Here we are greeted with artists, painters, who push the boundaries of what beauty means in the eyes of society, mostly through the female form. They tackle subjects which aren't usually deemed as 'safe'. From BDSM, fetishes, gender, and LGBTQ sex, to abuse, obesity, and deformities, all that which is 'unattractive' will be exposed here in the works of Elly Smallwood and Jenny Saville.
Jenny Saville challenges the male gaze by painting unromantic portraits of women, going against how men project how women should look. Inspired by big white flesh of fat women wearing shorts in malls, Jenny paints obese subjects because that is the physical form that intrigues her. Just as the decapitation of animals piques her interest. She paints things that are morbid, unsightly, and maybe even unpleasant to regard. She wants her work to raise questions, to make people discuss.
Elly Smallwood considers sexuality, intense emotion, and alienation when she paints what she considers “twisted” versions of bodies. Like Jenny she pushes boundaries, inviting the viewer to leave their comfort zone. Her works are intimate and personal, the themes that are conveyed come directly from Smallwood's own life. Often she paints herself, her partner Heart, or a figure that ultimately stands for herself. Much of her work is an exploration of her own mind.
Lou Ros takes traditional portraiture and transforms it into something contemporary. With roots in graffiti and street art, Ros' canvas pieces evoke an incredible sense of freedom coupled with a certain maturity. His portraits capture haunting subjects, shrouded in mystery. That which is left undone is just as important as what he paints, His process is complex and very intuition based, sometimes resulting in the creation of multiples of the same portrait, only to destroy most of them.