Mihail Nekrasov Title Unknown (201X)

The strong right to left key light illumination and the desaturation gives this image an arty pretense.

The composition, however, does not hold up under scrutiny. There appears to be no regard for form or logical arrangement of positive/negative space–it’s a left hand, a right hand and a phallus disembodied and floating in a void.

In other words, the impetus for this image is the gesture. Yet, since gesture consists at least partly of considerations with regard to observation of form, the image ends up establishing a criteria for conceptual success it subsequently ignores in execution.

Ultimately, it’s sloppy image making.

However, I am grudgingly willing to acknowledge that it does at the least nudge my thinking in an unexpected direction; namely, the fact that in utero all fetuses are gender neutral for the first two or so months. It’s the presence/absence/mitigating levels of dihydrotestosterone which determines whether the fetus’ genitals develop into a penis, vulva or remain indeterminate.

Society makes a really fucking big deal about gender distinctions along anatomical lines. And while, yes, the anatomy looks different. The underlying structures and functionality are not actually that different.

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