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[NSFW] Hyperreal Nude Portraits of Elderly Women Show Time’s Toll on the Body

Dutch painter Francien Krieg portrays elderly women as unyielding, realistic nudes.

by Nathaniel Ainley
Apr 4 2017, 5:52pm

Images courtesy the beinArt Gallery

As we grow older, the long term effects of gravity become gradually more apparent: our skin starts to sag, wrinkles begin to show, and getting off the couch becomes a workout in and of itself. In a new show of paintings called Stark Realism, Dutch artist Francien Krieg portrays elderly women as unyielding and complete nudes. Her candid representations of weathered female bodies ask the viewer to reflect on the impact time has not only on our physical bodies, but on our spiritual psychology, as well. The beinArt Gallery writes that Krieg uses realism as a way to, "explore the substance and mystery of being human."

Krieg

Art critic Alan Katz says that Krieg's work is foreseeably controversial, as it can be easily misinterpreted as depicting elderly women without respect. But Katz argues that Krieg's honest depictions are actually doing the opposite. He compares her treatise of societal beauty standards to the way Sam Peckinpah, director of films like The Wild Bunch and Straw Dogs, addresses violence in his movies. Katz writes, "Man's ideal view of young female beauty does get shattered with age, but something else takes place of more importance… the realization that once 'idealized' beauty is gone, the innate beauty of spirit has the potential to create an outer beauty with a greater depth." Krieg is imagining a world free of societal pressures surrounding beauty, physicality, and the female body, "where physical and spiritual beauty intersect."

Krieg

Krieg's series of nudes are a part of a group show called Stark Realism at beinArt Gallery, which features other works by artists Effie Pryer and Ville Löppönen. Pryer's work tries to find the universal essence of human experience as it exists in the mythologies of the world. Löppönen, on the other hand, appropriates religious iconography and form to explore the healing nature of suffering and human struggle. 

Check out some more works from the exhibition below:

Pryer

Löppönen

Krieg

Pryer

Löppönen

Learn more about the show and Krieg's work on the beinArt Gallery website.

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