Paintings by Angela Santana that explore the 'male fantasy' and depiction of women in visual arts

In her latest body of work, Swiss New York-based artist Angela Santana explores the implications connected to the historical representation of the female body and its lasting influence today.

As we know, centuries of male-dominated industries in painting, and later via photography, have shaped the depiction of women, often being presented passive and pleasing, idealised and objectified – a male fantasy. This has helped distort the perception of women in our collective consciousness.

"By turning my attention to the Internet, my approach observes this behaviour in society today," Angela tells Creative Boom. "The mass of illicit images online mirrors its vast demand in society and the fast pace of its consumption. I'm questioning the ethics of this phenomenon by applying these found images in my work. Creating an empowering reinterpretation: the new subject having been transformed and shifted from objectification, the object becomes the subject."

Angela's technique is a unique mix of digital and classical painting. "I'm disrupting the traditional approach to oil painting: each painting is initially created digitally in hundreds of layers by radical deconstruction and constant reinterpretation of the found image, also allowing digital anomalies to drench into my work.

"I emphasise the strength and permanence of my work by painting the finished composition in oils onto large-scale canvases. Through the medium of oil paint, I create an Antagony to the fleeting digital thumbnail."

Angela's work is the embodiment of rejecting the classical, stereotypical depiction of women constructed by men. "The conceptual, as well as technical disruption to the classical approach, allows me to break tradition and question the status quo," she adds.


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