The image of the female form may be used to incite pleasure, make political statements and above all, sell things, but rarely is it celebrated for simply being, "flaws" and all. Nowhere is this clearer than in the hyper-perfect world of your Instagram feed, where bodies are chopped and screwed into contorted perfection with some cosmetic fillers and a quick swipe of FaceTune to finish the job.
Amidst this collection of disenfranchised body parts and faces resides artist Carly Jean Andrews, whose colorful, playful drawings of nude women have become a cult hit on the 'gram. Andrews' nudes are appealing and sensual yet all sport actual human features like tan lines, body hair and other so-called imperfections, an intentional choice that makes the drawings as celebratory as they are sexy. We chatted with the LA-based artist about her work, what makes people hot and why perfection is boring.
So many nude images of women are hyper-perfected and over-sexualized. Your images feel raw and real while still being sensual. Where does that sensibility come from?
I really like the idea of thinking a person is hot but you are not sure why. You think you are into certain things and then you see someone and something just happens to you, like you are haunted by them. When I see a body that's perfect or too sexy I don't even register it anymore. I like to draw delicious people with some awkward defining pieces.
What is it about the female form that you enjoy drawing?
I like seeing the person reveal themselves. I plan my drawings out but they never come out a certain way. I think it's a lack of skill but it's interesting to see what they are going to look like when I'm done. I also love adding the ending bits, a dot of shine, hair frizzies, deepen a crease. It's all fun.
Do you get a lot of people asking you to draw them?
Yes! I freelance so I'm always interested when someone is in need of a drawing.
Working as a woman artist in the online space, do you deal with harassment? How do you handle it?
I just remove myself from the situation.
What's next for you? Any upcoming projects?
I hope for my work to grow this year and I become a better artist. I'm going to be selling more work. Maybe I'll be in a show, it's too soon to tell.