This is a replica of Diego Velázquez's Rokeby Venus that I painted in late 2016 - early 2017 featuring my husband as the model. I'm interested in how gender roles are performed, patriarchy and the male gaze, and ways we can stretch our boundaries beyond traditional gender binaries. My favorite art forms include a dash of humor and social critique.
Rokeby Venus, c. 1647–51. 122cm x 177cm in the National Gallery, London. Photo credit: Wikipedia.
100 years ago the Rokeby Venus was attacked as it hung in the National Gallery. The painting took at least five slashes with a meat chopper. Its attacker, Mary Richardson, a suffragette who later became a disciple of the fascist Oswald Mosley, was protesting against the arrest of Emmeline Pankhurst. "Slasher Mary", as the press dubbed her, later admitted that it wasn't just the picture's value - £45,000 in 1906 - that made it a target. It was "the way men visitors gaped at it all day long." - BBC News Magazine