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Taryn Andreatta On Artistic Nudity, the Female Body, Feminism & Divinity

Note | Nudity Two weeks ago I posted model Taryn Andreatta’s images from ‘The Offering’, as they appeared on GQ Italia’s website, lensed by photographers Mark Sink & Kristin Hatgi.  Many readers were very impacted by ‘The Offering’ — women as much as men.

They all expressed admiration for Taryn’s artistic journey and courage to me, with more than one self-photography project retrieved, with Taryn as muse. “If she can confront her physicality in this way, so can I,” the women said.

Sharing a female sympatico and commonality of vision about the origin and evolution of women’s lives makes Taryn and me more than digital friends.  ‘How did we get here?’ and ‘where are we going?’ are questions that occupy our mutual thoughts and artistry.

Taryn Andreatta has been the sensual provocateur since our paths first crossed early in 2010— a key reason why I am so fond of her and seek to cultivate her own intellectual voice. I would also be a liar for not admitting that while I found her images in ‘The Offering’ to be superb — and I wrote so — I also found them mildly unsettling.

The result of our discussions about ‘The Offering’ is a Faustian bargain of sorts. Taryn and I are embarking on a dialogue, without knowing where we are going. Rather than interjecting my own thoughts and followup questions into Taryn’s well-articulated answers to my key questions about ‘The Offering’, I will be quiet for once.

Today we publish Taryn’s answers to my initial questions, with a followup dialogue of unspecificed length and duration between us to follow. The images are essential to understanding the context of her interview, and we republish them again in my Sensually Yours column. I encourage friends to join the conversation on these very important issues about being female, in comments or in private messages to me, via contact Anne.

I’m very proud of Taryn’s actions and convictions to define her own self and personal philosophy in artistic collaborations in the time I’ve known her. The diverse views of young women are of critical importance to the future of women’s rights worldwide. Anne

Taryn’s Question to Herself: What significance does ‘The Offering’ hold for you personally?

Taryn: The term itself is a softer expression of sacrifice, implying that one must give away entirely or partially certain aspects of self associated with needs, desires, and intents. The result is an outlet for creativity to manifest into tangible form. Also, quite commonly throughout history mankind has rendered peace offerings or religious offerings to reestablish a connection with the divine. Fruits, flowers, and other objects of devotion, in this case, the female body are gifts and symbols of veneration and thanks. Although, religions typically reflect high moral standards and sexual prudence, I believe art can purely explore the nude body in an innocent and almost holy revered way, even in its most sensual erotic form. Therefore, this piece can be interpreted as an artistic offering, divine offering, or sexual offering of intimacy and warmth for a lover, all of which are ultimate signs of affection and gratitude.

Taryn’s Question to Herself: How do you think a feminist would respond to these images? What is our perspective when looking at these images?

Taryn: Feminists operate on a level that condemns the objectification of the female body. “The Offering” is an attempt to address that issue and prove that women have intellect, sentiment, depth, fragility, and femininity beyond this contemporary notion of women being perceived as objects or robots for display. It is placing emphasis on the reality that women are a large part of mother nature forming a complex web of generational longevity spanning the continuum of life and humanity.

Taryn’s Question to Herself: How do you feel about the term ‘sex object’ vs ‘sex symbol’ when applied to women? Is there a difference?

Taryn: Sex object being the more derogatory of the two and probably a more recent term in history does not generate strong feminine ideals. Sex symbol on the other hand, as first given to Marilyn Monroe or Brigitte Bardot, is a potent reference to a women’s sexual ferocity or level of sex appeal according to another’s erotic preferences. Sex Symbols, labeled by our world’s perspective, are based on sociological and biological factors but also integrate the world’s need for an all-encompassing woman to enchant with powerful feminine energy and then to later become notably symbolic.

Taryn’s Question to Herself: What role, then, do women play in your perspective, with regard to their masculine counterpart?

