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“Body Beautiful”

@untitledspaceny

The Untitled Space is pleased to present group exhibition, BODY BEAUTIFUL, featuring works by 50 contemporary artists celebrating body positivity. Curated by gallery director Indira Cesarine, the exhibit opened on November 21st, 2019 and on view through December 14th, 2019. BODY BEAUTIFUL will feature artworks across a variety of mediums including painting, drawing, photography, video, and sculpture that highlight the power of the figure. Throughout the canon of art history the human figure has been a central theme, as we grapple with our own existence, feeding a desire to self-represent and to understand our place in the universe. This exhibition will present works by contemporary artists who address the figure not just as an object of beauty, or a subject of anatomy, but rather elaborate on body positive depictions of the human form, including all body types, ages, and genders, celebrating diversity as well as the timeless beauty of the body. The Untitled Space is honored to raise funds for Art4Equality through this exhibition, an initiative that supports the creation of empowering gender equality themed exhibitions and public art.

The body-positive movement, which dates back to early Victorian reforms against the corset, 1960s initiatives against fat-shaming, and more recently via social media with influencers challenging unrealistic standards of beauty, is “rooted in the belief that all human beings should have a positive body image, while challenging the ways in which society presents and views the physical body. The goal of the movement is to address unrealistic beauty standards and to build the confidence of oneself and others. The movement sets forth the notion that beauty is a construct of society, and poses that this construct should not infringe upon one’s ability to feel confidence or self-worth. The movement states that neither fat-shaming nor skinny-shaming is acceptable, and that all body types can and should be celebrated.”

“Since the emergence of social media and online activism, the body positive movement has become increasingly relevant to the contemporary dialogue of diversity and inclusion. With the emergence of body activists of the last decade addressing the negative repercussions of fat shaming, including depression, eating disorders and body dysmorphia, we have seen a dramatic shift in consciousness with fatphobia slowly going by the wayside, along with the unhealthy societal demands for bodily perfection. Body activists have emphasized in particular fat shaming as a sickness in our cultural fabric. We now live in an era where body acceptance has finally become not only an important subject, but is taken seriously as central to the human experience. This dialogue has changed the lives of many women (and men) with marginalized bodies who didn’t fit into society’s definition of beauty or feel comfortable in their own skin. Ideals of feminine beauty in particular have historically been reserved for a select few who were blessed with privileged physiques. This beauty standard has evolved over the years from perfect hour-glass silhouettes achieved with corsets to the thin athletic figures and supermodels that dominated the 80s, waifs of the 90s and to yoga perfection of the 2000s. The “beautiful” people existed on their own pedestal, while the rest of humanity was overlooked. With beauty standards continuously transforming, what was once previously not accepted as “beautiful” has expanded into the current “body positive” narrative.

But what does “body positive” really mean? Is it merely an emphasis on “fat acceptance” or is it truly as inclusive as the word suggest and the movement intends? The BODY BEAUTIFUL exhibition addresses this shift in our cultural experience, engaging viewers with artworks by a wide array of artists, who address what the “Body Positive” movement means to them in 2019. As a curator I felt it was important to include works by artists of all genders and generations, as well as represent all body types in this narrative. To me “Body Positive” should be inclusive of all shapes and sizes, skin colors, perfections and imperfections – including “skinny” bodies, plus size figures, pregnant bodies, bodies with stretch marks, scarring, winkles, aging – and yes, beautiful bodies size 0 to size XXXXL.
I am proud to raise funds through this exhibition for Art4Equality, a new initiative I have launched that supports the creation of empowering artwork and exhibitions that can impact social change, raise awareness and inspire our community.” – Indira Cesarine

EXHIBITING ARTISTS: Abe Abraham, Alex Janero, Allie Fuller, Allie Wilkinson, Allison Hill-Edgar, Anna Cone, Anna Sampson, Anne Barlinckhoff, Annika Connor, Brittany Maldonado, Buket Savci, Camilla Marie Dahl, Cavanagh Foyle, Dafna Steinberg, Danielle Siegelbaum, Dolly Faibyshev, Dominique Vitali, Elisa Garcia de la Huerta, Elisa Valenti, Ellen Stagg, Elsa Keefe, Fahren Feingold, Grace Graupe-Pillard, Haley Morris-Cafiero, Hiba Schahbaz, Indira Cesarine, Ismael Guerrier, Judy Polstra, Katy Itter, Kaya Deckelbaum, Lauren Rinaldi, Lindsey Guile, Lisa Levy, Louis Marinaro, Lynn Bianchi, Mairi-Luise Tabbakh, Marcelo Daldoce, Meegan Barnes, Natasha Wright, Nichole Washington, Reisha Perlmutter, Sarah Weber, Sarah Maple, Savannah Spirit, Sebastian Perinotti, Shaina Craft, Shamona Stokes, Shohei Kondo, Tina Maria Elena, Victoria Selbach.

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