to both the viewer and the artist.
I have come to believe that there is a power dynamic that shifts when viewing a naked body on a large canvas. The figure of the model becomes monumental and not something that can be overlooked. I choose to use vibrant colours to exaggerate this feeling and encourage the message that nudity is something we should all be comfortable with.
It is time that we remove the taboo around being naked and change the way in which our bodies are being shown and talked about.