“Odalisques” (Digital Paintings, 2010)






“Some feminist critics (most notably Linda Nochlin) have argued that the nineteenth-century male artist’s preoccupation with languid, nude odalisques who are “veiled” from the European male gaze and yet blatantly engage in self-display on the canvas, repeatedly feminized and sexualized the Orient in disempowering ways. Recent studies by Alison Smith, Carol Ockman, and Griselda Pollock, however, have demonstrated that the cultural tensions within which the odalisque/nineteenth-century female nude emerged were more complicated. All exoticized female or male bodies were not displayed in the same way… If we look closely at several French works that spanned the nineteenth century – Ingres’ Grande Odalisque (1814); Henri Regnault’s Salome (1870); and two works by Gerome, The Almeh (1878) and Woman of Cairo (1882) — the body of the odalisque is layered, revealing tensions and ambiguities. The Grande Odalisque was commissioned by a female aristocrat, Caroline Bonaparte Murat — a practice which was common among aristocratic women in the early nineteenth century [which] allowed them access to modes of self-representation outside the range of what was considered ‘acceptable’ and consolidated their socially and politically powerful roles.” (Piya Pal-Lapinski, The Exotic Woman in Nineteenth-Century British Fiction and Culture: A Reconsideration)



  1. draw

    My brain can’t handle how awesome these are! I love the quote you found it PERFECTLY captures the complexity and layering of these works.


  2. Art Dick

    Thanks Draw!! I am pretty happy with these. I would like to see them really big on the wall as glossy prints. But – as Tao pointed out – whenever you’re dealing with big printed things (and photography) there us always a lot of MONEY involved and in a way a wall sized image says I COST A LOT. And I would rather they were quite cheap to do – so I could sell them cheap. As posters. But I will look into I think to see what I can do for limited funds.

    Yeah – the quote was a real find for me. It fitted just perfectly!! And totally got at some of the things I was thinking about when making them.

  3. draw

    I’m sure there must be a way to do these large and cheap. What about a4s pasted together? I’ve seen some large graf wall art like that.

  4. Art Dick

    True story – I would be into having a single image – rather than a collage effect. I will have to check it out. Actually – I could just to the print place on Aro – I have heard good things about them.

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