Taryn: I am observing that in today’s world gender roles are becoming more and more ambiguous. Due to early Women’s Right’s Movements and a so called liberation in Western Societies, we see women asserting their power in the work force and challenging men’s place and abilities. This intertwining is creating a trend in fashion towards androgynous characteristics. However, we also see the bondage theme prevalent and the corset will be an everlasting pleasure; from these themes I believe women are subtly saying that we still need men to be men and that courting type of love that existed so many centuries ago is in desperate need now. I believe the genders should craftily reclaim the delicate dominant and submissive traits that are natural to our human preservation and create genuine balance and equality in the feminine vs masculine roles.

Taryn’s Question to Herself: What is your personal contribution to ‘femininity’ and the concept of ‘female’ in our modern world?

Taryn: Primarily my contribution is through my work. During the Renaissance principles of eloquence and profound meaning in speech and literature were applied to all types of art. Fundamentally, that is my work’s mantra, to convey a deep story, a message, create a connection, and offer a piece of my authentic self, energy, and most importantly feminine sexuality, at whatever capacity the viewer is able to translate.

Taryn’s Question to Herself: Is there a common theme in all your work beyond the sensual and erotic?

Taryn: Simply put, Love.


Reader Comments (7)

Anne, I happened upon your site from a link from afriend who is a friend of Taryns. While I find the images of Taryn at first arrousing and sexual I took a moment to reflect on her answers and the pics included. You may find it interesting, but I am most intrigued by the first photo (non-nude) and the full bodied palm frond a close second. Taryns answers regarding the struggles of a male female universe are reflected well in the images. The two I mention best fit the conversation in that that they exemplify the old world view of femininty while not revealing the whole woman. An aura of mystery if you will. The other bondage type pics reflect a more modern controlled woman of this day and age. Perhaps women of the old world had more control over men. They realized the power of their sensuality and without being overly sexual controlled men with with their ability of desire. And they knew it. Women give too much away these days. In an effort to be like men they regress to a level that even alarms the male psyche itself and face rejection based on the threat. Cudos to Taryn bring back the old world!

October 15, 2011 | Unregistered Commentertroy reynolds

You fight for woman Anne? Then why you post pic like in Pierres shoot with woman, hands behind back gagged? Primal? You think that natural for woman?

December 12, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSu Li

Su Li. You must not have read anything that I've written here. It's kind of depressing. There is a HUGE battle between Taryn and me over that particular image, and I have used it painfully often to make your exact point. I posted last night the latest dialogue between Taryn and me on that image above. I agree with you; I have asked Taryn -- who I have really supported as an artist -- to explain herself and her title 'The Offering'. I feel totally betrayed by the image you reference, and she is blaming me as a feminist for screwing up women's lives. I have tried to use the image as a discussion too, and I'm sorry you have missed all the other articles. There's about five of them, but the comments I posted above, that you just glossed over, are pretty damning in reinforcing the point you just made.

Pierre's editorial of Lorenza is very different. I really support Pierre as a photographer and we have talked a lot about imagery of women. Lorenza is a very strong model and the totality of her Schon! shoot isn't demeaning; BDSM infuences are very strong in fashion this season. They are everywhere, and I don't trust them but I can't control all that. I think Lorena looks very strong, not weak like Taryn, in her editorial.Her image is so obviously a fashion-effects shot. The totality of Pierre's work is fabulous for women as far as I'm concerned. Similarly Taryn's prior work was very strong and I was stunned to find myself in this whole discussion of the natural submission of women with her. I've asked her repeatedly to clarify what she means, what is her philosophy.

Pierre I stand behind. I do agree that the message sends mixed messages, especially with 40,000 women a year flogged in Sudan. But Pierre's image is meant to convey what culture and religion do to female sensuality, by binding women. Pierre Dal Corso is on the side of women and is using his image to show us what we do to women. I agree it's complicated but Pierre is not Terry Richardson. I believe in showing some of these images. In retrospect, I should have written more about that image -- and I will update the editorials, reflecting your valid concerns.

