Supernatural Beings


Karina Chernenko


Gilz-Art UG


24 x 33 cm








German, English



GOTT&GILZ clothe provocative nudity into the guise of art-historical classics

The female nude is a constant of art history whose vicissitudes illustrate changing forms of representation and the wild swings of public morality. Many a nude was initially condemned as smut only to be reclassified a few years later as beautiful and becoming and inducted into the hallowed halls (the opposite has also happened). GOTT&GILZ’s photographic paintings build on this long tradition of depictions of naked women by men—theirs is the proverbial “male gaze.” It is a debt they are quick to acknowledge, with nods to Klimt, Schiele, Pollock, et al. No wonder some have responded to their work with kneejerk indignation. Unlike in those art-historical references, then, the impudence lies not in the shattering of traditional norms of representation but in quoting them: the past as affront. The women in the pictures as well as the artists themselves flaunt their desires, shamelessly and relentlessly confronting us with the historic roots of our social and psychological realities.

Freedom is the key idea in the two artists’ oeuvre: the freedom to be authentic and express oneself without shame. Their subtly provocative play with aesthetic conventions and taboos has not only made a splash on the arts scene, it has also prompted vital discussions about gender roles, body images, and the right to sexual self-determination.

By letting it all hang out, they allow us to see ourselves as we are instead of presenting a picture of what we (supposedly) should be like. The insolence of it!

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