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Nude Portraits Explore Empathy and the Female Form

Whitney Hubbs explores the female body and its relationship to her camera through stark portraits.
March 27, 2016, 3:00pm
Whitney Hubbs, Woman no. 1, 2016.  All images courtesy the artist and M+B Gallery

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An exploration of the female body and the artist’s relationship to the camera, Whitney Hubbs’ exhibition Body Doubles features photographs of bodies in poses that defy the conventional language of nude photography.

The five women photographed for the series take on a variety of poses as the photograph frames their legs, waists, and breasts. In most of the images, the viewer can’t see the subject’s face. These explorations stem from Hubbs’ own relationship to photographs of the female body. In some ways, she sees herself within photos of other women.

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Body Doubles was inspired by an ongoing inquiry into studying the female form and the performative and directorial nature of making pictures of women’s bodies,” Hubbs tells The Creators Project. “The idea is that these women are stand ins for myself and act/move accordingly to how I would pose and/or perform in front of the camera. I wanted to use self-imposed parameters to see how I could make an interesting picture using repeated gestures in my studio. It was my intention for the pictures to be crude and uncomfortable in nature, too.”

The photographs are “an acknowledgement, an impression, and a declaration (of the self/the other).” Hubbs purposefully chooses a framing and exposure that contradicts the glossy photos we often see in advertising and commercial photography. Instead, the performance of the body in front of the camera becomes the focal point in a stark and direct way.

Body Doubles is on view at M+B Gallery until May 7. To find out more, click here.

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