In Taryn's case, I've turned off all her editorials until she explains herself to readers, with regard to the message she's sending women with that very demeaning photo, saying that feminism has screwed up relations between men and women, and making herself an offering -- to men? Her words suggest that she is. Taryn didn't criticize the church or institutions, but women like me -- the woman who is taking on dictators in Africa on behalf of women. And now she patronizes me with her "oh Anne, you just don't understand" . . . sorry I unearthed your own abuse & kneeing before the Catholic Church. It wasn't my fault, writes Taryn. Crap! I'm all for more natural sensuality in editorials; I embrace nudity and the beauty of the female body. But submission to men is a very different subject for me and until Taryn clarifies her real view of body politics she's turned off at AOC.

December 12, 2011 | Registered CommenterAnne

Taryn criticize nobody. You very very wrong. She blame no one for nothing. It her opinions, nothing more. You send mix message. Celebrity have so many problem with people with hatred. Not fair. I hope she don't write back you because you never gonna stop.

December 13, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSu Li

Taryn did absolutely criticize feminism. You are wrong Su Li but entitled to your op9nion. Have you actually read what Taryn wrote or are you just dialing into her boo-hoos.

Taryn Andreatta is not a celebrity. She is an unempoyed model looking for work and she has potential as an artist. It was Taryn's choice to drop the gauntlet to women like myself with her condemnation of strong women. She has yet to deliver the explanation of her thinking, even though she's promised it on many occasions.

I have supported Taryn Andreatta 's career development more than any other person. But if she is going to take on women like me -- pointing a finger at feminists as being the root of all evils -- and prostrate herself like this with a message that none of us understand and MANY of us are discussing, then Taryn needs to grow up and be an adult woman. She's not 13. Taryn started this; Taryn can finish it.

If Taryn has convinced you that she is a celebrity, then you are easily impressed. Taryn has in no way earned the right to call herself a celebrity. I do agree that she suffers from a strong strain of narcissism which is important in an aspiring model. As for continuing the discussion, I had let it lie. But Taryn chose to pick it up again with me because she insists on having the last word. So I published our dialogue. If she wants it to end, she should either explain herself or shut up. She has me mad now, and I admit it. By her own admission, she doesn't relate well to women. I think she's a closet submissive, which is her right. But I do not back submissive women with my reputation or audience. Taryn should have understood that about me but our relationship was based on her perceived adulation of her on my part.

As for Pierre Dal Corso, I stand firm on him. Let me also say Su Li that AOC is a HUGE body of quality writing with endless explanations of how I think. Your tendency to reduce the totality of my own voice and ACTIONS on behalf of women to one Pierre Dal Corso photo is an equally unimpressive response on behalf of your friend. AOC is about deep thinking, so let's see it from both you and Taryn. No 22-23 year-old aspiring model with a lot of moxie is going to hijack Anne of Carversville, my reputation or my firm support of the world's women with her own acts of submission and finding one controversial photo in the lot of them. From last winter there is an extraordinarily painful discussion on this same topic that went on for days. I was challenged unmercifully by proponents of BDSM. At least then we were discussion BDSM, rather than having an aspiring model try to force me to back down, rather than send the intellectual explanation of her gift to us, as she has promised for weeks. She says she is "working on it". I told her I will print it without comment from myself, as soon as it arrives. That's all I owe Taryn Andreatta.

December 13, 2011 | Registered CommenterAnne


According to your last response on Su Li's comment you only owe Taryn the posting of her explanation of her intention with this shoot. I disagree, you owe her an apology. You have blown her message of power within sexuality and the complicated relationship between female and male roles in both the modern and antiquated worlds into something it wasn't. In her self-expressing interview she explains, thoughtfully, her intentions, and you have picked out what you didn't like and ignored the rest. I can tell you from first hand experience that Taryn is a highly intelligent, powerful, and respectful woman who demands respect from every human being, regardless of sex or orientation. Your gross overstatement that "You [Taryn] want a daddy and if you can be adored by the patriarchy, you will sell every woman around you down the river" (Anne, Sunday, December 11th, 2011) not only is childish and naive, but reflects the poor manners with which you conduct yourself. You should be ashamed of yourself for being so brusque, flagitious, and inerudite.

April 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMS

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