Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Classic Venus nudes altered for today's beauty standards

I wrote last week about Italian social issues artist Anna Utopia Giordano's mashup of booze bottles and kids' brands; now I've discovered a much cooler collection of hers.

In Venus, Ms. Giordano takes some classic nude paintings of the Roman Goddess of Love (feminine beauty and sexuality personified) and "fixes" them the way a modern photo editor would Photoshop for fashion magazine ads or editorial.

She nips and tucks he waist, thighs and buttocks, and pumps up the breasts. The result is a comparison of what was, and what is now, considered the ideal female body.

What I really like about this series is its subtlety. The artist does not exaggerate to force her point — we don't see the ribs of starving models, just a different standard of beauty applied.

Does this make Venus more "girlish" and less "womanly"? Quite possibly. But that seems to be what the trend is going towards these days.

One thing needed no alteration. In the Renaissance and subsequent periods, female pubic hair was not part of the artistic aesthetic.


  1. Brilliant.

    Although, to make them truly 21st Century, they really ought to pixellate the naked cherubs.

  2. remember, when those paintings were painted, that WAS the beauty standard.


  3. btw, you can use the 'magic eye' gaze on the side by side images to see what was touched.


  4. Well, the beauty standard back then resulted in a sign of wealth. If you were chubby it was a sign that you didn't have to suffer of being hungry like poor people.

    This has by far changed today. You can be a wealthy person without being chubby.

  5. the thin/skinny standard only prevails in these days european societies in africa, southern america, within the african diaspora everywhere in the world, some part of asia, the curvy look is still the standard

    1. I suppose I could have written "Classic Venus nudes altered for today's **Western** beauty standards" - but I let it be assumed since most of my readers are from that world.