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out and about - Clarity Haynes Altar-ed Bodies @ Denny Dimin Gallery

Emergent artists often have a fresh view that I find exciting. They might not have found their style yet, or they could be experimenting with different voices, but they undeniably bring crispness and certain purity to the scene.

This solo show consists of large format paintings that, in other contexts, could be regarded as conventional. Believe me, they are certainly not.

We are familiar with the work of Frida Kahlo, Modigliani, Klimt, Schiele, Lucien Freud or Mickalene Thomas. All of them looked at the female body through a different and personal lens. Their reasons for focusing on the female form were as different as their backgrounds: from the loss of agency and independence due to illness, immortalizing the object of all consuming love and lust, to addressing racial disparity. They all had one thing in common, and that was the appreciation for the mysterious nature of the human body.

Clarity Haynes takes a different approach, albeit rooted in the classical tradition of nude portraiture. She holds space for bodies that are not often represented or even acknowledged in either modern advertising or traditional art. She presents them frontally and unapologetically. I would even say that there is an element of defiance in these canvases. The viewer ends up being captured by them.

Some bodies are large and scarred. Some are adorned by trinkets and tattoos. Some are old and translucent with barely visible veins traversing them like tributaries.

Together they exemplify diversity itself. These bodies are all of us. Haynes invites us to look at their surface without judgement, and to consider and marvel at what each body holds within.


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