As an artist, I am fascinated by the female form and explore themes of femininity and strength through painting.
My work primarily uses sex workers as my subjects. Through painting, I aim to represent real sex workers as the beautiful, strong, talented, powerful people that they are.
In our world today, sex workers are marginalised, criminalised and stigmatised. Stripping culture is restricted, prostitutes imprisoned and women assaulted because they don’t have safe or reliable working conditions. The way our society treats sex workers continues to worsen, as seen with the FOSTA-SESTA bill passed in the US in 2018, which threatens the future of sex workers.
My work aims to capture the magic of these performers, to highlight why we should celebrate sex workers, and all women, in what they chose to do with their sexuality.
The physical strength, flexibility and power in the movements of these performers is intoxicating, which I try to convey in my work. However, I like to juxtapose this force with the delicacy of the performance. The colouring in the skin is the suggestion of stage lights; pinks, blues, oranges. I often chose subjects that use stage props, ropes, poles, hoops or theatrical costumes in their stage shows, and paint elements of these in my work, to dramatise the performative aspect to their jobs.
Supporting sex workers is more important than ever with the global crisis we are currently experiencing. In countries all over the world, sex workers are recieving little or no support during Covid-19. Many women are now completely out of work with absolutely no financial support.
If you want to see more of my work, follow @nadinehurstart on instagram. To learn more about sex workers rights, follow @ethicalstripper.
Oil on canvas. (33 x 21 inch)