One of the most popular Hellenistic Venus’ among the many typologies that exists, is Venus&Pudica, also know as Capitoline. Praxiteles popularized this representation of the classical Goddess, where the statue is characterized by her modest gestures, which led her to hide with her hands, or with a piece of cloak, both her breasts and her genitals.
On the one hand, her naive innocence and the intimacy of the scene are highly erotic. On the other hand, this popular figure exemplified the modest virtues of the Goddess and, by extension, of women. Thus, values such as prudence or discretion have been cemented throughout the centuries as the feminine ideal.
The project Impudens Venus arose after studying these sculptures and their symbolism in depth at the Aby Warburg Institute in London in 2018 (thanks to the SCAN artist residence program). I have used photographs from their archive to continue working in the field of iconography and iconology, comparing these images with new social representations of women, which are shared through the press, the internet and social media.
From this research emerges Impudens Venus, which represents and exemplifies the opposite ideal: constructing women who recognize themselves as impudent, imprudent and indiscreet.
Therefore, these statues fragmented by history, are now complete with arms of women protesters, with limbs that no longer hide, but raise their fists closed, and their nakedness is covered only by powerful words written on their skin.
In this way, through appropriation, collage, and the use of secular and contemporary iconography, these sculptures have been emancipated from the weight of representation and now invite us to reflect on women's bodies as an ideological and a symbolic field, questioning the role of art in the objectification, legitimation and construction of the feminine ideal.
Untittled Miami Art Fair
Alarcón Criado Gallery