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.