American artist Clio Newton explores gender and femininity in her series of hyperrealistic charcoal drawings called Venus. Inspired by the art of Renaissance masters like Michelangelo and Botticelli, she depicts an array of young subjects with female heads and male bodies. The seamless transition is intended to speak to the gender fluidity of this era.
Originally from the East Coast in the United States, Newton currently lives and works in Zürich, Switzerland. Her masterful drawing skills have been recognized in exhibitions across the US and Europe. In Venus, the artist applies her meticulous technique to blend the “gender composites” compellingly, usually merging the two identities around the neck or shoulders.
To emphasize the realism of these hand-drawn portraits, Newton bases all of the heads and bodies on real-life people. In this way, she is able to capture the depth of their personalities as they direct their gazes in the direction of the viewer, as well as render all of the subtleties in their facial features, hair, and bodies. Their equal placement in reality and the imagination make these drawings captivating to behold.
You can keep up to date with Newton's latest art and exhibitions by following the artist on Instagram.