Australian artist Kristy Milliken knows nudity. A former photographer in the amateur porn industry, she became inured to capturing images of stereotypically attractive, thin women on film and moved to paper and ink and a new point of view.
“We see skinny women everywhere. I always forced ‘flaws’ into any of the skinny women I painted, the bigger ladies are what they evolved into. Something far more interesting, of course different pieces have different intent behind them, but there’s a naivety to them. An unaffectedness that I aspire to in my own life. I draw them as beautiful because I think they are.” Source
Milliken’s ink drawings are adorably subversive. The women are gorgeously fat, rosy and delicious. They look luscious, like ripe fruit, plump and sweet. Round tummies, thick thighs, heavy breasts, all kissed with pink and purple, topped with adorable round cheeked faces. They’re sexy, these large women, bound and gagged, smoking and eating, covered with food. The whimsical execution contrasts with the overtly sexual nature of the work.
“It’s a weird time for fat. Fat is both confronting and can be the most normal thing in the world, It’s the context that’s important. Plus I’m sick of all the pictures of skinny girls that seem to be everywhere.” Source
According to the artist, the themes of greed and beauty reoccur in her work, paired in an unusual way. Luxuriant pasta cascades over the women, sating and draping and entangling them. But despite her claim that these images are about avarice, the images feel affirming, even charming.
Body positive art can sometimes be confrontational, taking a focused, warts and all approach. Asserting that she’s not attempting to be political, Milliken’s work feels joyous and sweet— a light perspective on a weighty subject.