Disrobing De Robertis
Imagine walking into a museum filled with patrons and disrobing in front of everyone. Deborah De Robertis is a performance artist who is known for exposing her genitals in front of people and paintings, but its not because she is an exhibitionist. While the room stares at her, she gazes back at the world, trying to make a statement. De Robertis is most known for her performances in Paris at the Musée d’Orsay, where she exposed herself in front of Gustave Courbet’s “The Origin of the World” in 2014 and Manet’s “Olympia” in 2016. After the performance in 2016 she was arrested and the museum pressed charges for indecent exposure. When the New York Times asked De Robertis how she chooses the paintings for her performance she responded with “I am making a necessary commentary on the history of these works and how we view them … it’s not about reproducing them but reconceiving them.” De Robertis wants to change the point of view of the art, where the model is viewing the spectator. She claims that she controls the spectators with her view and she is reversing the balance of power in her art. Like many performance artist of the past, the audience is just as important to the performance as the model. She want to use the audience as her tool to make a statement about the history of art and how we view it.