Depiction of nudity with elements of eroticism, often ahead of the traditions and norms of its time, has invariably encountered problems with the repression of sexuality. To this day, the apogee of realistic painting with an obvious sexual subtext remains Gustave Courbet’s L’Origine du monde (1866). Despite the rapid progress and expansion of the boundaries of what is permitted in visual art, many classic works of the twentieth-century were perceived by contemporaries as excessively sentimental, descriptive, and striving to idealize external sensuality.
Contemporary art, with its freedom to choose the method of representation, has focused on conceptual issues of the depiction of the human body. Modern conceptual painting and sculpture represent the human body as it is, not idealizing its image, but rather deliberately deforming, exaggerating and focusing on the imperfections inherent to real life. Against the backdrop of the rapid development of modern technologies, social networks, the media and options for self-expression, the human body is ceasing to be subject matter and is becoming the main tool for artists’ self-expression. Using various artistic techniques, from ironic allusion to grotesque, in painting, hyperrealism and photorealism, the artist becomes a sort of initiator of a discussion to express problematic societal issues and the phenomenon of the “naturally naked” person in the eyes of modern society.