There is an innate sensuality that exists in nature, and we are hard-wired to tune into it. First featured on our blog, Chinese painter Ling Jian’s paintings of beautiful women make observations about our natural impulses and attraction to beauty, even death. On why he paints women this way, the artist once said: “It may be because I feel there are so many pretty girls… But I don’t paint the so-called beautiful girls just because I want to paint them. It’s the embodiment of my creative desires. The contents may be my reaction to the social situation at the moment.” Jian calls them his “Sirens”, which recently debuted in this first US exhibition “Nature Chain”, on view at Klein Sun Gallery in New York. His new works juxtapose images of beautiful Chinese women against gracefully mating sharks. When American painter Georgia O’Keefe first painted flowers, many were shocked by their vaginal appearance, claiming them to be overt allusions to female genitalia. Similarly, Jian injects an elevated sexual tone into his series with closely cropped images of shark bodies. Jian finds a close relationship between his Sirens and sharks, specimens of zoological study for their unique style of intercourse. Both are subjected to scrutiny in different ways, and by association, Jian hopes to inspire a new perception of desire.
Ling Jian’s “Nature Chain” is currently on view at Klein Sun Gallery in New York through December 23rd, 2015.