Narrative Research – Julie Verhoeven

I’ve decided to look at different fashion illustrators.. I think it’s a good place for me to start my research, because I’m focusing my project around societal views on female perfection, especially in the physical sense. Julie Verhoeven has been one of my favorite artists for a while, so I’ve begun with her work.

This image is from Julie Verhoeven’s Fat Bottomed Girls, titled “Television Personalities: Part Time Punk.” Aside from her characteristic, seemingly spontaneous application of bright, bold colors, one of the first things I noticed about this image was the presence of the bra next to the figure. This immediately causes the viewer’s perceptions of the figure to change – it is no longer a simple nude, but is explicitly in a state of undress. In relation to this, the breasts are highlighted through the use of thick black paint, contrasting with the otherwise thin pen lines that define the rest of the body. The attention drawn to the figure’s sexual attributes then leads the viewer to notice its clearly drawn Adam’s apple, which then causes the breasts to be viewed in a completely new light – the viewer is made to question the figure’s gender and sexual identity.

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