Joan Semmel – Intimacy/Autonomy (1974)

If to empathize means to put yourself in someone else’s place, then Joan Semmel’s self-portraits offer us an exercise in empathy. Four decades before selfies became a thing, this American artist was resorting to photography to document her body and sexuality, an approach that offered her a unique vantage point, further explored through painting. One […]

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Pierre Bonnard – Siesta (1900)

Of all the themes that an artist might tackle, sleep has always been one of my favorites. It’s highly versatile, as it can allude to deep, physical contentment, sexuality, escapism or the mystery of the subconscious. For me, it’s always been more about its physicality, the rejuvenating pleasure one might derive from it and the […]

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Gustav Klimt – Danaë (1907)

In the beginning of the 20th century, Austrian symbolist painter Gustav Klimt (1862 – 1918) was known for his luxurious paintings and generous use of gold leaf application. Critics called it his Golden Phase. Fascinated by the female subject, the artist returned repeatedly to painting women amidst golden settings. Danaë (1907) is a representative painting […]

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Édouard Manet – Olympia (1863)

Through his revolutionary approach to painting he disrupted the art scene and contributed to the birth of modern art. Édouard Manet (1832 – 1883) was a French painter that broke away from the academic style of painting by showing contemporaneous scenes with ordinary people instead of rendering historical or mythological paintings. His flat style achieved […]

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