Sylvia Sleigh

“I wanted to give my perspective; portraying both sexes with dignity and humanism. It was very necessary to do this because women had often been painted as objects of desire in humiliating poses. I don’t mind the ‘desire’ part, it’s the ‘object’ that’s not very nice.” - Sylvia Sleigh

"Sylvia Sleigh, 89, is best known for her valiant effort in the 1970's to institute a new genre of feminist painting by changing the gender of the traditional odalisque. Whether because of her limitations as a painter or some deeper sociocultural resistance, the idea never took hold. Today her flatfootedly realist pictures of young, beautiful, extravagantly long-haired nude men in states of voluptuous relaxation remain fascinating artifacts of their time. Like other things about the 70's, they are embarrassing, unintentionally comical and oddly creepy, yet they remain somehow touching in their quixotic ambition to establish a new humanely erotic tradition for the heterosexual female gaze."

taken from NYT here..