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‘What I do’, Currin has said, ‘is to find a cliché and try to believe in it’. His work rejects the decorous conventions of the female nude by melding art-historical references with the fantasies of advertising and pornography. The woman’s body and pose in Honeymoon Nude recall Renaissance prototypes (especially Botticelli’s Birth of Venus) but she has a recognisably contemporary face. Currin presents the female nude as a commodity, the embodiment of male fantasy. As if emphasising the narcissistic aspects of desire, he bases the woman’s face on his own self-portrait.

July 2005