page contents
773-270-4180

KC Atabaki

The series I’ve presented for consideration is entitled “Shame Free Livin'” and is a nod to simply that. “Shame Free Livin'” is meant to marry the sentiments of sensuality, sexuality, exposure, visibility – and most importantly power over and ownership of those themes on the part of the subjects. My concise goal in this series is to offer women as self-presented subjects of beauty, not objects – to, in this one moment, invite the viewer to participate in appreciating the female body without any shame for looking, and likewise not shame the subjects for the offering of their corporeal selves, and the enjoyment of their beauty. My art (and definition of beauty) was shaped in a youth filled with reverence for Disney, Vargas, and Mucha – beautiful, idealized women, soft color ways, and lovely lines. But how, in this day and age, do we justify presenting women as pieces of art while not indulging in the male gaze? (I’m sure I don’t need to dive into how or why the social climate we live in is a hotpot for this theme) Is my art archaic because I love the female form? Can I marry my love of classic styles with modern ideals? Can I be a feminist and love the curve of a soft waist-to-hip swell? Can I be an advocate for women and still offer them up as art? These are all questions I’d expect the viewer to have, as they are questions I insisted I ask myself while working up this series. In short, yes. With this series I’d like to posit that in a time when we grapple with the objectification and treatment of women, and sexuality, consent, etc, that the answer is NOT to punish those who look, or vilify those who show, but to redirect the seers to participate in a consensual, intentful exchange. I happily offer up these women – these composites of ideas of femininity around me, each imagined into her specific form, some figures inspired by specific women – as participants in the exchange between subject and viewer. Subjects, not Objects. Participants, not Victims. On their terms, without shame, beyond reproach, because there simply is no grounds for it. We needn’t hide ourselves to not be objectified, in fact, we mustn’t. We must allow those who want to be seen on whatever level and in whatever way they want to do just that, and in doing so – even if just for a moment, in the microcosm of this series – destigmatize female nudity, visibility, and sensuality. Ideally, that would be Shame Free Livin, to me.