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BODY BAN by Daria Vinarskaya: Challenging the male gaze and the objectification of women in art

Daria Vinarskaya, Pot stand 1, paper, watercolor, watercolor pencils, 210 x 297 mm

Nude women were a prominent subject in European oil painting. In oil paintings, images of land and objects were used to depict wealth, and women were also seen as possessions or property to be flaunted. Nude women make up the vast majority of nude models. If we see a naked man, we most likely see him paired with a woman, with rare exceptions.

Nudes are characterized by the objectification of the female “subject,” who through the assumed gaze of the male viewer is made into an object.

Today, women are still primarily considered objects of consumption by men in art. Artist Daria Vinarskaya stated that this status quo is a consequence of the patriarchal nature of western society.

And behind this state of affairs lies the problem of toxic masculinity. Fragility, vulnerability, and emotionality - this is what a man is deprived of by definition. The reason male nudity appears less often in art is that nudity is for others to see who you truly are in a fragile, vulnerable and honest state, while being objectified, often for sexual fantasies.

Daria Vinarskaya, Sleep, paper, watercolor, watercolor pencils, 210 x 297 mm

Daria challenges the status quo where a naked female body is exploited to portray human vulnerability. Capturing male nudity in everyday routine she peeks behind the gender stigmas in order to shift the perception of sensuality from femininity to masculinity.

Exposing delicate inner worlds full of emotions, worries, and insecurities she nudges her audience toward understanding that in the end human vulnerability doesn’t have a gender.

“My art comes from the ideas of feminism, which I support. I am trying to rethink male nudity and give men the right to sensuality. I work in the style of modern expressionism, and I explore human emotionality through naked bodies. By shooting male nudity, I look beyond gender stigmas, changing the perception of sensuality from femininity to masculinity. I’m trying to push the viewer to understand that human vulnerability has no gender”, Daria says.

Daria Vinarskaya, Pot holder, canvas, acrylic, watercolor pencils, 100×80 cm

In Daria's paintings, expressive, naked, muscular figures are flattened on the surface of the image, showing the viewer the fragility and clumsiness of the form, which, by definition, must be strong and confident.

Shedding tears, falling off the chair, and sleeping safe and sound, the poses of the person in Daria's painting reverse the stereotypical images and fully explore the vulnerability and softness beyond genders. The use of objects like pots that symbolize domesticity and indicate women's social status and family status also challenges the prevailing stereotypes,

Daria Vinarskaya, Red Chair, canvas, acrylic, watercolor pencils, 100×80 cm

Daria challenges the oppression of the fragility of the male vessel and directs the course of thought toward a rethinking and reclaiming of the human image, body, and avatar across genders.


About Daria Vinarskaya

Daria Vinarskaya is a contemporary impressionist artist. Born in Russia (Yekaterinburg) in 1989. In 2013 she graduated from the Moscow Architectural Institute, during her studies she exhibited at the Les Gallery (Moscow, Rus). Since 2016, she has also been an Israeli citizen. Before the start of the war with Ukraine (February 24, 2022), she worked as an architect in her own studio “STEH” (2020-2022) in the private segment of architecture and interior design. In early March 2022, she left Russia and began her career as an artist.


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