Gallery announces exhibition of naked portraits
An exhibition of naked portraits is opening its doors – featuring the likes of Kate Moss, Johnny Vegas, David Beckham and David Bowie.
Exposed: The Naked Portrait shows more than 80 people from the worlds of rock and pop, sport, fashion, art, TV, film and theatre.
They are portrayed completely nude, partially clothed or where “nakedness is implied”, in photographs, paintings, drawings, prints and film.
Sitters include Joe Orton, Yoko Ono, John Lennon, Naomi Campbell, David Frost, Mick Jagger, Jerry Hall, Charlotte Rampling and Linford Christie.
The show opens at Newcastle’s Laing Art Gallery this autumn and asks if being seen naked is “a harmful or a welcome experience”.
Curator Amy Barker said: “Naked portraits can be flattering or honest, seductive or shocking, vulnerable or liberating.
“Nakedness is associated with authenticity – ‘the naked truth’. In contrast, the nude belongs to a tradition of idealised figures that extends back to ancient Greece.
“All of the images in Exposed are naked portraits rather than depictions of the nude.”
Humorous depictions will include an overweight Vegas mimicking the famous Demi Moore Vanity Fair cover in which she posed naked while heavily pregnant.
In another image, Dame Edna Everage pays homage to the famous Christine Keeler naked portrait, but sitting the wrong way on a Habitat chair.
The Lennon images, for the cover of an album, provoked so much outrage that the record was sold in a brown paper wrapper, but the musician was unbowed, saying: “It isn’t anything. We’re all naked really.”
The exhibition also features a portrait of Dame Vivienne Westwood naked on an antique sofa in her late 60s.
An image of teenage Bow Wow Wow singer Annabella Lwin, naked but surrounded by her fully clothed male bandmates – which sparked controversy when it appeared on the band’s debut album – will also be on display.
The singer later said she was not concerned by the image, saying: “It was art.”
The portraits have been taken by big names including David Hockney, Annie Leibovitz, Linda McCartney, Lord Snowdon, David Bailey and Mario Testino.
Artists pictured in Exposed also include Gilbert & George, Tracey Emin, Sarah Lucas, Lucian Freud and Sir Antony Gormley.
Exposed: The Naked Portrait is jointly curated with the National Portrait Gallery, which has the portraits in its collection, and runs at the Laing Art Gallery from October 27 to March 3.