Technology has completely changed how we are intimate with one another. Sending nude pictures as a gesture of intimacy, also known as “sexting”, has become fairly common among millennials today. This often results in “revenge porn” where the recipient of these photos posts or shares them without the consent of the subject. With the help of cell phones and the internet these images can end up going viral via texting, listservs, social media sites, and web forums. This new kind of digital intimacy that starts out as a private moment between two consenting young adults becomes a weapon used to blackmail, embarrass or shame the victim. Once these photos are sent they are out in `the world forever, and oftentimes the subject has no control over their distribution. However, women sending nude photos is not the root of the problem. The underlying issue is that the mentality of sharing these photos without permission is okay and the fact that the perpetrators think that they have the right to do so.
This series of portraits is based on images that were given to me by the models themselves, mirroring the exchange that often takes place between romantic partners. These images have been carefully and consensually rendered to embody the beauty and power that is involved the initial exchange. These paintings attempt to take control of the secondhand distribution of these snapshots and show women owning their actions unashamedly. By affirming them through the context of a canvas, I hope to take the negative and immoral connotations away from the images. Women have the right to own their bodies and decide who does and doesn’t see them. Using these pictures to shame, demean, and even control women will never be appropriate.