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That’s what the nude genre is about and why it was and remain a main theme in art. You get to see a person in it’s most simple setup, straight to the core content, to his/her being. There’s intimacy and truth in this.
As for sex, even though it’s not clearly stated, it’s here too. That’s why some nudes have been so controversial.
Here are some examples to illustrate :
- Le Caravage, who was considered as a pedophile for painting this.
There had been already some naked children painted, but he did it with such realism / honesty that it became disturbing. That would be an example where all truth, sex and intimacy met.
- “L’origine du monde” de Courbet
As for contemporary artists working with new angles on those subjects, I’m thinking Cecily Brown, Philippe Pasqua or Jenny Saville…
- Ceciliy Brown
- Philippe Pasqua
Those are the works that speaks to me and try to follow.