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In 'Threesome,' Three Artists Explore Queerness And The Female Gaze

Roxana Halls by Sadie Lee sm 210c7

Are you an art nerd? Do you hate the artistic canon because of the ever-pervasive male gaze? Whether the answer is yes or no, it doesn't matter, because Threesome, a new art exhibit exploring sexuality at New Art Projects in London, says "fuck you" to male lesbian-fantasties, exploring queer sexuality from a woman-centric point of view.

The show features paintings from three queer artists, Roxana Halls, Sadie Lee, and Sarah Jane Moon. Each artist presents 4 paintings: two portraits of each other, one self-portrait, and a portrait of the London-based cabaret performer Ursula Martinez. In their own words, these artists "make bold, alluring, witty and deft works, and explore how they look at each other and themselves.” They definitely deftly use the female gaze—women looking, sometimes lustily, at other women—to push back against the tropey, straight-male fantasy that reduces lesbian women to objects who engage in same-sex activities for a dude's enjoyment. (Dear terrible straight dudes everywhere, sorry I'm not sorry, but you need to erase this idea from your miopic conciousness immediately).

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Besides the candid exploration of queer identity, the paintings are also masterfully crafted, with a bend towards realism that draws the viewer in. Their subjects’ eroticism is self-assured; their bodies do not exist not for the viewers pleasure, but in their own right, and for their own sake. The varied pallets, ranging from radioactive neon’s, to soft shadows, to swirling pastels, makes for a doubly varied and arresting show. The exhibit is up until March 4th, and for those who are in London, the gallery is pairing it with some fantastic opportunities, events, and talks, including “From The Brush To The Pen,” happening on Feb. 22, where the women of Threesome switch up their mediums and turn towards the page. For those of us that can’t jet off to London, you can still find out more about the show here.

Threesome I by Roxana Halls sm 254dc"Threesome I" by Roxana Halls

Threesome II by Roxana Halls sm 0a2af"Threesome II" by Roxana Halls

Threesome III by Roxana Halls sm 1 ddba6"Threesome III" by Roxana Halls

Ursula Martinez by Roxana Halls sm c76b4"Ursula Martinez" by Roxana Halls

Self Portrait by Sadie Lee sm 6be0a"Self Portrait" by Sadie Lee

Sarah Jane Moon by Sadie Lee sm faf0e"Sarah Jane Moon" by Sadie Lee

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Sarah Jane Moon by SJ Moon sm 05876"Sarah Jane Moon" by SJ Moon

Roxana Halls by SJ Moon sm a5d4e"Roxana Halls" by SJ Moon

Sadie Lee by SJ Moon sm 07156"Sadie Lee" by SJ Moon

Ursula Martinez by SJ Moon sm 442e5"Ursula Martinez" by SJ Moon

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Cricket Epstein is BUST's editorial intern. She writes about feminism, films, witches, and all things awesome (and terrible). She is currently working on a health and wellness website and podcast, to be launched in the near future. You can follow her on instagram @t0tally_buggin and at her poorly maintained doodlegram @poorly_drawn_puns.

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