emerges as a significant figure in the contemporary art scene, with a profound commitment to challenging societal norms and exploring identity shifts. Her series “My Bare Self” is a bold statement against the conventional perception of bodies and identities.
Bob Joones’s background in Literature and Photography has shaped her artistic approach, allowing her to weave complex narratives into her visual art. Her work goes beyond mere representation; it’s a critical analysis of the power systems that govern our understanding of body and gender. Bob’s artistic journey reflects a relentless pursuit of authenticity, often subverting assigned roles and embracing fluidity in identity and expression.
In “My Bare Self,” Bob showcases a series of explicit photographs that confront and challenge the viewers’ preconceived notions about bodies. Her focus is on depicting body parts often shrouded in taboo, presented in everyday contexts. This approach disrupts the traditional ‘male gaze’ and offers a fresh perspective on representation, one that is raw, honest, and unapologetically real.
Collaboration is central to Bob Jones’s work. She engages deeply with her subjects, ensuring that they have control over their portrayal. This process is not just about capturing images; it’s about empowering those in front of the lens, allowing them to redefine how they are seen and understood. Each photograph is a collaborative story, a shared experience that resonates with a broader narrative about identity and acceptance.
Bob’s work has been exhibited globally, garnering both acclaim and controversy. “My Bare Self” in particular has sparked conversations in various circles, from queer-feminist groups to sexual education forums. Yet, it has also faced censorship, highlighting the ongoing struggle for artistic expression in the face of societal and cultural constraints.
The Salon des Refusées becomes a fitting platform for Bob Jones’s work, echoing her commitment to challenging traditional art norms. Her participation is a stand against the censorship and marginalization of non-traditional bodies and narratives. It’s a celebration of diversity and a call to embrace the multitude of human experiences.
With my photographic work, I aim to challenge the stigmatization of female*, non-binary, queer and transgendered bodies and identities. „My bare self” is a series of photographs that shows the vulva – a body part often tabooed or mystified, sexualized or objectified – in situations that are part of our everyday lives.
In contrast to the large amount of available vulva depictions which often follow the so-called male gaze and are generated for pornographic use, the photos I collaboratively created with my photo subjects are meant to be an empowering contribution to the experience of persons with vulvas. Rather than being a muse, my photo subjects were encouraged to actively define how to be seen and photographed. Through the project, beauty norms such as the shaving of genitals, genital surgeries or an unrealistic expectation of cleanliness are being questioned. By making visible the vulva in all shapes and contexts, close and far, the viewer is reminded of the diversity of bodies and, sometimes, their mere existence. Despite the positive attention “My bare self” has gained in the queer-feminist scene as well as in the context of sexual education, the work has been censored on many occasions in the art world.
I strongly believe that the censoring of non-pornographic nudes in the art context – especially if they serve the function of opening a discourse and making visible the lived bodily realities of minorities – is a harmful political action in favor of a patriarchal world view. I would be grateful to show one of my photos at the Salon des Refusées, alongside other great artists.
– Bob Jones
SALON DE REFUSÉES
The "Salon de Refusées" is an art initiative inspired by the historic 1863 Paris exhibition. It's a platform celebrating female (read) artists who've faced rejection, turning exclusion into empowerment. Our project is dedicated to showcasing art in its most authentic form, creating a space where diverse voices and stories are seen and revered. Join us in this artistic uprising, where each piece adds to our resilience and the unyielding spirit of creativity.