Often when we see paintings of nudes, we don't think too much about the model. We see the person as translated into paint, beautiful on the canvas but not actually existing in the real world. But in Daniel Maidman's upcoming exhibition "Blue Leah" at Dacia Gallery, we see the subject as a living, breathing human being. Maidman's paintings are not just portraits of Leah herself, but portraits of the painting process.
While the depictions of Leah are naturalistic, there is an additional sense of slow, careful looking that brings an extra jolt of radiance to her body, reviving the mysteriousness of flesh when it has become one of art history's greatest clichés. Each painting capturing a different angle or body part, and through this set, we begin to see all the different sides of Leah.
Maidman described the importance of Leah's input in a previous blog on The Huffington Post: "Many people think of the artist-model relationship as an objectifier-objectified dynamic. These people don't know anything about artists, models, or art." After seeing these paintings, we are believers in the importance of symbiosis.
Leah varies between appearing seductive, supernatural, maternal and even corpse-like. Maidman's paintings, larger than life size, make you notice everything: pockets of skin, shifts in the intense gaze, piercing blue backdrops. After spending some time with all the Blue Leahs, we feel like we know the model intimately, and yet she remains as mysterious as ever.
Check out Maidman's nude paintings below and let us know what you think. (Be warned, one of them rivals Courbet's NSFW classic, L'Origine du monde (The Origin of the World)).
"Blue Leah" will show at Dacia Gallery from October 18 - November 2, 2012.