Ways of Seeing by John Berger paper

Female, Feminine, Fertility

Girl with Red Hair, 1962. Jack LeVine (b. 1925). Oil on canas, 32 x 26 in. (Curatorialintern Web).

I noticed about her existence in the New Britain Museum of American Art. It seems that people are used to such kind of images that include idealized depiction of women which looks more of a classical style. The image of the woman is nude which is perhaps meant to arouse the viewer’s pleasure (Robinson 298-305).

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The eyes of the woman are sensually innocent in such a way that she seems not either aware of her nakedness. Generally, the image is meant to please men due to the sexual fantasy involved in it and her nude body is probably used here to depict her beauty and power to attract men who would in turn view it as an object of sex. The society uses women as objects used by men. Women can be harmed by the continued presence of this image because the image reflects them as sex fantasy objects that believe in their nudity to give them power. The gaze of the woman as well as her half-nude body just shows what women can be done to or for instead of what they are capable of doing. Her gaze is kind of helpless and perhaps depressed or deeply thinking about what has been done to her.

Jeremy Orlebar

 Ways of Seeing by John Berger

Conventionally, the social presence of a woman is distinct from that of a man since man’s presence reflects the power that is in him especially if the promise is massive. A masculine image represents what a man is capable of doing to someone or for someone and it would mean the dominance of either moral aspect, physical, temperamental, economic, social or sexual (Barnet 220-228). On the other hand, a woman’s presence would always reflect her attitudes and what she is capable or unable to do to herself. According to Berger, a woman can only get noticed through her gestures, voice, opinions, expressions, clothes, tastes as well as her chosen surrounding. Existence of women is dominated by men who make women look like they are put in a confined space (Berger 45-50).

Women are always portrayed to be submitting to men and this has defined their social presence to a larger extent. She continually watches herself because her image is always a big concern as per the childhood teachings that emphasizes on a continual survey of her body. The constant survey prompts her to concentrate on her doings and her appearance to others particularly men (Berger 45-50). Her appearance and her doings are what she considers success of her life and how she is treated by others. This really turns a woman into an object, specifically object of vision. This has made artists to come up with nude images that would attract viewers. Most paintings were made nude which was important in attracting and manipulating the viewer’s minds. Beiger argues that the image is not always naked as she appears but the nakedness is as per the way the viewer sees it.

Works Cited

Barnet, Sylvan. A Short Guide to Writing about Art. New Jersey: Pearson, 2008. Print.

Berger, John. Ways of Seeing. New York: The Viking Press, 2008. Print.

Curatorialintern. The Portrayal of Women in Art: 1962-2002. New Britain Museum of American Art, 2010. Web. 16 Oct. 2013. <http://nbmaa.wordpress.com/2010/04/06/the-portrayal-of-women-in-art-1962-2002>/

Robinson, Hilary. Feminism-art-theory: An Anthology, 1968-2000. Oxford: Blackwell, 2001. Print.

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