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In her brilliant art historical commentary and homage to the muses and masters of Post-Impressionism/Early Modernism, Rachel Loyacono nails it with three works on paper for #femaissanceproserpina. In “For Victorine,” Rachel celebrates Victorine Meurent, the woman who was both Manet's model for the globally controversial Olympia, as well as a painter. Loyacono, who was initially calling the self-portrait Olympia says, “Meurant has the typically male persona of artist as well as the typically female role of object/subject. This incorporating of her roles can be viewed as a challenge to male dominance.” “The Shower” (left) too is another drawing of Victorine, from Manet’s equally controversial Les Dejeunee sur l’herbe (Luncheon on the Grass), which was originally titled “The Bath.” In "Gaze," Loyacono expands upon Pablo Picasso’s narrative of Les Demoiselles d’Avignon. “The figures are unconcerned with and disconnected from one another. Instead their unabashed stares confront and scrutinize the viewer. As a female artist, I wish to reclaim the imagery and objectification of the female nude, take it away from the typical, historically male gaze and give it agency.” Loyacono’s works, created with ink on paper, equally render both movement and pattern as if to celebrate—respectively—photography and Japanese block prints as the impressionists did. Her works are strikingly dynamic and immediately captivating. They effectively solicit you to question your role as voyeur in a segment of our exhibition that beckons reflection on how we consume what our eyes are fed.
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