6.21.17 / New York / New York

‘NSFW Female Gaze’ At The Museum Of Sex Explores The Depths Of Female Identity

A captivating exploration of identity and sexuality through the female perspective

Joanne Leah_01_The Whole_2016
[Joanne Leah -‘The Whole,’ 2016]

Much has been said about female-driven art shows, but at the Museum of Sex’s newest exhibit, NSFW Female Gaze, the concept of identity and female perspective are addressed head-on. From the moment you walk in, you are exposed (quite fully) to Marie Tomanova’s self-portraits of her tumbling down a hill in an exploration of the body and the fluidity of ‘the self.’ But from Tomanova’s first shots at the exhibit, there is a clear distinction in what you’re looking at: bodies, sex, and beauty from a different angle. With a range of mediums, from illustration to sculpture, there is an immediate sense that a deeper idea of identity is on display.

Marie Tomanova_02_By The Waterfalls_2016
[Marie Tomanova – ‘By The Waterfalls,’ 2016]

Curated by the Museum of Sex’s Lissa Rivera and Marina Garcia Vasquez of VICE Media’s Creators, the exhibit brings together an array of talent including Polly Nor, Maidenfed, and Nona Faustine, who foster an increasing curiosity towards female sexuality while depicting it in earnest. The title of the exhibit itself – NSFW – takes on a different meaning at the Museum of Sex (naturally, as the exhibits on all four floors are mostly NSFW). Often times the ‘nsfw’ tag is labeled on photos or videos that are created to entice. But here it feels tongue-in-cheek, like the artists are referring to a culture that has failed to accept female sexuality (or female perspectives at all) and the need for a respite from that. This exhibit isn’t safe for work.

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[Lissa Rivera – ‘Beautiful Boy Boidoir’]

But the images end up conveying something deeper and more fascinating. While sexuality is addressed, it becomes more interesting in the context of a show that dives into identity; sexuality is merely a facet of a complex persona, something mainstream art and media tend to overlook. For that alone, NSFW Female Gaze is a wonderful and alluring exploration into a point of view that is finally getting the attention it deserves – and a look at some of the brightest talents responsible for that.

‘NSFW Female Gaze’ is on view until September 24th at the Museum of Sex, 233 5th Avenue

Amanda Charchian_03_Celine_2016
[Amanda Charchian – ’03 Celine, 2016′]

Monica Kim Garza_La Luna 2_2017
[Monica Kim Garza, ‘La Luna 2,’ 2017]

NSFW_MoSex. Courtesy of Charlie Rubin (5)
[NSFW at the Museum of Sex, credit: Charlie Rubin]