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Tuesday, 29 June 2010 02:00

The Odalisque Suite

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The Odalisque Suite began with my curiosity about representations of the reclining female nude in Western art, and I developed the project from that point of view. After completing the project the limits of the research became obvious. Why just Western art? Why not gay or lesbian images? Or female artists? Perhaps I will, at some point, find reason to expand the suite, but then I will be asking different questions. In fact, I have tiptoed into the East: Japan and India; but that outreach has happened primarily to compare cultural attitudes about sex and sexuality that have arisen as a result of the progress of the project. The above questions are best answered by characterizing myself as the man who was recently introduced to an eclectic audience as a "flaming heterosexual." Flaming heterosexual is who I am in terms of my history: my inherited point of view, my predominant interest, and the repository of the issues that I relationally need and want to work out for myself. Along its path the project collected several vessels containing subtle, but I think provocative, issues; but it wasn't until I decided to take the project into the realm of what is commonly (I think in every sense of the word) termed pornography that a shift in my perspective about the piece occurred. I had not been aware of the extent of my emotional investment in this area, and was surprised to find myself enveloped by a gauze-like film of prejudice; a net which had been cast by the proletarian ethos from where I started. Even more unexpected was the realization that my life experience had not given me an openness, nor even an armor, which would allow this move to be simply another additive step in the project. Before I could begin the selection and production of these specific pieces, I became subordinate to my predilections about this open assertion (the word blatant seems too judgmental) of sexuality, the issues of psychology and commercialism around the women modeling, and the implications concerning pornography as art.
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Martin Gantman

several submittals including the odalisque suite and an interview

Website: Gantman.com

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