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Jonathan Yeo and his portrait of Sienna Miller naked and pregnant.
David Franchi – Wednesday, 5th December 2012.
“Sienna Miller posed for the painting just weeks before the birth of her daughter”
Jonathan Yeo is not new to scandals. With the portrait of a naked and pregnant Sienna Miller, he again has hit the headlines in the world.
Proposing a naked pregnant woman is not a really new idea. Famous photo of US actress Demi Moore by Annie Leibovitz on the cover of Vanity Fair magazine (1991) was the first “scandalous” expectant woman – lurid means for those who find something negative in pregnancy. Demi Moore inaugurated this “sort” of fashion and after her many other stars did it and in several different countries. It is women freedom talking.
Sienna Miller posed for the painting just weeks before the birth of her daughter. The actress, 30, gave birth to her daughter Marlowe in July 2012. One of the point is Sienna Miller is broadly considered in the world to be a very natural stunning actress as well as being a fashion icon to generations of girls.
Sienna Miller portrait is on show at “(I’ve Got You) Under My Skin” an exhibition by Yeo in Berlin. The Miller portrait contrasts with other paintings in the exhibition that depict patient bodies of pre and post cosmetic surgery.
About Sienna Miller portrait, Yeo added he chose to unveil this portrait in Berlin because Germany is less problematic about nudity, the latter being not automatically sexualised or deemed scandalous.
At the beginning of the 21st century, portraiture is under a different threat. Yeo is well aware of that. In this moment to be in the spotlight is very challenging. It is never be so easy, indeed, to have your 15 minutes of fame. But the weight of the media interference starts to be intolerable. Also everything is recorded and remains long time (forever?) in the internet. So for famous people is a permanent watchdog. Yeo painting slow it down by using different subjects, such as cosmetic surgery, which represents the never-ending quest of beauty and perfection.
Jonathan Yeo is born in London (18th December 1970). He is one of the best-known portrait painters in the world, and exhibited in New York, Los Angeles, the Netherlands, Hong Kong, and in the collection of the National Portrait Gallery, London. Yeo is the son of former Conservative Minister, Tim Yeo. He is married to the former actress and journalist Shebah Ronay. They live in London and have two daughters.
Yeo taught himself to paint in his early 20s while recovering from Hodgkin’s disease. In the early 2000s, he became known for his lifelike portraits of the rich and famous. Yeo has painted other personalities, including David Cameron, Prince Philip, Grayson Perry, Ozwald Boateng, Rupert Murdoch, David Gilmour, Nicole Kidman, David Walliams, Paris Hilton, Dennis Hopper, Tony Blair, and Erin O’Connor amongst others.
Furthermore, Jonathan Yeo is used to create scandals. In 2002 his photorealist paintings for Theo Fennell were taken out from US magazines for their explicit nudity. The next year Yeo caused chaos at the Royal Society of Portrait Painters by showcasing a full frontal nude painting of Ivan Massow. Despite this, HMR Queen Elizabeth II requested Yeo to paint a portrait of leading BBC broadcaster David Attenborough for The Royal Collection. In 2007, after a US Presidential commission was cancelled, Yeo created a collage of George W Bush using nothing but porno magazine cut-outs.
Yeo will be exhibiting in a solo show at the National Portrait Gallery, London in autumn 2013.
The exhibition “(I´ve got you) Under my Skin” is on show from 9th November 2012 until 12th January 2013 at the Circleculture Gallery in Berlin (Germany).