It’s an adage straight out the Steve Jobs school of life: choose a job you love and you’ll never do a day’s work in your life. The late American artist John Kacere, reluctant grandfather of photorealism, did just that. Shifting from abstract expressionism towards a photorealistic style in the early 60s, John spent the last thirty years of his life painting the only thing that interested him: the mid-section of the female body. The kitsch paintings make for pleasurable viewing, not least for the sexually-charged subject matter. John’s incredibly tuned hyperreal style lends itself to the flawless skin of the idealised Caucasian bodies he paints as well as it does to the slippery silk and satin folds of lingerie and bedsheets. As the curve of each woman’s hips builds a terrain across each canvas, the scantily-clad female form becomes a landscape of sexual possibility.
50 years on, John’s work feels more contemporary than ever: were the paintings the photos they imitate, it’s easy to picture them riding high on fourth-wave feminism Tumblr and Instagram feeds.
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