Surfaces and Strategies – Considering Others – Duncan Grant
A member of the famous Bloomsbury Group, Duncan Grant led an unconventional life. Made up of friends, overs and family members, the group rebelled against what they perceived to be the unnecessary and outdated conventions of the previous generation. They shared ideas and inspirations. Each member developed their own individual artistic style fuelled by the aesthetic and philosophical discussions the group had.
For me, Grant’s paintings of the male nude are revolutionary for their time. His paintings are often erotic in nature. At the time, it was more acceptable for drawings and paintings to have an erotic theme, than for erotic photographs to be taken (an illegal act).
Grant often worked from photographs of friends and relatives, as well as himself, when working on his paintings. His work has an intimate and direct feel to it. His message is not hidden.
Paul Roche, a close friend, modelled for Grant. He noted that Grant had a “determination not to please [aesthetically] except by telling the truth, and telling the truth through the intransigent beauty of paint.” (The Charleston Attic, 2017)
The figures are relaxed, giving an intimate perspective of their relationship and trust in Grant. I aspire to achieve this level of relaxation and comfort in my shoots.
Figure 1: Grant. Paul Roche Reclining. 1945.
Figure 2: Grant. Bathing. 1911.
Figure 3: Grant. Pas de Trois (Demonstrating Turnout). Date unknown.
The Charleston Attic. (2017). On Duncan Grant’s Male Nudes. [online] Available at: https://thecharlestonattic.wordpress.com/2016/05/11/on-duncan-grants-male-nudes/ [Accessed 3 July 2017].
Figure 1: Today in Gay History: Dreamboat Artist Duncan Grant. 2017. Out.com [online]. Available at: https://www.out.com/entertainment/art-books/2014/01/21/today-gay-history-dreamboat-artist-duncan-grant [accessed 3 July 2017].
Figure 2: SOHAILI, VAJDON. 2017. ““The Mirror-Like Sea”: A Bloomsbury Vision of Same-Sex Desire In Duncan Grant’s Bathing, 1911.” [online]. Available at: http://www.britishartstudies.ac.uk/issues/issue-index/issue-4/duncan-grant-bathing [accessed 3 July 2017].
Figure 3: SOHAILI, VAJDON. 2017. ““The Mirror-Like Sea”: A Bloomsbury Vision of Same-Sex Desire In Duncan Grant’s Bathing, 1911.” [online]. Available at: http://www.britishartstudies.ac.uk/issues/issue-index/issue-4/duncan-grant-bathing [accessed 3 July 2017].