yellow line district


The Female Nude has long been one of the classic themes of Western Art. However, within this subject matter there are inherent elements of eroticism and voyeurism that have been rationalized in a variety of ways. In his book, ‘The Nude’, Kenneth Clark claimed that eroticism and voyeurism only existed in the naked state. In a state of nudity the image was free of this implication. The difference between ‘The Naked’ and ‘The Nude’, Clark suggested, was the transformation of the ‘Profane’ to the ‘Sacred’, by the creation of the ‘nude’ image by an artist. Renaissance artists maintained that their representations of the Female Nude were allegorical depictions of classical goddesses and that their nudity signified their purity and innocence. It was not until much later that the Female Nude began to be discussed in terms of exercises in shape, form, line, texture, light, color, and so forth. Then, in more recent times, John Berger made the observation, in his book ‘Ways of Seeing’, that all Female Nudes were representations of possession or ownership, created to inspire envy or jealousy, and that the perpetuation of this depiction of this image of women reduced them to the humiliating state of male chattel. Whatever way you look at it, the subject of eroticism and voyeurism in the depiction of the Female Nude is a sensitive issue. 
 
Federico Tomasi was born in 1974 in Sweden. At the age of 13 he moved to Italy where he started his art education. His instinct for discovery, and his curiosity, brought him to Asia in 1997, where he started to paint full-time. After some years in Singapore, Federico decided to split his time between Bali and Italy. In his exhibition, ‘Yellow Line District’, currently showing at the Biasa Art Space, Federico tackles this issue of eroticism and voyeurism in the Female Nude with a series of expressive paintings. Federico creates languorous, sensual and full bodied images of women. Some stand, some recline, while others crouch on all fours. These canvases show a cool sensuality that blurs into a controlled eroticism that Federico calls the ‘Yellow Line District’. “It is a place to find love, respect, passion and desire. It is a place where nothing is secret, and every thing is open. Unlike the Red Light District, the Yellow Line District is about the joy of life”.
 
All of these Female Nudes are created in broad, expansive, brushstrokes of black and white. They generally appear before a neutral, grey background. Much black and white paint is expressively dribbled and splashed around the bodies to stress the contours and lines of the female form. The framing and composition of these works have a decidedly photographic influence. There is much foreshortening, cropping of image, and distortion of shape, as if the female subjects are placed too closely to a sharply focused camera lens. This photographic intensity could possibly highlight any erotic and voyeuristic qualities in the works, as the