Seattle-based artist Natalie Krick’s latest message? Sexuality has no age.
The Nude Grandmothers project, a series of nude portraits of older women, began as a collaboration between Krick and photo editor Amanda Gorence. “The impetus was to create a celebratory and liberating piece that explores female sensuality later in life, and how it evolves,” Gorence says of the series. “Women are often ‘aged out’ of conversations around sexuality at a certain point. We wanted to demystify that idea.”
Krick’s art often challenges perceptions of beauty, femininity, and nudity. The photographer, whose art has been featured everywhere from The New Yorker to Marie Claire South Africa to The Huffington Post, draws a lot of inspiration from fashion media and pin-ups, but she enjoys “playing with these cliches of beauty and sexuality,” she tells BUST.
“I felt conflicted when I looked at photographs of women in mainstream culture,” Krick says. “I started to think about how these photographs were constructed. How is the body styled and posed to appear female and sexual? How are the photographs retouched to appear beautiful?”
The Nude Grandmothers series highlights three women, posed coquettishly against bright, colorful backgrounds. “I was telling a friend about finding a box of pictures of me at my mom’s that were taken over the span of my adult life, and I was struck by how beautiful I was in all of my different stages of life—and how I never knew or felt it,” says Alaina, one of the models. “The idea [of the project] appealed to me on so many levels, not just as an opportunity to celebrate myself and work on loving my body, but also make a statement about aging, beauty, and sensuality.”
The other models, though, were a little more hesitant. “At first I thought the project was rather frivolous,” Judith, another subject, tells BUST. “But my 48-year-old daughter said that Americans have a very puritanical and weird attitude toward nudity, and that she felt it was very important that I do the shoot, both for her and for my granddaughter. My husband tried to talk me out of it, which had the effect of talking me into it. His reasons infuriated me, frankly.”
The third model, who wished to remain anonymous, says, “I was definitely hesitant…[but] it felt good to just go for it. It was a lovely experience. I was made very comfortable and felt empowered at the end for doing something I never in a million years thought I would do.”
Krick says that the project might be a continued series. You can check it all out for yourself here, and find more of the artist’s work, including information on her book Natural Deceptions, on her website.
All photos by Natalie Krick
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Lydia Wang is a writer, a Pisces, and one of BUST's digital editors. Find her on Twitter or say hi: firstname.lastname@example.org.