The Male Muse: Intimacy, Distance and Touch

Prof Doc Thesis

Mathias, Nerys 2015. The Male Muse: Intimacy, Distance and Touch. Prof Doc Thesis University of East London Arts and Digital Industries
AuthorsMathias, Nerys
TypeProf Doc Thesis

This thesis considers my journey and accomplishments as an artist through a doctoral program of research. The writing explicates my intentions and observations of making work and showing it and the relation between the two.

The first chapter Witnessing Woman begins with images of men by women. My research led me to the writing of Luce Irigaray and ideas of productive mimesis seen through a filter of the witnessing woman. Elizabeth Peyton’s portraits are considered and links are made between Irigaray and Pipilotti Rist. The nude male is revisited.
The second chapter Gesture and Touch considers the connection between looking and touching. I discuss the use of hands in the images of Alexis Hunter.
Intimacy and Distance links the strong gaze of Andalusian culture to the images of Sally Mann’s husband and to Cecily Brown’s sex themed paintings. I explore the male muse and the intimacy and distance involved.
The Intimacy of Age deals with the contradicting emotions of ageing that have entered my practice. The joys of finding a partner bring the anxiety of loss and death.
The conclusion brings together two bodies of work for the final exhibition. Witnessing Woman is now a body of photographic work exposing the everyday complexities within a loving relationship. The gaze slips between lover, friend and vulnerable other.
Touched-Up has been transformed to be photographic sculptures of exquisite and dying flowers as well as hand gestures and darkness that invite the viewer to be consumed with western culture's complex response to age.

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Deposited07 Oct 2015
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