When I saw Lydia Reeves works of art centering around the penis, I was immediately struck by the femininity of the pieces. I mean, we are used to g seeing flowers when looking at vagina art (Georgia O’Keeffe, and Judy Chicago’s The Dinner Party) but not so much when depicting the penis. I like the change of view. The way it makes us look at the beauty of the penis and how it combines well with the pastoral landscapes. I decided to ask the artist a few questions about her art, and the following is what she said:
(below is interview with Lydia Reeves)
I am now a Brighton based artist, having graduated from the Bournemouth Arts University with First Class Honors in BA Fine Art earlier this year.
For me, my paintings are an exploration of male and female, masculine and feminine. The soft and delicate, juxtaposed with the strong and powerful, where two worlds collide, and perhaps create harmony.
My paintings are miniature creations (usually smaller than 13x9cm). All of my imagery was sourced from an online ‘dating’ website, where I used photographs which men had set as their profile pictures. I have reinterpreted these crude and sexualised photographs to give them a whole new meaning. Because of the very small scale, the detail and my reinterpretation, I feel that in my art the penis is looked at in a different way to usual. They are no longer aggressive, intimidating or threatening photographs, but romantic, beautiful creations which entice the viewer in to study every aspect.
I have stood and had many debates with all sorts of people whilst studying my art work about sex; pornography; the naked body; gender roles; beauty in the human form and penis size. If my work can create and allow open and honest conversation about these important and sometimes ‘taboo’ topics, amongst other things, then I feel as though I am creating a great thing.
A lot of my paintings produce this attract and then repel notion of being drawn in by the technicality of the painting and really wanting to look, but then suddenly being aware of what you’re looking at and realising that you’ve been staring at a penis for an uncomfortable amount of time…