During the course of her career, artist Ophelia Jacarini has explored the human form in large scale paintings, installations, photographies, small embroideries and shown internationally. Her exploration delves into the study of the female body, its sensuality, developmental processes and dance movement.
In her latest piece, Ophelia translates digital imagery of herself into a thought provoking message on the stigma surrounding female nudity through a digital photo sharing platform called ‘Backstage’. The platform mostly displays selected images of women in provocative poses in which one image will display a suggestive photo followed by a revealing version that can only be accessed by users who have a paid membership to the platform.
The purpose of this ongoing visual art project and social experiment is to test boundaries and the grey area of nudity to convey how a digital audience perceives artistic nudity and soft porn.
Ophelia shares: “This project is my way to understand the complexity of human sexuality and the awareness of taking my artwork outside of galleries and museums where it would not otherwise provoke the question: is it art or pornography? Can a female body be perceived as sensual instead of sexual? How has advertising trained us to observe what is decent or indecent?”
The digital project anticipates raised eyebrows and questions to reveal the naked truth. It is meant to create discomfort and point out what has influenced our strong opinions of what content is inappropriate and what is considered art.
Beyond the imagery, there is a deeper underlying message in modern society relying on apps and online platforms to satisfy emotional and sexual needs with no desire to build authentic connections in person. The mere fantasy of a revealing image of the female form has become a main source of trending instant gratification.
Ophelia shares that her vision is inspired by the Pre-Raphaelite 1840’s art movement that was in revolt against the immensely popular painting genre of its time preceding the Renaissance. Paintings of this period depicted female bodies in realistic postures rather than the feminine ideal. This will be a strong influence on Ophelia's artistic similarities while adopting the mindset of the founding painters of this era.
The character and muse embodied on this visual journey will be inspired by Ophelia from Shakespeare’s classic play Hamlet. The character is a representation of the belittlement of women which poses a question as to how a Shakespearean Ophelia would be viewed in today’s modern society.
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