Vanity Affair:

An Ode To The Bathroom Selfie

You caught me off guard, oil paint on canvas, 24″ x 30″

The ‘bathing nude’ has been a popular subject in Western art for centuries, often symbolizing purity and rejuvenation with depictions of idealized female forms.

In the twenty-first century, the bathroom selfie has emerged as a modern-day counterpart to the bathing nude, especially in social media. It is still commonly associated with women, which could be due to a historical backdrop of powder room rituals, makeup routines, or the general societal notion that women are vain – any of which reaffirm a cultural obsession with female attractiveness.

However, there’s a critical difference between the traditional bathing nude and the contemporary bathroom selfie. While the classical portrayals often served as vessels for the male gaze to dictate societal standards of beauty, the bathroom selfie can be seen as an act of self-expression that empowers one to reclaim their image and ownership.

The bathroom selfie is, in fact, a shared phenomenon among all genders;

You need not look far into social media or online dating profiles to find images of men flexing in front of a mirror or a grizzled reflection staring stoically at the viewer. In an effort to subvert the male gaze, this series explores men’s participation in this trend as they highlight the act of self-presentation.

Captured through men’s bathroom selfies from Tinder profiles, the subjects in these paintings are unconcerned of its status as a modern symbol for female vanity. Depicted in various states of undress, there remains the unspoken suggestion of purity and rejuvenation. The viewer is granted access to a personal and private moment and ritual, inviting a sense of vulnerability and intimacy.

I explore more themes of constructed masculinity in my ongoing portrait series Take Me As I Am.

“My face is irrelevant”, oil paint on canvas, 24″ x 30″

“I just want to worship you”, oil paint on canvas, 24″ x 30″

“What you don’t tell no one”, oil paint on canvas, 24″ x 30″

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