Nudity’s role in art history is strangely dualistic. It’s a subject endlessly depicted over the centuries but almost always with little variation, like an endless smashing of the same note over and over again. Painter Chuck Miller is yet another fanatic of the nude form, painting naked bodies ceaselessly over the years, but his mission is to reinvigorate an often-repetitive type of art.
One quickly gets a sense of Miller’s genuine obsession with the human form after perusing his works. Faces are often omitted, identities are concealed, but the precise, minute details of a person’s stomach, back, and the rest of their body are always highlighted. Often working in close crops that focus on specific bodily sections, Miller doesn’t read as your textbook ‘male gaze’ practitioner, seeming to treat the bodies of his subjects with poise and respectful curiosity, rather than predatory voyeurism. This is an artist who is truly captivated by the complexities of flesh.
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Speaking to Miller, this notion becomes even clearer: “I have always been fascinated by how the human form can change so dramatically just through the simple act of movement. It is a totally different subject depending on if it’s sitting, standing, under force, or at rest. That dynamic is what keeps me consistently engaged in the practice,” the artist tells Creators.
“I think the human form is the most challenging thing to attempt to capture. If done correctly, it can be inspiring; if executed poorly, it screams to be corrected,” he adds.
Miller also seems be on a crusade against the never-ending media wave of idolizing stick figure bodies. While no singular type of body is shown, the artist clearly has no interest in the malnourished model look, neglecting anything remotely similar in his paintings. Part of this lies in what the artist believes are generational differences. “I grew up in a time that real women had curves. I don’t subscribe to society’s perception of what a woman has to be, but I do have a view on what I consider beautiful, classic, and strong,” he reveals. “I want to portray the female form in a more classical and honest view, and not have it descended into what ‘society’ dictates as beautiful or perfect.”
For a larger overview of Chuck Miller’s work, head over to the artist’s Instagram page.
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