"It is a curious dilemma to observe the paradox that on the one hand the female body is the primary metaphor for sexuality, its use saturates advertising, art and the mainstream erotic imaginary. Yet, the clitoris, the true female sexual organ, is virtually invisible," Wallace told Creem magazine earlier this year.

"Even in porn, the clitoris is treated as this optional, kind of freaky, ‘wow he’s doing her this huge favor’ thing," she told HuffPost, adding that women often feel "embarrassed" to ask their partners to pleasure them. "It’s insane to me that this is still happening in 2013."

- Sophia Wallace, Cliteracy Project (article via Huffington Post)

Portrait from Sophia Wallace's series “On Beauty”.

According to the project description, Wallace “…was curious to see what the result would be if [she] photographed men using the unspoken rules that dictate the way women are conventionally posed in photographs and paintings.”

You can vote for Sophia Wallace’s work at the ArtTakesLondon competition (no registration of any kind is necessary).

[Image description: photo of a light-skinned, short haired young man, taken from slightly above, showing his head and upper torso. He is wearing only a black, see-through sweater which merges against the black backdrop. He is gazing towards one side. He holds his arms against his body; one hand is placed on his stomach and the other on his neck, holding the sweater against his body, although part of his shoulders and chest are bared.]


"I always teach Crane’s horrific "The Open Boat," and get all bent out of shape when the kids find the story dull or jaunty-adventurish: I want them to feel the same marrow-level dread of the oceanic I’ve always felt, the intuition of the sea as primordial nada, bottomless, depths inhabited by cackling tooth-studded things rising toward you at the rate a feather falls.” 

― David Foster Wallace


Photos by Sophia Wallace

I am fascinated by the overwhelming dandyism in the queer women’s community in the bay. Particularly with folks of color who find ways of navigating non-normative gender through this style. I believe it is particularly appealing for its possible “androgyny” or genderqueerness and, well, because people look freaking hot. I’m not a huge fan of the bow tie, but I adore the play in style and the liberation of constricted gender norms and the possibility of redefining beauty aesthetics. 

"The dandy—conventionally defined as a strikingly attractive man whose dress is immaculate and manor is dignified—has been around since the late 18th century. Often misunderstood as superficial, the dandy is rather a space of creative possibility where men and women can perform a persona in ways that reach far beyond the narrow binary constructs of masculine and feminine. Indeed artists like Oscar Wilde, Charles Baudelaire, H.H Monro and less recognized women such as the American painter Romaine Brookes and her cohorts found Dandyism to be a liberatory space not only for appearance but more importantly, for a life of independence that did not necessarily adhere to a deterministic heterosexual model of marriage and children. Examples of modern dandies include Andy Warhol, Quentin Crisp, Grace Jones. My many years focusing on gender, race and constructions of beauty led me to dandyism as a radical position for art making and social critique. Indeed, dandyism’s subversive aesthetic of beauty disrupts normative gender in fascinating ways. Beauty is defined in almost all contexts as the domain of femininity which is commonly understood as frivolous, weak and passive. The dandy is neither traditionally feminine or masculine. Rather, the dandy is an aestheticized androgyny available to men, women and transgender individuals. Herein lies it’s power and it’s danger.”