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It was an eerie coincidence, but when I got the call to curate this show, I was researching a phenomenon in 17th-century Spain called the sala reservada, referring to secretive rooms reserved in royal palaces and grand houses where nude works could be seen in private. A show at the Clark Art Institute of nudes from the Prado elicited this interest in finding out more about such places. I chose images here that were unabashedly erotic, but also ones that are more suggestive than overt.
I always feel that with nudes, suggestion can be far more powerful than something more overt.... I also liked that many of the works show couples (straight and gay) and that other works require a longer viewing before deciding what is really being shown (eg. the work showing hands and feet together). Also, many of the chosen works hint at a narrative quality, which automatically animates any canvas. And I like, too, that some of the nudes are accidental, in that a body is shown retrieving a fallen item or a mother is holding her naked baby. Being nude, obviously, is not always an intentional or erotic or sexual state.
Mr. Masello selected 3 Curators' Choice nominees for November, (starred dates in the list): 1* ASPECTS OF NARCISSUS NO. 7 (photography) by William Thierfelder of Portland, OR; 12* Indecision (photography) by Craig Sheely of Littlestown, PA; 26* Hands and Feet (photography) by Peter Wong King of Cochiti Lake, NM.
The 30 artists represented in November, 2016, in day order are:
1* William Thierfelder, 2 J. Wayne Higgs, 3 William Thierfelder, 4 J. Wayne Higgs, 5 Craig Sheely, 6 Craig Sheely, 7 Ricardo Arnaldo, 8 Ricardo Arnaldo, 9 Dan Simoneau, ISAP, 10 Gabriel Sanchez, 11 Dan McCormack, 12* Craig Sheely, 13 Peter Wong King, 14 Peter Wong King, 15 Tony Lee, 16 Gabriel Sanchez, 17 William Zuback, 18 Joseph Mays, 19 Robert Markey, 20 Dan McCormack, 21 Tony Lee, 22 Dan Simoneau, ISAP, 23 Guenter Knop, 24 William Zuback, 25 Tony Lee, 26* Peter Wong King, 27 Joseph Mays, 28 Corrie Ancone, 29 Corrie Ancone, 30 Guenter Knop.