Just in case you thought there’s too much of an imbalance between public display of male and female nudity, here’s something that might make you change your mind.
A risqué exhibition has just opened at the Musée d’Orsay in Paris presenting the nude male figure in all its glory in 200 exhibits carried out in a wide range of techniques – photography, graphic arts, sculpture, and painting. The male form is presented in a few perspectives – from the classical nude to the heroic and athletic, and even homoerotic. A large portion of the artists that feature in this Masculin/Masculine show, however, are staunch heterosexuals.
One of the exhibits is the controversial Vive la France that depicts three footballers proudly displaying their assets. This photograph by the French couple Pierre Commoy and Gilles Blanchard was used last autumn to advertise an exhibition of a similar theme in Vienna’s Leopold Museum, with which the Musée d’Orsay is collaborating for its current event. It caused such alarm in the Austrian capital that the men’s private parts had to be concealed by a red triangle.
The poster for the Orsay event on the other hand is another work by the same duo, but this time with a portrait of Mercury, which presents a back-side view of the Greek God wearing only a helmet.
So, if any of you are heading to Paris, this show – which lasts till January 2 – may be worth a visit apart from the usual Eiffel Tower, Champs-Élysées and what have you.
For details, check out the exhibition page on the Musée d’Orsay website: www.musee-orsay.fr/masculinImages: (Vive la France) | Vive la France by Pierre et Gilles © & (Mercury or Mercury1) by Pierre et Gilles © Courtesy Galerie Jérôme de Noirmont, Paris